Archive for April, 2011
The Richest Man in Babylon: The Success Secrets of the Ancients. George S. Clason. Bantam Books, 1982. 143 pages. ISBN 0-553-20978-7
Walk into any better bookstore, make a beeline to the personal finance and investment section, pick up any of over two or three dozen books, rip off the cover and boil it down it’s main points, and you’d be left with one book: The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason. Name authors you will – Suze Orman, Ric Edelman, David Bach, Dave Ramsey – none, and I mean none, have improved on the simple and timeless principles laid out in these pages.
The book began in 1926 as a series of informational pamphlets written in parable form. The book, set in ancient Babylon, follows the travails of Bansir, the journey of Arkad, and the lessons of Old Kalabab, among others, and offers a practical road map to financial stability and success. The principles are repeated often, as the clear promise is made that “A lean purse is easier to cure than to endure.”
While that may, or may not be true, the book should resonate with readers regardless of their financial status. Readers will recognize that, for better or for worse, they’ve been where the parables take us. Just as quickly, they’ll also quickly realize what steps can be taken to move forward. In that sense, this book is a fantastic guide to the laws that govern. For, as Clason suggests, “Money is truly governed by the same laws which controlled it when prosperous men thronged the streets of Babylon, six thousand years ago.
It’s not a stretch to consider Clason as an ideological precursor of modern financial planners, who design their own contemporary presentations to impress upon clients the very same principles deftly weaved throughout the book. The terms are different, but the lessons identical. The importance of saving by paying yourself first, budgeting by controlling your expenses, intelligent investing with wise and experienced counsel, insuring yourself against catastrophic loss, andfor your golden years are sound for any time and place.
While newer books may have flashier covers, and even flashier authors, for those seeking to improve their financial condition or, better yet, accumulate wealth, tap into the success secrets of the ancients and read the one personal finance book you shouldn’t be without: The Richest Man in Babylon.
Many people are quite high on themselves and yet fail to consider that there are others out there, who also have achieved, perhaps even well beyond their dreams. It is good for us to celebrate the, wisdom and accomplishes of others, as it can humble us and helps us see the good of for all it is worth. There are two-books which I have recently read that I thought I might bring to your attention, perhaps this will help illuminate my point and help you push beyond your ments to become that better man:
“No Guts No Glory” by John M. O’Keefe 1985.
The subtitle of this book is; “A true life story that demonstrates that anything is possible – if you have the willingness to dream and the guts to try.” I think that about says it all, however I would like to add a few things to this. Namely, that the story the book is about, the life of Roy E. Coats, is one about perseverance and will than anything else.
“Overdrive – a Personal Documentary” by William F. Buckley, Jr. 1983
This is a great book and it is wonderful to review the life of a great man who wrote so many great things and shared with us his literary prowess and most of all made us think. If you have never read much about him, you will find this book quite incredible and insightful. It is well worth the time to read. Although William F. Buckley has passed on, he left with us much intellectual stimulus and an incredible number of literary works.
Book Review for: “A Duke’s Temptation”
Reviewed by: S. Burkhart
Hunter pens a tale full of delicious delights with “A Duke’s Temptation.” Samuel St. Aldwyn, the Duke of Gravenhurst, has a reputation for being a rogue, but he also harbors a secret. Does Lily Boscastle dare to discover what the handsome duke strives so hard to keep hidden?
Set in London, 1818, Lily Boscastle attends a masquerade ball with her cousin, Chloe Stratfield. The Wickbury Tales by Lord Anonymous is all the rage. Lily meets a handsome young man masquerading as Don Quixote. They take a walk into the gardens where their light-heartened banter turns into a heated kiss, betraying their attraction.
Once they depart, the handsome young turns out to be Samuel St. Aldwyn – the Duke of Gravenhurst – and he desires to make Lily his wife. Unfortunately, the next morning, Samuel learns that Lily is engaged to Captain Jonathon Grace and while he has a marriage contract drawn up, he doesn’t deliver it.
Lily is resigned to marry Jonathon, who she considers a friend. Then she witnesses Jonathon commit a murder, and he doesn’t admit it. Lily insists she saw what she saw, and refuses to marry Jonathon. Disgraced, Lily takes a job as a housekeeper.
Lily travels a long distance to reach her new job. Along the way someone appears to hijack the carriage – a rogue who is supposed to remind her of Sir Renwick from the Wickbury Tales. To her surprise, Lily realizes it’s the handsome young man she kissed on the night of masquerade and that man is the Duke of Gravenhurst.
As Lily discovers the complexities of the man, her attraction grows, but will Samuel’s secret and her dubious past keep them apart?
Hunter crafts a vivid story full of imagination. Her writing is sharp, putting the reader right in the scenes with Lily and Samuel.
The story uses a good economy of words to paint vivid pictures of the setting. Hunter’s dialogue is crisp and delightful.
Lily and Samuel are intriguing characters. Lily is honest to a fault and that honesty causes trouble between her, Jonathon, and her family. What I admire is despite the trouble, Lily stays true to her convictions and beliefs. Samuel’s most endearing quality is his loyalty. He’s true to the people who are true to him.
The story’s love scenes are sophisticated, tasteful, yet sensual, embodying the newfound love the couple has for each other. Overall, “A Duke’s Temptation” is another delicious romantic historical from Hunter.
Reinventing Myself, Memoirs of a Retired Professor
Infinity Publishing (2006)
This book is a cautionary tale for those for whom retirement is a looming reality. The author enjoyed a successful 40- year career as a college teacher. She and her husband traveled widely, often by motorcycle and often with a splendid element of adventure. She retired from her work, however, with few concrete plans. She seems to have contentedly expected to spend her retirement years with her husband. Instead, she soon was a widow living alone with only an aging cat as a companion. Without family or close friends, without a consuming passion for any activity, it’s little wonder that she wrote. “… Friday just brings reminders of the boring weekend ahead.” Thisis testimony to her loneliness and depression.
“Reinventing Myself…” is an apt title, which announces the author’s objectives. She began to write the essays, which in time became the book, as her therapy as she struggled through purposeless and lonely days. The reader senses that indeed the writing became her salvation. As she sought her voice, she sometimes included detail that the reader will find tedious. That same reader, however, likely will forgive the tedium and wish her well, because the Mrs.that comes alive through the essays is someone the reader will genuinely like. She is unassuming, a little shy, and perhaps unwilling or unable to reach out to others. We see her as alone and vulnerable, and we are a bit protective. Of course, we know that it was those same personality characteristics that isolated her.
The writing is uneven. Sometimes the author stumbles, but then sometimes she gets it exactly right. Surprisingly, we learn that she seldom wrote during all her years of teaching. Thus, she was in the steepest part of the learning-to-write curve as these essays were being written. Although she tells us more than we want to know about some parts of her life, in the end she seems to have achieved her stated purpose of self-reinvention. She also reaches a goal that was probably unintended. Do you want to write? Or paint? Or try another creative endeavor? Is an adventure calling to you? Her uneven writing and her occasional missteps can serve to encourage the timid to be bold enough to try! This book shouts, “I did it. I persevered, and I did it.” Almost certainly she will continue to write, and I believe her writing will just get better and better. Reading, teaching English, loving great literature – aren’t those roughly equivalent to Writing 101?
If you are approaching retirement, or if you have already retired and now find that you could benefit from some “reinvention”, this book is for you. Learn from Mrs.’s experiences.
An intimate and detailed emotional journey, ‘look me in the eye’, is a well written, compassionate, deeply moving story that will have the reader laughing out loud on one page and on the verge of tears the next. Robison reveals what life was like growing up with an abusive, alcoholic father and his mentally ill mother. How these aspects effected his childhood and followed him into his adult life. Frustrated, different and with no clear understanding of why his inability to communicate appropriately brought about several socially unacceptable behaviors. It wasn’t long before he had been labeled a deviant.
Always more comfortable with innate objects than with people, he found great comfort surrounded my machines. Dismantling and repairing various machines would eventually make the leap from hobby to opening doors to incredible employment opportunities. For some time he developed toys for Milton Bradley and found success developing special guitars for the hard hitting rock group KISS and later for Pink Floyd.
His life would be forever altered when, at the age of forty he was diagnosed with asperger’s syndrome, a mild form of. Although this would answer numerous questions that had plagued John since early childhood, it presented a host of new questions. Look Me In The Eye is much more than a , Robison lifts the curtain and shines an unflinching light on life with asperger’s syndrome. By describing highly personal struggles within his own mind, Robison helps parents of children who may have otherwise suffered in silence, as well as, reaching adults making it clear they are not alone in their struggles, thus providing hope.
Hilarious, heartfelt and helpful this is an excellentthat takes the reader on an unforgettable journey into the deep recesses of the heart and mind of someone living with asperger’s syndrome. I would recommend this book highly to anyone that knows someone that has been diagnosed with asperger’s or and to readers that enjoy a well written .