The Millionaire Next Door: The surprising Secrets of America’s wealthy

Like most people in America, I am curious about the well off.  In this book, The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy, the authors have done market study on millionaires.  The results are surprising.  Many of these people are self-made, and super frugal.  They would not be easy to pick out of a crowd with their american made vehicles,  their ordinary houses, and off the rack suits.

The book is very informative and gives great advice about what to do to become wealthy.  The first point: high income: is obvious, but the second: frugal living is not as expected.  The author points out that you can’t always tell these millionaires from their middle class surroundings and lifestyles.

Some parts of this book are a little dry, but the data itself is interesting.


How to be richer, smarter, and better-looking than your parents

How to Be Richer, Smarter, and Better-Looking Than Your Parents by Zac Bissonnette is a treatise on economy.  Every young person should read it as a primer on how to enter the world and excel.  As a reader, you have to get past the snarky tone of writing in it, but its underlying message is a good one: plan for your financial future so you have choices,  think about every expense no matter how trivial, design your financial life with intentionality. Even older people may find some modern tips for saving money, for example, prescription eyeglasses online.  By the way, I’m not sure how young people can be better looking than their parents except for the young thing, and I don’t remember how he addressed that part in the book.

The Toaster Project: Or a Heroic Attempt to Build a Simple Electric Appliance from Scratch

Thomas Thwaites chose an interesting thesis project: build an industrial object on your own from absolute start to finish.  He attempts this with sort of perverse success and good humour. He deconstructs an inexpensive toaster and then sets up his parameters. He travels to several places on a student’s budget for raw materials and resources several different people to gain ideas on how to manufacture a single toaster. While he is semi-successful in that he has semi-functional toaster, he is too afraid by its odd construction to turn it on.

The book is written in the same sort of voice as A.J. Jacobs. Mr. Thwaites struggles to sustain the voice through the whole book, even though the book is rather short.  The end seems rushed, possibly because he had a deadline for his thesis.

The Toaster Project: Or a Heroic Attempt to Build a Simple Electric Appliance from Scratch by Thomas Thwaites

Winning the clutter war

If any of you know me or have been to my house, you know that I have deep fear of becoming a hoarder.  This is not because I find those people strange or disgusting, but rather because I feel I could easily slip into that space.  As part of that internal battle, I pick up any organizational or housekeeping self-help book I see at the library. Winning the Clutter War is my newest read in that genre.

Although the author was writing to the person in much more dire messiness than me, many of her tips would be helpful to a broad variety of people lacking organizational skills.  I found several tips that I could use in the book, for example, the 30 second rule, ie if you can complete a job in 30 seconds just do it already.  However, I read a lot of book to dig out those gems. She offers a support group style of clean up as well, with a considerable amount of the book focused on why she feels people are messy and the types of messy. This was not particularly insightful to me or interesting.

Winning the clutter war, Sarah Felton, 2010