Love Your Life, Not Theirs: Rachel Cruze’s Refreshing Point of View Does Not Disappoint!

Every dollar you spend is a reflection of your values. – Rachel Cruze

Love Your Life, Not Theirs, is now available online and through national bookstores. Image credit to Rachel Cruze.
Love Your Life, Not Theirs, is now available online and through national bookstores. Image credit to Rachel Cruze.

Last year, I had written about how Ryan and I enrolled in Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. Since graduating from the course, at least one of us (ahem, *me* hehe) has kept up with a monthly budget via EveryDollar. I am seriously about budgeting now, according to my family.

When I had heard about Rachel Cruze, Dave Ramsey’s daughter, releasing a book called Love Your Life, Not Theirs:7 Money Habits for Living the Life You Want, I knew I had to pick it up. Fortunately, I was selected as one of her early reviewers, so I received a copy of her book to consume these past couple of weeks.

My verdict: a wonderful refresher from Financial Peace University; Rachel’s energy is so magnetizing, just like her father. Her writing is down-to-earth and very relatable: I especially like that the first habit listed in the book is about quitting the comparisons.

One of the most frustrating parts of social media is that it’s not always real life. – Rachel Cruze

I could definitely relate when she talked about the #blessed photos, status updates, etc. on social media. Haven’t we all been in that place, comparing ourselves to others? I read a lot of personal development books and articles, and even though the idea of quitting comparisons keeps getting hammered into my head through these other sources, Rachel’s insight into the comparison trap, *especially* when it comes to money, really hit the nail on the head.

Since I did take Financial Peace University (FPU) previously, the six remaining habits were more refreshers for me than any new material learned. But, I’d say that Rachel’s book is good for any person or couple who is looking to get their finances in order. Whether you go through FPU or simply read Love Your Life, Not Theirs, you will glean a lot of useful information on how to take charge of your finances, once and for all.

If you read Love Your Life, Not Theirs, let me know! I’d love to hear your thoughts about the book.

My Love For Reading, But…

I love big books and I cannot lie. Image courtesy of renjith krishnan from freedigitalphotos.net
I love big books and I cannot lie. Image courtesy of renjith krishnan from freedigitalphotos.net

I’m a bibliophile: I can’t help but stop and stare at book displays whether they’re at bookstores or libraries; can’t help but pick up many books at said locations and read the blurbs, adding them to my “must-read” list. That list just grows longer and longer. Ever since 2007 when I started tracking books I want to read via lists (first on MS Word, then on Goodreads, now on Amazon wish list…ha), that list just keeps multiplying, never decreasing.

Still, despite all this love for books, I haven’t been the most diligent reader the past several years. I kept track of how many books I read each year up until about 2011/2012; I then stopped keeping track of my books 2012 and 2013. Last year, I decided to pick this habit back up and I logged a measly 16 books read (compared to my average of 25 books per year in 2008-2009).

Now it is March of 2015, and so far I have logged zero books read. I find that as technology has evolved, that has taken my time away from just sitting and leisurely reading a book. In my early 20s, it used to take me only a few days to read and finish a book; nowadays, it takes me perhaps a month, if not longer. I go through spurts of reading binges, flying through books if the subject matter is highly interesting and then plodding along in books that, although may be interesting, are not as easy to fly through.

Well, right now I am in the midst of one book, so hopefully by the end of March I will have read at least one book for the year. That’s a start, I suppose.

An Entrepreneur Lending Library

My bookshelves; so many books!!
My bookshelves; so many books!!

I have a lot of books, as you can see from the picture above. Those are all the books I’ve had sent out to me from Virginia/bought/accumulated. Don’t even ask me how many books I have left in Virginia; our family’s collection at home is pretty much a library on its own.

Anyway, what I’ve noticed over the years is how many books are getting published, especially with the option of self-publishing/e-publishing these days. I find myself inundated with book recommendations and not exactly enough money to go out and purchase all the books. This is especially the situation with entrepreneurial/leadership books.

I know I have a good bit of entrepreneurship/leadership/business books. I wonder if anyone would be interested in having a lending library amongst us entrepreneurs? Would be fun to keep us lean and share knowledge easily.

What say you?

Book Review: Craig Lancaster does it again with “Quantum Physics”

Get your copy of "Quantum Physics and the Art of Departure"!

I have not been shy about how much I love Craig Lancaster’s writing. His two novels, 600 Hours of Edward and The Summer Son, simply blew me away. And now, Quantum Physics and the Art of Departure, Craig’s first collection of short stories, goes right up there with his novels.

At first I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy the short stories, since the first one, “Somebody Has to Lose”, moved along slowly. Once I got past a certain point in that story, though, everything began to fly.

The stories in Quantum Physics are all about very human lives set mostly in Montana. I feel the book proved to the outside world how people in Montana are pretty much the same as anyone else. We all experience the same problems in life, no matter where we may live in this country, in this world.

I really enjoyed how unfiltered Craig was in his writing: if you want to read a flowery, family-friendly book,  look elsewhere. Every story includes an element we all wouldn’t openly admit in public : affairs, experimentation, sexual abuse, etc. These are touchy topics, but it is refreshing to have these written about in such a matter-of-fact way.

My favorite stories out of the collection: “This is Butte. You Have Ten Minutes.”, “Cruelty to Animals”, and “The Paper Weight”. All ten are wonderful to read though. Don’t miss it!

Check out Craig’s author page on Amazon for information about his books: Craig Lancaster

Book Review: Charlie Cole’s “Headhunters”

Headhunters is quite the thriller.

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There’s a monster at the end of the book, and Charlie Cole sure knows how to work that magic. This is my first time to read any works by Cole, but I already feel that he is an expert writer. I feel honored to write him a review since, in the short amount of time we have known each other (via Twitter), we are becoming quick colleagues.

Headhunters starts out with a bang: Simon’s wife Claire leaves him chasing after her in their respective cars. Then, she dives to her death over the railing.
And the book continues to spin like crazy, with Simon constantly getting curveballs thrown at him as he moves from the Washington, D.C. area to Chicago. He thinks he’s safe there, but then, the chase continues.
Although the subject of the matter is deep and dark (Simon is a secret agent), there are a few times where I end up laughing, i.e., the reference to “literal dead weight”. Also, Cole puts in a quite X-rated scene in the book to lighten things up a bit. I almost felt ashamed while reading that aspect. But then the thrilling parts came back again.
I normally wouldn’t read a book so suspenseful/thrilling/disturbing, but I really enjoyed Headhunters. I practically could not put it down the whole time. Too bad I have classes…I could have finished this book in less than a week. Next time, perhaps? (I love speed-reading but not when there are a billion other things to complete).
If you like a ton of suspense, mystery, action: read Headhunters. You won’t be disappointed. And look out for Cole’s next novel, Suicide Doors, coming out in April.