2011 Book Review - Rave's and Eh's

2011 was not a big reading year here on the farm.  We've been wrapped up in projects around the farm - fencing, gardening, and such - as well as my spring-fall being basically consumed with a Zumba infatuation. If you haven't tried Zumba... please do, but be prepared to like it way more than any other exercise program... ever.  At least that was how it worked for me.  But you know our story, with the arrival of fall came our realization that our debt was out of control.  Gym membership was on the chopping block.  Ahhhh Zumba... I miss you!
~A random Zumba vid from YouTube for fun~

I have not been slacking off in my now Zumba-free hours!  Books on personal finance, life, entrepreneurship, spirituality, leadership and more have been voraciously consumed in order to help us along our new debt free path.

Without further delay... The 2011 Reading List!


Garden of Riches - Rabbi Shalom Arush
I read this book in early 2011.  It was the book that put the thought into my head that perhaps my way of managing money was less than ideal on more than one level.  You can read about that realization here.
Rabbi Arush provides detailed descriptions of the definition of debt and steps you can take to pay back your loans.  The book is translated into English by Rabbi Lazer Brody.

Four Hour Work Week - Tim Ferriss
I've read this book twice.  Once over the summer and then again, more thoroughly, in November. This book is inspiring and Tim Ferris is a pretty interesting individual. Do I expect to be able to go down to working 4 hours per week? After reading this book, I'd have to say it's possible IF we put in the effort. I really appreciated the resources and guidance the book offered.  In addition, his blog is full of success stories that make you wonder "why didn't I think of that?"  Amazing what people can do with a bit of effort.

Total Money Makeover - Dave Ramsey
By the time we learned of this book we had already decided that debt free was the way to be (look! I can rhyme). My marvelous aunt saw my Twitter posts (do you follow me?) regarding our desire to free ourselves from debt and suggested we check this book out.  I give this book a big thumbs up regarding what we learned.  In many ways the information was common sense BUT it came at the right time and enabled us to put our debt reduction goals onto a on-paper plan. We love watching our snowball grow! This plan works for us. The downside to this book was the loooonnnnggg lead up to the plan. I skipped ahead several chapters (1/2 way or more through the book) until I found "step 1".

EntreLeadership - Dave Ramsey
I was pretty skeptical about this book after our experience with Total Money Makeover.  I expected good information but was thinking I would have to mine it out of the pages again. It was a pleasant surprise when the book launched right into good, usable material. Number 1 thing I got out of this book: I have really sucked as a leader in almost every leadership position I've held. Ouch. Number 2 thing: Great (really great) notes on how to not suck in the future.

Tribes - Seth Godin
This is the first book of Seth Godin's that I've read and I hope it's not the last. It was an easy and fun read (I read it in 1 day between other activities) packed with insight and really, a call to action. He asks the reader to be more... to be innovative, to challenge the old systems, to realize a new world.

2009 Action Plan - Suze Orman
Our small library does not have a lot in the way of financial books.  This summer, when thoughts of money management were slowly beginning to float around our minds, I picked up this book.  I just gave it a very quick read. Good info but not written in a manner that captured my interest.  Perhaps it was because we weren't "there" yet in regards to accepting our financial condition or perhaps it was just a sucky read.  In any event, I haven't discarded her books all together - I'm currently reading "The Money Class" and so far it is much better.

Women's Wisdom - Rabbi Shalom Arush
I love this book. I've read it twice (or three times?) and just picked it up to read again. Beautiful explanation of a woman's role according to Torah reference, giving insight into the strength and importance of everything women bring to this world.

There you go! All of these books (and more) can be seen over on my Shelfari box on the sidebar. I have a stack of books I'm currently reading plus more lined up.

What are your book topic(s) of choice these days? Fun fiction, leadership, debt reduction, spiritual, other?  Do you have any suggestions of something we may want to read?

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