As an avid reader, I've spent a good portion of my life
deciding what to read next. After all, there's no Netflix for fiction; there's no algorithm to automatically pick your next book. I've concluded that the most important step to finding a great read is being constantly open to new titles, however they come into my life.
Get lost wandering aisles of used bookstores. Read book reviews each week. Ask your friend what her mom is reading in her book club. Or, as I discovered while combing through old
Money Diaries for this story, you can just read the Money Diaries each week. So many entires contain amazing recommendations.
Speaking personally, some of my
favorite books have come from friends who know me, and know my priorities. So if you’re a person who reads the Money Diaries each week, then titles in this round-up will definitely speak to you. We compiled an eclectic list, ranging from actually cool self-help books to gripping thrillers, composed of what money diarists were reading when they wrote their entries.
You Are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero (2017) Not gonna lie, making money is a pretty convenient thing to be badass at. In this book, Jen Sincero will revolutionize your relationship to money, and help dismantle roadblocks that lie between you and your financial goals. The d iarist explained their reasoning for picking up this book. "It's the kind of book I know I'll read again, which is why I decide to buy it. Since I moved to Portland, I have become hyper-aware of my money and my spending habits. I want to budget better so I can save more money." They later described the book as "motivating." So get motivated! This book was practically written for Money Diaries readers.
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris (2005) Sedaris’ essay collection brightened up one m oney diarist’s morning, big time. The diarist wrote, “I always listen to Audible on my morning commute, and David Sedaris' Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim is so funny that I don't want to get out of my car when I get to work.” In this particular collection, Sedaris turns ordinary occurrences — childhood vacations, cleaning up his sister’s kitchen, attending his brother’s wedding — into unforgettable stories, thanks to his quirky observations and unique perspective.
The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women by Valerie Young (2011) This New York-based m oney diarist picked up The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women from the library. "Anyone else suffer from Imposter Syndrome?" the diarist asked in the post. If the answer is yes, then you might want to pick up this book, too. Dr. Young explains the imposter syndrome phenomenon, why young women are susceptible to feeling like frauds, and, most importantly, how to move beyond it. The diarist called it "a good read so far."
(2017) by Lauren Marks A Stitch of Time A Stitch of Time, which this m oney diarist was reading at the time of their diary, will appeal to anyone fascinated by psychology. At the age of 27, Lauren Marks has an aneurysm while on vacation in Scotland. She wakes up utterly changed. The most significant challenge was her new difficulty with speech. A Stitch of Time combines research about aphasia and aneurysms, with Marks' own journey to re-learn language.
(2014) by Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Carline de Maigret, and Sophie Mas How To Be Parisian Wherever You Are One money diarist was in Paris for a week-long book festival, and wasn't looking forward to returning to the States. So, the diarist picked up this book about French womanhood, written by four Parisian friends, as a way to take a little piece of Paris with them everywhere.
Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture by Ariel Levy (2005) For great nonfiction, this money diarist recommends picking a up book by Ariel Levy, a staff writer for The New Yorker. In the 2005 book Female Chauvinist Pigs, which is mentioned in the diary, Levy examines why the feminist movement has gone on to produce a generation of women who embrace the Playboy Bunny and volunteer to go on Girls Gone Wild. In 2017, Levy released a wrenching memoir, In addition to telling stories about her childhood in Westchester and her adventures as a writer, Levy focused on the brutal year in which she had a stillborn baby and separated from her partner. She especially explores the notion of whether women can "have it all" through the lens of her own life experiences.
The Rules Do Not Apply.
Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant (2017) This money diarist succinctly summed up what you can expect from Option B, a book Sandberg wrote in the wake of her husband, David Goldberg's, sudden and unexpected death: "It's really good, but super-sad." That is true. But as Sandberg learned during the past year of unimaginable grief, she's tougher than she thought she was.
The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker (1999) In this acclaimed survival manual, De Becker's goal is to make you unafraid of being afraid. De Becker teaches you how to spot danger when it arises, how to trust your gut, and, most importantly, how to reach safety should a situation arise. Here's why one money diarist decided to listen to The Gift of Fear audiobook: "I am terrified of things happening beyond my control, so I want to learn how to pay more attention to signs and my intuition. The first chapter already scares me, but it's super-interesting."
(2016) by Rachel Cusk Outline One money diarist took a trip to the local library and picked up two books. Outline by Rachel Cusk, an ingenious novel about a writing teacher teaching a summer course in Athens, was the first. Cusk's unnamed narrator has a series of winding, philosophic conversations with a number of interlocutors, from her students to a millionaire she meets at the airpot. Think Before Sunrise, but set in Greece, and in novel form.
(2017) by Ayelet Waldman A Really Good Day The same diarist picked up A Really Good Day during her trip to the library. In this book, Waldman explores the history of LSD, and reveals the multitude of ways that microdosing — essentially taking tiny doses of LSD throughout the day — had a positive, therapeutic impact on her life.
(2006) by Susan Casey The Devil's Teeth The money diarist who read The Devil's Teeth for 45 minutes before dinner is probably made of steel, because this true story about sharks off the coast of the Farallon Islands explores one of nature's most vicious creatures. As the diarist puts it, "Sharks are crazy, guys." In order to write the book, Casey spent the entirety of the eight-week shark mating season holed up in a 165-year-old house with two biologists, who have devoted their lives to Great Whites.
(2017) by Richard Fidler Ghost Empire Looking to buff up your trivia about the Ottoman Empire? Well, maybe you should be. This money diarist from Australia was loving the audiobook version of Ghost Empire. "It's narrated by the author Richard Fidler and is all about the Turkish/Ottoman Empire throughout the ages. I adore it," they wrote. Fidler's inventive nonfiction book combines the 3,000-year history of the Byzantine Empire, Constantinople, and Istanbul with a trip to Turkey he took to with his son.
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult (2016) Ruth Jefferson has worked as a labor and delivery room nurse in a Connecticut hospital for 20 years. Then, the unthinkable happens: A baby dies on her watch. She is charged with the child's death. Suddenly, the fact that Ruth is the only Black nurse in the entire hospital comes into play, and Small Great Things becomes a novel of internalized racism and privilege as well as grief. The Money Diarist who was reading Small Great Things also happened to be pregnant at the time. She conceded, "Not entirely sure this is the best choice for a pregnant woman, but I'm enjoying it all the same."
The Sellout by Paul Beatty (2015) One money diarist recommended three books that she read in a single week. That's goals! The first was The Sellout, a satire about race in America by Paul Beatty. With The Sellout, Beatty became the first American to win the Booker Prize. The diarist writes, "I recommend [ The Sellout] if you're looking for biting satire, social commentary, and lyrical writing."
(2016) by Ambelin Kwaymullina The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf Immediately after finishing The Sellout, the diarist moved on to this dystopian YA novel. In post-apocalyptic Australia, some children, like Ashala Wolf, have developed strange abilities. Some of these children — called Illegals — are able to manipulate the weather; others can travel through time while they sleep. The government is rounding those children up and sending them to detention centers. After a betrayal from another Illegal, Ashala finds herself in one such detention center. The diarist called it a "fun read."
The Round House by Louise Erdich (2013) The last book this diarist reads is The Round House by Louise Erdich. The National Book Award-winning novel follows a boy on Ojibwe reservation in North Dakota, whose mother endures a racist sexual assault.
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (1998) This was the year of all of us re-reading The Handmaid's Tale, thanks to the Hulu TV adaptation. This money diarist read some of Atwood's dystopian novel every night before bed.
(2017) by Cat Marnell How to Murder Your Life Cat Marnell was the beauty editor for Lucky, a media maven, and a staple in the New York party scene. She was also struggling with addiction and a life going faster than she could keep up with. This harrowing memoir, which tracks Marnell's childhood, career, addiction, and recovery, made for good bedtime reading for this money diarist.
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