Sunday, February 17, 2019

Book Review: Zero Debt

Zero Debt: The Ultimate Guide to Financial Freedom
by Lynette Khalfani-Cox  WebsiteFacebook  | Twitter

Publication Date: 8/1/2004
Publisher: Advantage World Press
Pages: 204
ISBN: 1932450750 (ISBN13: 9781932450750)
Genre: Economics | Finance
Source: Purchased

Available for Purchase: Amazon

Rating: 📚📚📚/ 3 out of 5 

Author Blurb: In Zero Debt, you'll discover: * How to get annoying creditors off your back * Insider secrets to reduce interest rates or eliminate credit card late fees * Your legal rights and what bill collectors can and can not do under the law * The best strategies to clean up your credit report or fix errors in your credit file * How to make lifestyle changes that will save you money for decades to come! If you want to be debt-free and achieve financial freedom, you need an action plan to guide you. This book is your step-by-step plan.

My Book Review

I've owned this copy for many years, I have to admit. Over the years I've glanced at it on my shelves and thought, "I definitely need to dive into that at some point". Yet, year after year, I move it from one shelf to the next and never spent any time really studying it. It wasn't until this year, when I had a deep desire to really get a stronghold on our finances, that I pulled Zero Debt from the bookshelf. Even then, it sat on my desk for a couple of months before I finally committed to investing some time into reading it.

Needless to say, I read it in one sitting despite its 204 pages. Much of that can be attributed to the fact that it was easy to skim the book considering that I've already known about or implemented the author's recommendations. Not because she recommended them, or from what I read in her book, but because I already knew these things from bits and pieces I read on the internet or elsewhere.

I have to note that the book was originally written in 2004, and it's recommendations reflect just that. As I understand it, the book is now up to a 3rd edition and I have hope that the content and recommendations have been updated as well. Overall, I found the content to be moderately useful. This could be a good read and excellent advice for a newby to finance. A person just learning how to navigate their finances, may find this book very useful. I consider myself to be adequately versed in personal finance, so many of the ideas and advice offered by the author, seemed useless to me.

One outstanding take-away from this book is how she speaks about helping to take care of aging parents. I found this topic to be admirable as it often isn't approached when people are thinking about their personal finances. Caring for elderly parents is often looked at as more of a burden that is only tackled when one or more parents become ill or inept. Khalfani-Cox approaches it as a "process, not an event" that should be managed with thoughtfulness and preparation in order to see helping our parents as a gift rather than as a burden.

If you have created surmountable credit card debt, suffered from a declining credit score, or are unsure about how to save money, then this book will definitely be helpful. If you are fairly up on your game with managing your money, investing, saving and are in the stages of debt repayment planning...then this book may be a bit below your level. 

#ZeroDebt #LynetteKhalfaniCox #Economics #Finance #BookReview #Goodreads #Financial Freedom #BookAddictBooks #MBCampbell

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Books To Keep You Warm

I don't know where you may live, but I live in the South. And while our winters tend to be milder than most, it's been a little too chilly for this natural-born Southerner. 

Winter time is all about bundling up and staying inside as much as possible, which is an introvert's dream life. So what better than finding a stack of books that triggers memories and thoughts of warmth and comfort. 

You may find my selection to be rather odd, but I chose these books based on their title or the feeling of warmth it brought me when I saw the title. Five out of seven of these books, I have yet to read so I am excited to add them to my TBR (to-be-read) list for 2019. So let's dive in and see if they really qualify for a good winter read. 

Nectar is a lovely book of poetry that I simply adore. It's the second collection of poetry by Malawian storyteller, Upile Chisala. Nectar, like its name, is about inner growth and the potential to blossom despite any circumstance. It's the substance that feeds all of our hopes and desires. I stumbled upon this book of poems while dreamily caressing the crystals and stones at a local magic shop. There it was lying on an ottoman, gently whispering to me with its soft yellow cover. I plopped down on the doughy sofa with its overflow of pillows and began to read. After swallowing the first poem, I had book in hand, ready to purchase it. If you are a lover of poetry, Nectar will not disappoint. It warms the heart with potential and encouragement on those cold and bleak days. 

The Warmest December is a sad but relatable story of a woman's battle with the effects of alcoholism in her family. While this is not a heartwarming story, it is one of truth and resilience. Like the cold of winter, it shows us the darker side of life, as alcoholism destroys a family from the inside out. But also like winter, it demonstrates the ability to overcome the difficult moments, and press forward into a brighter and warmer light that awaits with the coming of spring. Author, Bernice McFadden delivers an authentic and evocative read.

The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems as translated by Coleman Barks, is another collection of poems I keep close at hand. This was gift from one of my closest and dearest friends. I've loved Rumi's writings for many years, unsure as to when my lover affair with him began. Countless others are enamored with Rumi's poetry simply by the spirituality each poem naturally seems to possess. Whenever I question the ways in which humans relate to one another, I read Rumi and it reminds me of the potential of love and connection. 

"No one knows what makes the soul wake up so happy! Maybe a dawn breeze has blown the veil from the face of God."

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin is another I've been longing to read for some time now. I chose this book as a reminder of warmth because of its bright yellow binding and because the thought of true happiness just evokes warmth and pleasantries. “The days are long, but the years are short,” she realized. “Time is passing, and I’m not focusing enough on the things that really matter.” It was that thought that prompted her to dedicate a year to developing and nurturing her own happiness. Haven't we all experienced those moments? When life slaps us square in the face and says, there has to be more. Yet only a select few of us really reach for palatable happiness. She details some of the ways she explored and experienced happiness and shares its possibilities with the reader.

Another Book of the Month Selection from 2018 is The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne. Set in Ireland, Boyne delivers a heart tugging story about a young man whose adopted family constantly reminds him that he doesn't quite belong in their family. In his search to find his identity, he discovers his own resilience and ability to adapt to whatever comes his way. This seemingly is a story of one man yet somehow is also about the totality of humanity and how we are all just seeking that one place where we feel we belong.

As Bright As Heaven by Susan Meissner is one to get lost in underneath a warm blanket with a cup of hot tea, coffee or cocoa. This is a story of hope when all else is coming to an end around Pauline and her family. I stumbled upon this book as part of my Book of the Month subscription in 2018. If you love historical fiction, this novel is right up your alley as Pauline struggles to keep her family alive as the Spanish Flu hits the shores of America. This story breaks families apart and finds ways to build new ones based on nothing but survival, hope, and enduring love. 

And last but most certainly not least is Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by none other than JK Rowling, who I deeply admire. Why you ask? She is a lot like me. A mom just trying to take care of her family and pursue her dreams at the same time. But anyway, back to the book. I chose this book simply for its "warm" name! Lame I know. This is book 4 in the series, released in 2000 but still #4 on the Amazon charts this week! Now that is success! The fandom that has cascaded from this series is just mind blowing. I know no other better way to stay warm this winter than with this story filled with adventure, imagery and suspense!

#Nectar #UpileChisala #TheWarmestDecember #BerniceMcFadden #TheSoulofRumi #Rumi #ColemanBarks #TheHappinessProject #GretchenRubin #AsBrightAsHeaven #SusanMeissner #TheHeartsInvisibleFuries #JohnBoyne #HarryPotterandtheGobletofFire #HarryPotter #JKRowling #TBR #allthebooksJan19 #bookaddictbooks #MBCampbell

Monday, January 07, 2019

5 Bookish Things About Me

#1: I am an extroverted introvert.  Yes that's a thing. I am extremely introverted. If I had my way, everything would occur in my home or by myself but I know that's not really possible or natural. Instead, I manage my introversion by knowing when to put my introverted tendencies aside, and embrace my people-pleasing personality when needed. I think this is why I love books so much. They allow me to escape into a world outside of my own. I love books more than movies because in my mind, the book can take shape however I like and I can get lost in the story in whatever way I want to.

#2: I'm an author. I wrote my first children's book at age 11. That counts right? I never published it, not even to this day, but it exists. It sparked my desire to be a writer and an author. One day I will be brave enough to publish my first book, so stay tuned.

#3: My favorite author has only 2 published books. Her name is Shay Youngblood. She has published several plays but unfortunately there are only 2 books, of which, I obsess over. I adore her writing style. I feel in love with the beauty she creates with her words. Every sentence feels like poetry in motion. I first read Soul Kiss in my teen years and she made me see the world differently, through the eyes of a beautiful, strong, yet delicate brown-skinned woman. 

#4: I own over 500 books. That includes both physical and digital books. If I would have kept all the books I've purchased or been gifted over the years, I'm sure the number would be closer to 1000. Currently though, I have somewhere over 500 and probably 400 of those are unread. I know. I know. I just can't help but keep purchasing books. Hence the name "Book Addict Books".

#5: My favorite book genre is probably psychological thrillers. I gravitate to these books for some reason. I'm also a lover of horror movies to maybe it's just my thing to be scared to death. Ok that's lie, I am never scared by horror movies. But, I can be tricked here or there with a good psychological thriller. I also love memoirs, literary and historical fiction, and young adult (YA). And I absolutely detest romance novels. 

#bookaddictbooks #bookaddictbook #MBCampbell #5BookishThings #2019PhotoChallenge #PhotoChallenge #ShayYoungblood #SoulKiss #AuthorToBe #Thrillers #PsychologicalThriller #Introverts #Extroverts #IntrovertedExtrovert #InstagramPost

Saturday, January 05, 2019

Most Anticipated January Reads

As January opens up and drags us into another year, we begin adding to our TBR (to be read) list. So it seems only appropriate that I share with you some exciting new releases for January 2019. I chose the ones I am most excited about and will most likely add to my TBR, which is already way too long, I must admit. 

True Places: I actually got this book early through my Amazon Kindle First Reads perk and had no idea that this was one of the most highly anticipated books of January 2019. I simply read the synopsis and was hooked. I adore thrillers and this one looks like it won't disappoint. 

An Anonymous Girl: Waiting impatiently for January 8th, when this thriller will be released to the world! This story hits a little close to home as it is based around a 30-something woman looking to do her part for research and society by participating in a study on ethics and morality. Little by little the researcher begins to take control of her life and she is left wondering are these her choices or someone else's! This book comes from the author of The Wife Between Us which was a bestseller, so I am excited to see what comes next for author, Greer Hendricks.

She Lies in Wait: Also releasing on January 8th by Gytha Lodge is a story of six friends which happens to include one killer in the bunch. Of course I selected another psychological thriller (oops), which reminds me why I have yet to go camping. This story unfolds in 1983 as a group of friends go camping in the woods, but leave the woods minus one friend. Thirty years later her body is found and the "friends" come together once again to finally figure out just what happened that night in 1983.

Even If I Fall: And last but certainly not least, a slightly tragic love story. I am not one for romance novels so this is the closest I will get to one, but since this story is about a romance that somehow has a tragic twist, sign me up to read it! Brooke has to chose between the lesser of two evils....her family or her new love interest. Either way, she will have a lot to deal with emotionally, but which will she choose?

#JanuaryReads2019 #MostAnticipated #AnAnonymousGirl #SheLiesinWait #EvenIfIFall #TruePlaces #BookAddict #BookAddictBooks #BookAddictBook #MBCampbell #2019PhotoChallenge #PhotoChallenge