Books Read 5/10: Money, Thrillers & Dystopias

Books Read 5/10: Money, Thrillers & Dystopias

Broke Millennial Takes on Investing by Erin Lowry: A mid-level book between the broad financial advice of David Bach and the granular advice of The 30-Day Money Cleanse (below). Lowry takes the time to explain the jargon around investing, which I found very useful.

The 30-Day Money Cleanse by Ashley Feinstein Gerstley: If you’re just starting out trying to figure out your weekly or monthly budget, this would be a useful book. It was a little too micro-level for me, but it’s a nice-looking workbook for beginners.

The Burglar by Thomas Perry: A thriller about a young burglar who discovers a triple murder while breaking into a house. Somehow, the murderers seem to have figured out who she is, and she has to outsmart them. I liked this clever, criminal-minded character, and it made me very aware of how easy it would be to break into my apartment. Good thing I don’t own much … see the two books referenced above.

Golden State by Ben H. Winters: My top pick for this stack’o’books! In a place very much like Los Angeles, a veteran of the Speculative Services is hunting down lies, because falsehoods strike at the everything that is Good and True in the heavily surveilled heart of the Golden State. I was quickly absorbed by the clever world-building in this post-fake-news dystopia; the concept is complex but well-done, and it has some cogent points to make about how we differentiate truth from falsehood in our day-to-day-lives.

Hazards of Time Travel by Joyce Carol Oates: And speaking of knowing truth from lies, this is another futuristic dystopian novel, the world as Trump and his supporters would have it, where the president is an emoji representing the richest man in the North American States and a high-school student’s speech filled with questions leads her to be arrested and charged with Treason-Speech and Questioning of Authority. Her punishment is to be exiled to 1959, where she’s a new student in Wainscotia, WI. Threatened with Deletion if she breaks the rules, the traumatized 17-year-old protagonist of this novel studies Skinnerian psychology as she tries to make sense of her new world, the Happy Place. It’s Joyce Carol Oates, so you know it’ll be well-written, but you also know better than to expect it to be straightforward.

Save Me from Dangerous Men by S.A. Lelchuk: A bookstore-owning private investigator has a semi-secret side job beating up guys who beat up women. What’s not to love? But when she gets tangled up in what seems at first like a simple case of corporate espionage, she realizes the limits of her ability to save others, and has to fight to save herself. This and The Burglar above were nice back-to-back reads if you like strong, ass-kicking female protagonists.

The Chef by James Patterson with Max DiLallo: Okay, okay, I should have known better. But I wanted another book, so I picked this up on a whim. A respected New Orleans police officer who has a side job as an award-winning food truck chef quits the force after being charged with a bad shooting, gets involved in a terrorist investigation that he egotistically thinks he can investigate alone, jumps to a bunch of racist conclusions that had me muttering out loud to my empty apartment, “If he’s not wrong in the end, I’m going to throw this book across the room,” and yet somehow saves the day (I started skimming at some point, so don’t ask me for details). You know how female writers always get accused of writing “Mary Sue” novels? Well, this is total “Gary Stu.” Spoiler: At least I didn’t have to throw the book across the room.

I read, write, roleplay, travel, teach, and occasionally do research. I am a lizard, a warrior, a minimalist, and a scholar.
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