Title: All the Money in the World: What the Happiest People Know About Getting and Spending
Author: Laura Vanderkam
Fun Fact: As of 2006, earning $60,000/year made you part of the top 10% highest earning people in the world.
All the Money in the World is a thoughtful series of essays on earning and using money to maximize your happiness. It’s full of interesting thought experiments, facts, and questions that will make you think about money in ways you never have before. The writing is great, reminding me of Malcolm Gladwell’s many books or Mirroring People, and definitely meeting my criteria that it be clear and concise. Although the chapters could be read as stand-alone essays, the interesting topic kept me reading one after another. My favorite parts were the fascinating personal anecdotes, but it was also important to me that the author cited research studies to back up her advice. Finally, there are actionable suggestions throughout which are collected into a useful worksheet at the end of the book. This was exactly what I look for in a self-help book – interesting, research-based, well-written, and useful.
As a 20-something, you’re often dealing with not having a logical “next-step” for the first time as you finish college, trying to find a job, and figuring out both who you are and what you want from life. In The 20 Something Manifesto, Christine Hassler has collected a bunch of short essays by 20-somethings at various stages of their lives and combined these with her insightful commentary. Throughout, she manages to sound authoritative and give good advice while never sounding condescending or judgmental. She’s also often very funny. There are sections on various topics of concern to 20-somethings’ from career and money to romance, each with suggestions for ways to find out what you want and how to get there. The only thing keeping this from also being a 5 star review is the author’s belief in “The Secret”, a silly but popular belief that simply visualizing something will make it so. Fortunately that idea, which in my opinion is the worst of self-help, appears very little in this otherwise exemplary book.