So, I finished Jackdaws by Ken Follett a couple of weeks ago, but since I read it for a book club, I held off the post until after I had met with them.
Jackdaws is a story from two points of view, set during the war we have the point of view of Flick, a British woman working with the French Resistance and a German solider living in occupied France. It was a book I borrowed from the library, which only gave me three weeks to read it, and I didn’t start reading it until a week after I borrowed it so I was afraid I was not going to finish it but it was so captivating, I couldn’t put it down. The story takes place in the week up to D-Day in occupied France as Flick and her team of women work to undermine the German forces in France. There were a number of points in the book however that I found too graphic and I had to skip over but the story was so important it was worth reading. I wasn’t sure after the first couple of chapters that I was going to be able to get through it but I’m so glad I did.
The book is incredible, if you’re a fan of historic fiction, I would definitely recommend it. Although, I would like to read something a little lighter next time so I’m taking suggestions!
On my journey to read 30 books this year, I’m trying to read more personal development style books. Disrupt Yourself was recommended to me, and I will be honest, it wasn’t my favourite.
The idea behind Disrupt Yourself is that you can do with your career, what others have done with organizations like Uber and AirBnB. “Disrupters” find parts of the market that are largely ignored by competitors and then overnight, they explode. Disrupt Yourself is about examples of people who took risks in their careers and those risks lead to bigger rewards. Although I thought the book had a few good examples, I thought it was a little repetitive, and it was only about 100 pages. I think the stories would have made great blog posts or a podcast series.
So, this wasn’t my favourite book that I’ve read in 2017, it did have some interesting stories, if you’re interested in learning more about the “disrupter” idea, this book may be a good place to start (it’s also available at the library) but some people may be a little tired of the term and should maybe just check out a blog post or two.
I picked up this book a few months ago on a very rare Costco trip and only recently got around the reading it. The Nazi Officer’s Wife is the story of how one Jewish woman survived the Holocaust. The story is based on the life of Edith Hahn Beer, a young woman from Austria. I have read a number of books about the Second World War and the Holocaust and was surprised that I had never heard of this type of experience.
The story begins before the war, where she tells stories of her boyfriend, her family and attending law school. She recounts in remarkable details her experiences in slave labour camps, going underground and eventually living in Munich where she meets her husband. It’s a very good book, I was so enthralled I couldn’t put it down. Edith had also saved many photos and documents which she includes in the book, which are really remarkable.
I would definitely recommend the Nazi Officer’s Wife if you have any interest in biographies or history, it’s definitely worth the read!
Another book that I had for months before finally picking it up. I got this book at an event for young professionals about personal finance run by the lovely Jessica Moorhouse.
Wealthing Like Rabbits proclaims itself as an introduction to personal finance but I think that those who know the introduction should still read this book as a refreshed. There were a lot of things in this book that I knew the basics of, a mortgage, an RRSP, credit cards but I also learned some things about other types of loans and also put what I did know back in to perspective. Sometimes I can forget that I can one day be mortgage-free, because it seems so far in the future, it seems so hard to believe but I recently renewed my mortgage at a much lower interest rate, by not changing what I’m already paying, I took over two years off my mortgage. Not only is that time, but it’s money, it’s a heck of a lot of interest that I don’t have to pay the bank. That, coupled with reading this book has inspired me to stay on paying down my mortgage. It’s also reminded me that I need to start saving more in my RRSP. Somewhat unrelated, but kind of related, my friend Jessica Moorhouse was recently talking about her vision board, which I’ve said I should do but her post with this book, it’s happening this weekend! I’m getting my collage on!
The first endorsement for this book on the cover is “Smart, funny and totally relatable” by the queen of finance, Gail Vaz-Oxlade. It’s hard to imagine a finance book being funny but this is exactly that. I knew it was off to a good start when the opening line of the book is a Simpsons quote. He also references video games, zombies and Tony Soprano. The book was funny enough that I laughed out loud on the subway, and I’m sure other people thought “is that weird girl laughing at a finance book”, absolutely I was and they should read it too.
I would definitely recommend this book for every 20-something, 30-something, 40-something etc, who wants to know more about the basics of personal finance. Like I said that Hidden Figures should be shown in every math class, this book should be a mandatory read for math or careers or basically any other course in high school. Too many people don’t know even the basics of how money works and that’s how they end up in trouble. This book has a lot of advice, and not all of it may be the best fit for everyone but it will definitely make you think differently about money and have a great time doing it!