April 29th, 2017

Stewart Not Your Monkey

Dewey's 24-Hr Read-a-Thon: Opening Survey

It's that time again! I will be posting a lot about the read-a-thon today. I hope some of you will join me in this very fun event – starting NOW!

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

SE Missouri, USA

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

I actually don't have a TBR list this time. I'm just going to try to finish the books I'm working on and then see what I feel like reading afterward.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

Leftover birthday cheesecake!

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

I love reading speculative fiction, books about homesteading, shamanism, Rumi's poetry, and self-help books. I could always use more friends on Goodreads if anyone is interested. I love friends who post reviews!

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

This time I'm not worrying about a 'to read' list and will just be reading whatever catches my fancy. I'm not going to try to zoom through, either, but really just enjoy the process of reading ALL DAY.
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Stewart Not Your Monkey

The Total Money Makeover, by Dave Ramsey

The Total Money Makeover, by Dave Ramsey


I'm on the fence about this book, so I'll give it a middle-of-the-road 3 stars. On a positive note, it has stoked my enthusiasm for tackling my finances. I even got a few tips that will be very helpful.

However, there's a lot that rubbed me the wrong way. Ramsey uses a “hey, you're super-duper fat, flabby, and overweight” analogy for finances, and as someone who is indeed plump physically, I was extremely turned off (disgusted, even) with the amount of self-congratulatory fat-shaming throughout the entire thing. It was never-ending. I also didn't care for the HEAVY Christian slant and blatant sermonizing.

The book seems mostly designed for people who are in serious debt. I don't have debt – I just don't make enough money to begin with and wanted to learn how to make what money I do have work for me. If you are literally living in poverty, a lot of his advice and timelines simply won't work. I guess I'll revisit this after I've had time (more than a month or two) to work my way through some of his babysteps, but for now, I only found the investment advice to be helpful. Everything else was pretty much, “Easy for you to say!” He had one throw-away line for people making 20k or less. All examples assume you actually have good income coming in.

A great book for middle-class or higher Christian people who are swimming in debt and don't know what to do. Some okay advice for poor people who want to learn, but much of it was more discouraging than it was encouraging.
Stewart Not Your Monkey

The Total Money Makeover Workbook, by Dave Ramsey

The Total Money Makeover Workbook, by Dave Ramsey


On its own, I'd probably give this the same 3 stars I gave The Total Money Makeover, but with said book, I have to rate this 1 star.

I see why Dave is rich if all he does is sell the exact same book in multiple ways. This is no different from TTMM except that this one includes worksheets to fill out words and numbers, a lá open-book tests. He'll give a page or so of the same info in TTMM, repeated practically verbatim, then have you fill out the percentages or missing words on a worksheet to follow.

For people who learn best by filling out forms, I'd suggest this book INSTEAD of The Total Money Makeover. I do not recommend both books together at all. It's redundant and completely unhelpful. I skipped most of the “worksheets”. What good budgeting worksheets are included are also found at the back of the main book, so there's really nothing to set this workbook apart at all.
Stewart Not Your Monkey

Trans/Portraits: Voices From Transgender Communities, by Jackson Wright Shultz

Trans/Portraits: Voices From Transgender Communities, by Jackson Wright Shultz


This was a very moving book. It's a collection of essays by 30-something transgender individuals, only their experiences are broken up based on various themes. I thought this worked better than offering big, long essays one after another. You get to see how different people's experiences vary, and you hear about them in their own words.

It's a must-read for anyone who wants to be a good ally, as well as those who might be going through the process themselves. It was very eye-opening to follow so many individuals through their own unique processes. I like that it spoke to intersectionality of other issues like race, class, disabilities, even the Deaf and kink communities.

Some of the stories are sad and hard to read, especially with regards to abuse or other victimization, but I'm grateful to those who spoke their truth. It's given me a lot to think about, and it will definitely help me be more mindful and, I hope, a better support to my friends and family who are transgender. I wish everyone would read this book and realize first-hand what so many trans people go through. We might see a lot less hate, or at least a lot more understanding, in the world if they did. It's easily accessible, being written in a conversational tone, but it's also very educational. I'd honestly recommend this for everyone.
Rumi: Joy Inside

Boosting the Signal

A dear friend of mine, whom I originally met long ago on livejournal, is passing away from pancreatic cancer. She's in her final moments and not expected to last the weekend. The family could use help with funeral expenses, so if you too hate cancer, please consider saying a prayer, lighting a candle, &/or donating to my friend Kali, a true warrior goddess.