The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

The Total Money Makeover ~ Dave Ramsey
The success stories speak for themselves in this book from money maestro Dave Ramsey. Instead of promising the normal dose of quick fixes, Ramsey offers a bold, no-nonsense approach to money matters, providing not only the how-to but also a grounded and uplifting hope for getting out of debt and achieving total financial health.

Ramsey debunks the many myths of money (exposing the dangers of cash advance, rent-to-own, debt consolidation) and attacks the illusions and downright deceptions of the American dream, which encourages nothing but overspending and massive amounts of debt. "Don't even consider keeping up with the Joneses," Ramsey declares in his typically candid style. "They're broke!"

Over the years I have enjoyed listening to Dave Ramsey’s radio show, his listeners call in about financial questions and he tells it like it is.  Live within your means, stay out of debt and have a large savings, he does provide a plan to do this and motivation, it takes self-discipline.  If you’re trying to become debt free, this is a great book to read!    

A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks

A Walk to Remember ~ Nicholas Sparks
In 1958 Landon Carter is a shallow but well-meaning teenager who spends most of his time hanging out with his friends and trying hard to ignore the impending responsibilities of adulthood. Then Landon gets roped into acting the lead in the Christmas play opposite the most renowned goody two-shoes in town: Jamie Sullivan. Against his best intentions and the taunts of his buddies, Landon finds himself falling for Jamie and learning some central lessons in life.

I knew ahead of time of the ending since I watched the movie many years ago and yet it still didn’t stop me from getting choked up.  Although the book and movie are set in different time periods, they followed pretty closely.  It's sweet, sad and beautiful, an easy read for a snowy afternoon.  I was pleasantly surprised at how much it touched me. I would definitely recommend it.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Speak ~ Laurie Halse Anderson
Since the beginning of the school year, high school freshman Melinda has found that it's been getting harder and harder for her to speak out loud: "My throat is always sore, my lips raw.... Every time I try to talk to my parents or a teacher, I sputter or freeze.... It's like I have some kind of spastic laryngitis." What could have caused Melinda to suddenly fall mute? Could it be due to the fact that no one at school is speaking to her because she called the cops and got everyone busted at the seniors' big end-of-summer party? Or maybe it's because her parents' only form of communication is Post-It notes written on their way out the door to their nine-to-whenever jobs. While Melinda is bothered by these things, deep down she knows the real reason why she's been struck mute...

This is another book that my daughter Riley recommended to me, a powerful book. Melinda’s inability to speak is related directly to what happened the night of the senior party; Melinda was raped.  Her life in high school is now miserable and she feels no one would listen even if she did speak. However, in the victorious ending, you cannot help but cheer when Melinda finds her voice and someone finally listens.