By J. Steve Miller
Occasionally, authors approach me to read and review their books. I usually do so, happily. I enjoy reading, and anytime I can get a book to read for free, it makes my wife happier. It’s hard for her to argue about my getting more books when they are free. So, that’s my disclaimer. J. Steve Miller sent me a copy of this book to read. He also sent me a copy to give away, which I will be doing in the coming weeks. Both are autographed too!
So, on to the book. I’ve never read a finance book that was written in the same way as this book was. Most of them are so matter of fact that they are beyond dry. I have to take toothpicks an prop my eyelids open to finish reading them. (I exaggerate, but you get the idea) But, this book was actually fun to read. I think the pivotal reason why is that it’s written in a conversational tone. Very nearly like most of the fiction books you would read. Instead of just spitting out the facts and information for us to chew through, Miller gives it to us with a story.
Now, I can’t say that it’s an award winning story by any means. There’s only so much you can do with the topic, after all. The basics of the story follow a group of high school students (the counterculture club) as they are taken under the mentoring wing of a teacher from their high school. Over several weeks worth of breakfasts at “Hash Browns” diner, she teaches them some key tenets of personal finance like ways to save your money, smart investing principles, and also ways to enjoy your money once you have it working for you. There’s several places where the dialogue makes it seem as if the students are the ones feeding the information to us, which breaks the story facade, but if you ignore those, the story is quite good.
Despite the few flaws in the story, I think Miller makes an excellent attempt at making personal finance easy to learn. The book was great for me, but I think it would be even better as a tool for teaching high school aged children about finances. I can’t say for sure if that’s what Miller intended, but I would guess it is. I think it would make an excellent addition to the curriculum of a school. It would hit a roadblock with some of the religious undertones, so you may have to just buy a copy and gift it to a high schooler you know.
You can pick a copy of it up at Amazon for $15.99. (Or you can wait for the giveaway and try your chances there.) For more information, (description, sample chapters, author interviews and reviews) see the press page here: http://jstevemiller.com/blog/?page_id=578
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