Literature with Lex | January – March

I’m going to start another new little series called “Literature with Lex” where I talk about some of the books I’ve read. I’ve been getting into the habit of reading more and I’ve been reading some really great books lately, so I thought I would share them with you.

“The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy” by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko

“The Millionaire Next Door” is a non-fiction read that talks about America’s wealthy and the habits they keep. This book was released in 1996, but all the information is still relevant 20 years later. It was recommended to my by my dad because some of my spending habits were not setting me up on the right path to be economically stable going forward. I enjoyed this read a lot and opened my eyes to my own spending habits and how I want to proceed with them going forward.

Photo courtesy of Amazon
Photo courtesy of Amazon

The finding in the book are based on both qualitative and quantitative research done by the authors, comparing UAWs (Under Accumulator of Wealth) with PAWs (Prodigious Accumulator of Wealth). One of the ideas I got most from this book was that you can be any type of profession and still accumulate wealth. You don’t have to be a lawyer or a doctor to be wealthy; wealth is an accumulation of your assets, not how much money you make. Another idea that stood out to me was the idea of financial independence v. dependence. After reading this book, I made a promise to myself to become financially independent in my adult, post-graduate life. It makes all the difference in the world in your habits and behaviors. The third idea is to be frugal and to spend less than you earn, basically the idea to live within your means. In today’s culture, it is so tempting to have a “keeping up with the Joneses” mentality. But why buy it if you don’t need it?

highly recommend this read to anyone who wants to get their finances in order and to change their habits. It’s a different kind of self-help book, the kind based on research rather than testimonials. Thanks for the read, dad.

“Sharp Objects” by Gillian Flynn

This has been the only book I’ve read recently that falls under the fiction category. I read and loved Flynn’s “Gone Girl” last year, so I thought I would enjoy her other books. I enjoyed the plot of this book; however, I did not like the protagonist. Her character was interesting to say the least and I just didn’t like her attitude and her actions in the book.

Photo courtesy of Amazon.
Photo courtesy of Amazon.

The book follows journalist Camille Preaker as she returns to her hometown of Wind Gap, Missouri to report on a series of brutal murders that happened there. While there, she has to face her mother, Adora and her 13-year-old half sister Amma. Through investigation, she finds that her mother and Amma are somehow connected to the murders.

To be honest, this read was not my favorite but I wanted to know who committed the murders, so I stuck it out until the end. It was short, but the mystery of who did the murders came within the last 20 or so pages, which made it a struggle to get through to reach the end. I will give Flynn this: the ending was just as messed up as “Gone Girl” was.

“Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear” by Elizabeth Gilbert

“Big Magic” was a non-fiction book I had on my reading list for months. You might know Gilbert as the author of “Eat, Pray, Love.” In this book, she talks about how to get over your fear of failure to continue to create. This resonated so true to me because it could relate to an incident I had last fall with an issue of College Avenue. Needless to say, the issue was a flop.

Photo courtesy of Vogue.
Photo courtesy of Vogue.

The book centers around the theme of “big magic” and living a creative life, which doesn’t necessarily means pursuing a life of creativity, but rather a life driven by curiosity over fear. This can be applicable in anything we decide to pursue. It is just a matter of going beyond the fear you have and try it.

Another one of Gilbert’s ideas she talks about is the book is that ideas have consciousness to where someone, and it might not be you, will act on them. She also talks about the painfulness of killing a project simply because you can’t bring yourself to be passionate enough to finish it. After reading that part in the book, I realized it was time to kill a project of mine that had been in the works for a long time. Not all was bad – it made me realize that I needed to take it in a different direction when I start over from scratch.

I liked this book because it took a different approach to creativity. Definitely worth the read for anyone looking for an unconventional self-help book or interested in reading about how other people deal with and define creativity.

“Rising Srong” by Brené Brown

Another read on my wish list, this book talks about how to rise when we fall. It doesn’t sounds like it would be anything significant, but how we rise after a fall not only determines our behavior, but how our story ends.

Photo courtesy of Amazon.
Photo courtesy of Amazon.

She talks about our three phases: reckon, rumble and revolution. In the reckon phase, we deal with our emotions and figure out what we’re feeling. In the rumble stage, we come to terms with our feelings and do something about it and in the revolution phase, we rise from that, stronger than we were before.

I found the book particularly useful as it was a source of encouragement on how to get back up after a fall. We all suffer from falls each and every day, whether it be in our personal or professional life. It’s a reminder to ourselves that we can rise stronger than we were before.

This is the fourth in Brown’s books, preceded by “Daring Greatly,” “The Gifts of Imperfection” and “I Thought It Was Just Me, But It Wasn’t.”

“For Matrimonial Purposes” by Kavita Daswani

This was a book I borrowed from my friend Nina last summer and finally got around to reading it after it sat in my room for months. The book is from the perspective of fashion publicist Kavita Daswani and her journey to find a husband and have her very own traditional Indian wedding.

Photo courtesy of Amazon
Photo courtesy of Amazon

Traditionally, Indian women get married anytime from their late teens to their early 20s and it was arranged. Daswani was in her mid-30s before she got married and wanted to marry for love. Additionally, she did something unheard of for Indian women; she moved to the U.S. alone to go to school and work in New York.

The book documents her trials and tribulations with finding love. Some of it is finding love in the traditional sense of meeting someone, and other parts are trying to find love through Indian superstition. The book ends with her getting married to a man that she is truly in love with. Definitely a read if you want a real life rom-com.

That’s all the books I’ve read in the last few months. Hope you feel inspired to add some of them to your reading list!

XO, Alexa

 

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