December Reading Report

In December I read two books, as well as countless articles and blog posts.  I’ve included my thoughts on the books I read, and a few noteworthy blog posts for you to check out in this December Reading Report.

The books and noteworthy blog posts I read in December 2017.


Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube by Blair Braverman

Image via Amazon

If you have been following my reading reports, you would know that I love adventure memoirs.  This book, as it turned out, did not fit the genre, and left me a little bit disappointed.  This is not to say that it was a bad book, but rather that I could not get into it.

In short, Braverman, as a young woman, was drawn to the north.  She studied abroad in Norway, returned to the Arctic to learn how to dogsled, and worked summers in Alaska as a musher.  However, it was her experiences (both positive and negative) with the men in her life that took center stage in this memoir, and not her adventures.

A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean

Image via Amazon

As someone who romanticizes fly fishing (even though I’m not a fly fisherman), A River Runs Through It has been on my reading list for a long time.  I saw the movie years ago, and remember really enjoying it, so I knew that this book would not disappoint.

Norman Maclean, a retired English professor, wrote A River Runs Through It at age 70.  Maclean’s novella is semi-autobiographical, and portrays scenes from his life growing up with his Presbyterian minister father, and trouble-seeking brother.  The backdrop of the story are the rivers of Montana, and the adventures the brothers shared.

This book is beautifully written, and the version I read included photographs by Joel Snyder (Maclean’s son-in-law) of the Blackfoot River to complement the story.  On the surface, A River Runs Through It is a story about fly fishing, but more so about the unbreakable bond of family and a meditation on life.

Noteworthy Blog Posts

Should I Buy a House or Rent? – Rich on Money

With so many personal finance bloggers touting the benefits of home ownership, Rich from Rich on Money offers an opposing viewpoint that owning a home is not really a great investment.

The only circumstances in which Rich would buy a house are when the purchase price is low enough for it to perform well as a rental property, and when you plan on living in it long term, want to own it, and understand that it is not a good investment.  Check out Rich’s post, and see if you agree.

Why I’m Going for FIO – Financial Independence with Options – Minafi

This was another great post from Adam at Minafi.  In this post, Adam details a way to create a more accurate estimate for how much money you’ll need in retirement, with options.  Follow Adam’s formula to figure out a minimum and maximum amount you’ll need in retirement, and use these amounts to calculate your Financial Independence with Options number.

What It’s Like Trying to Buy a Home in a Hot Market Right Now – Millennial Boss

In this post, J from Millennial Boss described the frustrations and roadblocks that she and her husband have experienced since starting their home search a few months ago.  In a hot housing market, homes frequently sell high above their asking price.  As a buyer, you need to be prepared to come in with a strong offer and consider waiving contingencies to compete with all cash offers.  With all the competition, it may not be possible (or worth the hassle and money) to buy a home in a hot market.

What have you been reading?

Interested in what I read last month?  Check out the November Reading Report.

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