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.
Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube by Blair Braverman
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
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.
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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