The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Bringing Back the Book Club Edition

After chatting with a few readers lately, I’ve been thinking about trying the “book club” concept again, where a single book is discussed in detail over a series of posts.

I’ve done this three times in the past:

The first time, with Your Money or Your Life, went really well, with tons of good discussion. You can browse through those entries here.

The second time, with Born to Buy, went pretty well, though it seemed to engage parents much more than other elements of the audience. You can browse through those entries here.

The final time, with The Intelligent Investor, didn’t go well at all. I think the key problem was that the material was too dry and the topic was perhaps a bit too far away from what most Simple Dollar readers are interested in, at least with that much coverage. You can browse through these entries here.

One big thing I learned is that doing it weekly was too slow. If I bring it back, it’ll last about a month to a month and a half, with three entries a week. Another thing I learned is that the book really needs to be in sync with what you all are interested in, because if you’re not interested, the discussion isn’t interesting. You seemed to get into the first two (especially the first one), but didn’t like the last one at all.

So, are you interested? I’m considering these eight books as possibilities (click through to read my earlier shorter reviews of them): Getting Things Done, The Total Money Makeover, Never Eat Alone, Debt Is Slavery, Scratch Beginnings, The 4 Hour Workweek, You’re So Money, and Green With Envy. I think each of these books have enough information and enough material in them to discuss to really get some good discussion going as well as teach us all something along the way.

If you’re interested in doing this again with one of these books (or another one), leave a comment. If you really are opposed to one book or another (or to the whole concept), leave a comment. I’ll try it again if there’s a clear consensus towards a particular book (or two) – otherwise, I’ll let this sleeping dog lie.

40 Places Where Freelancers Can Learn More About Business I tend to think that these are resources that anyone can use to sharpen their business skills, particularly if they’re self-employed or starting a small business. (@ freelance switch)

Stocks Are for Losers? A more appropriate statement would be that individual stocks are for losers. Although the stock market grows over time, that growth is pushed almost entirely by the top 25% of stocks – the ones that really hit it big and drive industries. The other 75%? A net loss. Interesting – and a great reason for wide diversification. (@ five cent nickel)

5 Ways to Dramatically Improve Your Finances – Beginning NOW These are probably the best five principles around if you’re just getting started turning your finances around. Great article with tons of links to more information. (@ simple mom)

Failed Frugality: Five Clues You’ve Gone Too Far In a nutshell, if your frugality is interfering with your interpersonal relationships and driving people away, you might want to rethink things. (@ wise bread)

Is Converting a Traditional IRA to a Roth a Brilliant or Stupid Idea Right Now? I actually get this question fairly often – and I agree with the conclusion. It entirely depends on the assumptions you make and your own situation – there is no blanket right answer, just like the 401(k) versus Roth IRA debate. (@ frugal dad)

Saying No This is one of the hardest lessons I’ve ever had to learn. If you’re good at something, the surest way to ruin it is to not know how to say “no” – you’ll take on more than you can handle and you’ll eventually fail miserably or burn out. (@ seth godin)

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