On the nightstand

Our Town (Thornton Wilder)
Play. As with The Crucible (see last week's "On the nightstand"), I read this play in high school and college, then revisited it eight years ago, when my son was fourteen, the age my youngest is now. Over the past week, I returned to it yet again, this time in the company of the Misses. Related entry: "It takes life to love Life."

A Mass for the Dead (William Gibson)
Fiction. I pulled this down from the shelves after reading Girl Detective's challenge. She asks for a favorite book but then writes, "Gun to the head, about to depart for a desert island. What book (not the Bible or collected works of Shakespeare, but one work) do you pick?" Well, under those circumstances, I'd pick a book I'd always meant to read but had never gotten around to -- not a favorite (especially since I wouldn't be allowed to grab my Pelican Shakespeare).

The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains (Nicholas Carr)
Non-fiction. Nearly done.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking (Susan Cain)
Non-fiction. Nearly done. Related entry here.

Kill Shakespeare, Volume 1 (Conor McCreery)
Kill Shakespeare, Volume 2 (Conor McCreery)
Graphic fiction. Speaking of Girl Detective, I had thought that she was the one who prompted me to pick up Volume 1 last February, but I can't find a link on her site, and Yahoo! is proving most uncooperative this morning, so I can't search my mail archive. Well, Kill Shakespeare has made its way back onto the TBR pile, courtesy of Magnificent Octopus and, more recently, So Many Books.

Not pictured:
Wool 5 (Hugh Howey)
Fiction. A satisfying conclusion
to an compelling cycle. Wool deserves a much wider audience. Amazon Prime folk, you can read these books free on your Kindles. Non-Prime? We're talking ninety-nine cents for each of the first four volumes (on the Kindle); $2.99 for the final installment.

Stop Acting Rich... And Start Living Like a Real Millionaire (Thomas J. Stanley)
Non-fiction. Read this one on the Kindle and the iPad, whichever was within reach. Although it rehashes much of the data and ideas presented in The Millionaire Next Door, this volume offers excellent "sound bytes" parents can share with their children.
You can act rich or actually become rich. Few of us will ever be able to do both, and we certainly won't get rich by acting the part before we have the financial resources with which to pay for la dolce vita.

We live in a time when it has never been easier to act rich than to actually become rich, even with the devastation of the financial crisis. At the end of the day, not only are we bad actors because it is simply impossible for us to keep up with the glittering rich (if we buy one expensive, prestige car, they buy 20), but we are terribly misguided and ill informed about how millionaires really spend and what they actually buy.
We learn how to manage money (or not) in our families of origin. Let's arm our young people with alternatives to "Buy! Buy! Buy!"

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