Books for hard times


When the times get tough, the tough get reading. Whether you're having to work three jobs to make ends meet or simply trying to find the right anti-depressant cocktail to help you forget your 401k losses, find time to peruse some of these books. If nothing else, it might give you a few tips on how to make it through the next year or two.

Your Money or your Life, by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez. Already a classic (first published in 1992), this book examines our money culture and shows why there's more to life than the pursuit of the green stuff.

Good Poems for Hard Times, edited by Garison Keillore, host of Public Radio's "Writer's Almanac" is a feel-good fest for 2009. These 185 poems include gems from Shakespeare and Walt Whitman. The poetry lover and the cynic alike will find words of solace in this small collection.

Don't Get Caught with your Skirt Down, by Jill Keto. A girl's guide to surviving rough financial times with style and aplomb. This self-made entrepreneur and mom of two explains ways to cut your budget and save in a down-to-earth style with advice you won't hear from the "experts."

The Complete Tightwad Gazette, by Amy Dacyczyn. Thousands of tips for saving money, from the practical to the bizzare. A collection of the author's extremely popular newsletter, this self-styled "frugal zealot" lets you be as tight as you wanna be.

More with less Cookbook
, by Doris Janzen Longacre. As the title suggests, healthy ways to make more...from less. More than 500 recipes from Mennonite kitchens, tested by professionals.

Panic: The Story of Modern Financial Insanity
, by Michael Lewis. The author of Liar's Poker and Moneyball explains how we got to where we are today in readable, layman's language. Because if you have to live through severe economic times, it's probably a good idea to know what happened to get you here.

Affluenza: The all-consuming Epidemic, by John de Graaf, David Wann and Thomas Naylor. -- Feeling sick with yourself after the consumer orgy of the last 20 years? You're not alone. Read, understand, and get back to where you once belonged, as the song goes.

Remember, all of these books are available FREE at your local library. If you don't fancy having to wait your turn (they may well be checked out already), find your friendly neighborhood used book store, or check Craig's List.