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To Pixar and Beyond: My Unlikely Journey with Steve Jobs to Make Entertainment History by Lawrence LevyHired by Steve Jobs in 1994 to act as CFO, Lawrence Levy helped turn Pixar -- then all-but-unknown and struggling financially -- into a huge success. In this engaging memoir, he describes the initial obstacles to Pixar's success, including the distrust that staff felt for Jobs. Detailing the transformation that the animation company underwent, from the brink of failure to a Hollywood success, To Pixar and Beyond provides a business-oriented insider perspective. It also serves as a worthy complement to David Price's studio history The Pixar Touch and Walter Isaacson's biography, Steve Jobs.
The Gig Economy: The Complete Guide to Getting Better Work, Taking More Time... by Diane MulcahyWant more freedom than a typical full-time job provides? The Gig Economy may help you take the plunge. Written by Diane Mulcahy, whose course "Entrepreneurship and the Gig Economy" was called one of the top ten most innovative business classes by Forbes magazine, it starts by explaining what exactly a gig-based economy is -- anything from contractor work to entrepreneurship and part-time jobs -- and the personal priorities this sort of work supports. With sound advice as well as helpful reality checks, this is a valuable resource for interested readers.
Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less by Alex Soojung-Kim PangFeeling overworked and overstimulated? Do you go from paid work at your job to unpaid housework at home, with nary a break in between? In Rest, Silicon Valley business consultant Alex Pang argues that deliberate rest is a necessary foundation for creativity, productivity, and strong relationships. Sharing scientific research that supports this theory, Pang goes on to share lessons from his own sabbatical as well as thoughts from historical greats. Can't take a sabbatical? There are practical suggestions for daily changes here too.
Pogue's Basics: Money by David PogueIn this follow-up to Pogue's Basics: Tech and Pogue's Basics: Life, bestselling author David Pogue shares 200 simple tips and tricks for making managing your money easy. From small ways to save (inflate those tires to increase your gas mileage) to keeping financial windfalls safe from the taxman and avoiding scams, these suggestions are written for a broad audience, so whether you're new to personal finance or you have some experience, you'll likely find a few things to try.
Focus on: Recent Personal Finance Books
Will College Pay Off? A Guide to the Most Important Financial Decision You... by Peter CappelliCollege is getting more and more expensive, and finding jobs upon graduation that pay enough to repay loans doesn't appear to be getting any easier. It's no wonder that families are wondering if higher ed is really worth the investment. In this guide, business professor Peter Cappelli acknowledges the risks and examines the factors that determine whether or not college will "pay off." (Sneak peek: graduating in four years or less is more important than one's chosen major.)
What Your Financial Advisor Isn't Telling You: The 10 Essential Truths You Need... by Liz DavidsonBased on solid fiscal principles, the commonsense advice in this realistic, practical guide will have you headed in the right direction for financial well-being whether you make a small salary or a large one. Some of the topics covered include protecting your assets, figuring out taxes, getting your partner on the same page, and determining whether you need a financial advisor (and how to find a trustworthy one). But needing a financial advisor isn't a requirement; if you're simply looking for advice on how to manage your finances (or want a little more insight into how the financial industry operates), this is an excellent place to start.
Retire Inspired: It's Not an Age, It's a Financial Number by Chris HoganReaders familiar with financial guru Dave Ramsey might recognize author Chris Hogan, whose financial focus is primarily on retirement planning. His advice centers around the idea that retirement shouldn't come at a certain age, but at a certain financial number -- the amount you need to support the retirement lifestyle you want. His thorough guide, which is for true financial beginners at every age and stage, offers clear strategies; if you are one of the many people who have little (or nothing) saved for retirement, you're going to want to read up on the topic.
The Spender's Guide to Debt-Free Living: How a Spending Fast Helped Me Get... by Anna Newell JonesIn 2009, Anna Jones discovered that she was nearly $25,000 in debt. Determined to pay it off as quickly as she could, she created a bare-bones, needs-only budget and spending fast that eliminated that debt in just 15 months. If you're looking to control your spending (whether for a month, a year, or indefinitely), her ideas will give you a starting place; her tips include making your goals public (for accountability, but also to help friends and family understand why you're skipping dinners out) and finding additional income sources. You can also check out her website for interactive support from others with similar goals.
The Index Card: Why Personal Finance Doesn't Have to Be Complicated by Helaine Olen and Harold PollackThe premise of this book: personal finance doesn't need to be complicated, and in fact, the rules of financial responsibility can fit on a single index card. While these rules may be too simple for those already well on their way to fiscal responsibility, it's a good start for readers too mystified by finance to know where to start. The rules, which are fleshed out in the book, include avoiding consumer debt, saving 10-20% of your income, and maxing out tax-advantaged investment and savings accounts.
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