Book Corner

For current book reviews please see the Book Review label on the primary blog page.

Nan’s Journey is one that many young women take. The story is set in the 1800’s but the themes of the story are timeless. It is one of good vs. evil, abuse vs. healing, and about compassion and second chances.

It challenges our view of love not just being hot steamy romance. It reminds us that love is courteous, caring, and puts the needs of others as our highest goals. This is expressed by kind acts, unselfish choices, and sometimes, patient waiting.

As the story develops the author goes beyond the interrelationships with each other to their personal relationships with Jesus Christ. In this the author is able to show clearly that the Lord has good plans for each of us and is able to help heal the deepest wounds.

One loose end was left in Nan’s Journey and we will have to wait until the next book is written to see how it is resolved.

From the back cover of the 1984 edition:
"Would you like to spend no more than one day per month cooking, and still provide delicious, nutritious meals for your entire family?  Look no further--Once-a-Month cooking is here! This enormously helpful, completely practical book provides two different complete plans for cooking an entire month's meals in a single day......"  I'd say it like this....this is a great book.  Did you know that you can use a big pot of spagetti sauce to make at least 7 different meals?  You only have to cook it once.  Once-a-month cooking, for the busy family who wants good food in less time.


YOUR MONEY MATTERS: A CPA's sometimes humorous, consistently practical guide to personal money management, based on Scripture and with an emphasis on family living. by Malcolm MacGregor and Stanley C. Baldwin.  I like this book so much I have three copies in my house right now and can't remember how many I have given away.


The Money Makeover: How to Get Control of Your Money and Your Life (Paperback)
~ Rosemarie F. Patterson

Are you the type that will take every quiz in a magazine?  Then you will love this book.  It helps you to determine and understand your personal spending habits so you can find strategies that work for you.  And, you may discover why your spouse does all those things that drive your crazy.

Rosemarie Patterson is a financial attorney and since 1982 has practiced exclusively in bankruptcy, representing both debtors and creditors.

If you want FUN in your financial planning and budgeting this is it.


Living Trusts for everybody - Ronald Sharp
“This is a book for the 95 percent of the population that has done no estate planning...”

The author is an attorney and has personally prepared over 4,000 trusts and estate plans. In the first chapter he reviews the differences between a will and a trust and states “The fact is that nearly everyone would be better off with a trust than with a will. In most cases the only person who benefits from our having a will instead of a trust is your lawyer. Attorney fees for making the will and probating the estate are a lawyer's bread and butter.”

Trusts are most beneficial for those with one or more of the following situations involved:
Disabled Beneficiaries
Unmarried Couples
Blended Families
Separated Couples or Separate Trusts
Large Estates
Small Estates

The author outlines all the benefits that a trust has over a will such as asset management, tax reduction, probate avoidance, avoiding court-ordered conservatorship, and privacy. He also gives specific advice as to how to recognize and avoid estate planning sales seminars that merely want to sell commission based asset management and choosing a lawyer who is specialized in the area of trust preparation.

The author has done an excellent job in giving detailed information without being dry or boring. Everything that he has written is important and no words are wasted.

I highly recommend this book as it is specific yet easy to understand. A quick read will convince you of the importance of trusts or in the rare case of why you don't need one. One very interesting facet of a trust is that the benefits are for the living and not just a method to disperse funds when someone passes away. As a reference tool the chapter headings allow you to review time after time as questions arise. My copy is now highlighted in yellow and green.

Very useful reading and a must for anyone who desires to manage their finances responsibly and profitably.

The Ultimate Depression Survival Guide - Martin D. Weiss
There is more that I don't know about the stock market and common forms of investments than I do know so it is not a subject that I plan to write much about on this blog. I prefer my investments to be something I can feel, see, and touch such as small business, real estate, or metals. And, I certainly would not turn over all my money to someone else to manage. If someone were to lose my hard earned money it would be me. However there are those out there who are experts in investing and I would certainly put Martin D Weiss in this catagory. Between he and his father there are almost eighty years of professional and personal experience through the the first and second great depressions and everywhere in between. Martin D Wiess has spoken before congressional leaders and provided answers to their own questions about the where and hows of the current economic crisis.

This book and the cd may be more detailed than many In The Trenches readers may want to pursue but for those who do it will be a tremendous learning experience. By understanding the basic concepts he presents it will help you to have a much greater knowledge of the big picture of what's going on so that you can make sound decisions about what you should do in your current situations. I think this is especially true if you are nearing retirement and have lost your first investments. Don't be convinced that the crisis was just a fluke and it will all get better. This book does not promise miracles but it does outline a basic strategy that can help you be years ahead of the pack in the recovery process.

I believe that the information in this book is important enough that I may write more in the future or do a series on it. And, I hope and plan to implement some of the strategies myself. In the meantime, I recommend that you get the book or cd's at the library and familiarize yourself at your earliest convenience. There is a lot to chew on in these ideas.

Amazon book link :

The Millionaire Next Door -
Thomas J Stanley, Ph.D., William D. Danko, Ph.D.
With over 2 million copies sold I will not write another review except to say that I hope all In The Trenches readers include this in their libraries.  The book clearly sings the praises of hard work and a frugal lifestyle leading to financial success.  I was also happy to see that the conclusions I personally reached in the chapter titled Millionaires Among Us were completely validated though I had not previously read this book. 

The Millionaire Next Door is not just someone's opinion.  The book is based on research and statistical facts. It is therefore not a promise of a quick rich scheme but rather some insight as to what you can do to improve your own financial situation right now, where you are.

For more book reviews please see the book review section on the main page of the In The Trenches blog.

For reviews on books pertaining to the American Economic Crisis and banking see  As the name implys this blog is specifically geared toward the impact of the banking industry on the overall economy and is updated periodically when new major developments occur.  Posted are not made as regularly so I recommend using the subscription option for receiving updates as they occur.

And, for the kids,

Written and Illustrated by
Cindy Gonzalez
the same illustrator who brought you

In The Trenches -
Financial Survival During Times of Hardship