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25 Best Personal Finance Books for Your Summer Reading List

July 6th, 2015

We have these books from the Huffington Post’s 25 Best Personal Finance Books for Your Summer Reading List in the Curtis Money collection!

(The other books on this list are currently on order.)

Please click on each title to see current availability.

From the Huffington Post, by Laura Woods, Contributor:

While you relax in the sun by the pool this summer, make the most of your free time by checking out 25 of the hottest, newest and best-selling personal finance books. Learn how to catapult yourself to success and better manage your funds so that you can have even more time in the future to unwind and enjoy yourself.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!

Make it your summer goal to read this wildly successful book if you haven’t already done so. Robert T. Kiyosaki explains what you need to teach your kids about money to help them achieve future success. The book dispels popular beliefs about earning and spending money and teaches lessons on handling assets and liabilities.


Nasty Gal Founder, CEO and Creative Director Sophia Amoruso details her rise from wild teenager to the head of an online fashion retailer worth more than $100 million. Read about how trusting her instincts and following her gut led to massive success.

The Richest Man in Babylon

George S. Clason’s classic book shares the secrets to overcoming your personal financial problems. Read and absorb the inspirational and informative “Babylonian parables” containing stories on thriftiness, financial planning and personal wealth.

lessEssentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

If you frequently find there’s not enough time in your day, you’ll want to read this book by Greg McKeown. Learn how to allocate your time wisely so that you’re able to accomplish high-priority tasks. Rather than focusing on doing it all, McKeown explains why it’s best to reclaim your time and focus on the goals and activities that matter most.

Living Well, Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life

If you feel like you need to get a grip on both your life and your budget, you’ll want to read this Ruth Soukup book. Soukup provides personal accounts of living an unorganized life and how biblical truths and practical action plans can help you make lasting changes to improve your finances and home.

When-to-Rob-a-Bank-200GalleyCatWhen to Rob a Bank … and 131 More Warped Suggestions and Well-Intended Rants

The authors of “Freakonomics,” Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, have put together a collection of their best and most outlandish blog posts, covering everything from when to rob a bank and why flight attendants don’t get tipped to what people lie about and why KFC runs out of fried chicken.

Rich Bitch: A Simple 12-Step Plan for Getting Your Financial Life Together … Finally

Money expert and financial journalist Nicole Lapin shares her easy-to-follow, 12-step plan for getting your finances in order and learning to invest in yourself. She breaks down the language of money and how to break bad financial habits.

Get What’s Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security

Think your monthly Social Security check should be bigger? Laurence J. Kotlikoff, Philip Moeller and Paul Solman share the secrets of getting thousands of dollars more each year from Social Security benefits and walk you through options such as “start stop start” and “file and suspend.”

See the Rest:

25 Best Personal Finance Books for Your Summer Reading List

Curtis Has Professionally Maintained PCs

June 9th, 2015

Marian Dalton installing virus protection on one of the Library's Public PCs

Marian Dalton installing virus protection on one of the Library’s Public PCs

I had to put on my Tech Wizard cap the other day when a gentleman needed some help getting his laptop computer to work.

Frankly, there was nothing I could do with it.

The Dell laptop was not old (even by computer standards) but it was so riddled with viruses, it was basically inoperable — a high-tech paperweight at it were.

The Curtis Tech Wizards cannot, unfortunately, perform real magic and that’s what it would have taken to make that laptop functional again.

To make matters worse, the “virus protection” the gentleman had installed on the laptop on the advice of a friend was actually “spyware” masquerading as virus protection.

The gentleman was understandably frustrated because he wanted to get on with his work.

I suggested he used one of the Library’s Public PCs but he seemed a bit apprehensive.

He had security concerns about using a public computer

I explained that the Library’s public computers are professionally maintained and have up-to-date virus protection — real virus protection — installed on them.

After you log out of a Curtis Public PC, the computer automatically resets itself and anything you may have accidentally saved on it will vanish into the ether.

(So you need to make gosh darn sure you have saved your data to a Flash Drive or some form of cloud storage like Google Drive.)

You simply don’t have to worry about “spyware” and other forms of computer viruses while using the Library’s public PCs because my co-Curtis Tech Wizard Marian Dalton has you covered.

You can focus on getting your work done instead of trying (sometimes in vain) to get your computer to do anything at all.

TIME is money. Wasted TIME means wasted money means trouble.
~ Shirley Temple

5 Ways to Sharpen Your Computer Skills @ Curtis

May 27th, 2015

CPU-Graph-17Computer Skills are essential for many of today’s jobs.

If you want to sharpen your existing computer skills so that you can carry out your present job duties more efficiently, or if you want to learn some new computer skills to make yourself more marketable in the job market, here are some suggestions for you:

1. Use library computers to practice basic computer skills

Basic computer skills include:

– start, restart and shut down a computer
– copy and paste text
– move files between folders
– start and exit applications
– switch between open applications
– create a document and save it
– find the document that you saved
– navigate around the computer

TIP: Get one of the Library’s basic computer skills books and then sit down in front of one of the library’s public computers and practice.

2. Learn to type

The “hunt and peck” to computer keyboarding will not impress anybody.

You don’t have to learn how to type 60 words per minute but you should be able to use both hands and all ten fingers and look at the computer screen as you are using the keyboard.

TIP: Get one of the Library’s How to Type books and practice the exercises on a computer keyboard.

3. Learn and practice keyboard shortcuts

Once you get the hang of them, you will be a more efficient computer user.

You can, for example, close a window with the “ctrl-w” keyboard shortcut faster than using the mouse to click the window’s “close” button.

Microsoft Keyboard Shortcuts

4. Use the Learning Express Library

The Learning Express Library features more than 770 practice tests, tutorials, and e-books on job searches, workplace skills enhancement, GED exam preparation, certification and licensing exam preparation, and college and graduate school admissions exam preparation.

The Learning Express Library includes popular video-based tutorials on Microsoft Office, Adobe products, and other software used in the workplace today.

You can access these resources from our public computers or from home (with your Curtis Library card).

TIP: If you need assistance, just ask a Curtis Librarian.

datavar_img0015. Talk to a Curtis Library “Tech Wizard.”

Thursday mornings from 10 a.m. to noon, Technology and Digital Services Librarians Marian and Michael (aka the Tech Wizards) hold office hours near the reference desk.

If you have any tech topic you’d like to ask questions about, stop on by.

If you send an email ahead of time to, we can do some research before you get here.

Anything from e-readers and tablets or smart phones up to Windows & MAC computers is fair game, though we don’t promise to fix or be able to answer everything.

If you are just getting started and want to be pointed in the right direction, that’s OK, too.

Marketing Opportunity for Self-Published Authors

May 20th, 2015

We here at Curtis are very excited to be offering SELF-e (powered by Library Journal) to our local writers.

SubmitTodayThis, we feel, is an exciting marketing opportunity for self-published authors who want to get the word out about themselves and their works.

And it’s free.

And self-published authors retain the rights to their works.

And, if selected by Library Journal, a submitted book may reach a national audience.

Being a self-published author myself, I can emphatically state that writing can be hard but getting the word out about your book can be nigh on impossible.

What is Self-Publishing?

Wikipedia defines Self-Publishing as “…the publication of any book or other media by the author of the work, without the involvement of an established third-party publisher.”

It’s worth noting here that Self-Publishing includes physical books and e-books.

You don’t have to be an “e-book writer” to participate in SELF-e.

What’s an e-book?

An e-book is simply a digital version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

If an author created their book in Microsoft Word (or Apple Pages or Google Docs), he or she may be able to convert it to e-book format simply by saving it into the Portable Document Format (or PDF for short).

Will Curtis Library offer Self-Publishing Tech Meetups?


This is great news for writers who are “technology shy.”

Please watch the Curtis Library homepage, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter to be notified about these and other Tech Meetups and Library events.

Can you make extra money through Self-Publishing?

Based on my personal experiences and research, I can say “Yes” but don’t expect to get rich.

How can I find out more about SELF-e?


Further Reading

Forbes Magazine: How Much Money Do Self-Published Authors Make?

Selling E-Books to Earn Extra Cash

7 Suggested Steps to Financial Freedom

May 19th, 2015

financial-freedom-680x430This is, of course, just a broad outline, as each step has its own steps.

This might seem like a lot of steps, but Curtis has resources that can help you climb all of them.

1. Spend less money by being frugal

2. Set up a budget, track your money

3. Save the money you are no longer spending

4. Pay down your debt

5. Make more money (by starting a home or online business)

6. Review your budget and stay frugal

7. Save and invest more money

Suggested Readings

The debt escape plan : how to free yourself from credit card balances, boost your credit score, and live debt-free by Beverly Harzog.

How to choose, operate and market your home-based business : practical advice for operating a small business on a shoestring budget by Susan E. Barton

The Total Money Makeover : a Proven Plan for Financial Fitness by Dave Ramsey.

Stop Acting Rich and Start Living Like a Real Millionaire by Thomas J. Stanley

Investing for Dummies by Eric Tyson

I believe that through knowledge and discipline, financial peace is possible for all of us.
—Dave Ramsey