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Book Review: Debt Solutions that Work

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

I was recently asked to write a review of this book by Stephen Howe. It is Debt Solutions that Work: Your Guide to Get out of Debt and Stay out of Debt for Good. As a writer myself, I always enjoy reading books by new authors, so I was happy to agree to read it and write a review about it.

While I wanted to be thrilled with this book and give Stephen a rave review, I cannot do that with good conscience. I do believe that he had excellent intentions in writing this book, and it’s okay as a basic primer for teenagers or young adults. However, anyone with some life experience under their belt will find the information in this short book pretty simplistic. (Of course, my background is in the finance industry– I am probably over-thinking this a little.) Read the rest of this entry »

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Want to be a good writer? Read, read, read!

I’m often asked how someone can become a better writer. Though I have a list of things that help, number one on that list is to read! Not just anything, like the daily newspaper, or rantings online from those who have learned English as a second language, but read works that really great authors have written. In my mind, a great writer is one who keeps you turning the page to find out what happens next– think John Steinbeck, Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway. I would add today’s great writers to the list– James Patterson, John Grisham, Nora Roberts, and Dr. Eugene Scruggs.  You may not yet have heard of Dr. Scruggs, but make no mistake, he is an amazing writer!  What follows is a copy of a review I initially wrote for Luxury Reading, but feel it is important to share it here as well.

Eugene Scruggs is an international scholar. He has studied in Paris and introduced many college students to the French culture via an immersion program in France which led to a Master’s Degree for participants. In later years, he also traveled extensively to Europe, Africa, Asia, Central America, and South America as Director of Student Exchanges and Study Abroad for the University of South Florida. These are quite lofty achievements for a boy born in a clapboard house in Cullman County, Alabama.

From his humble beginnings growing up on a hardscrabble farm in rural northern Alabama, Dr. Scruggs shares with us what life was like growing up and how that meager, though loving, existence shaped the man he was to become. It also paints a poignant picture of what life was like for generations past as they struggled to make a living and feed their families. I think most Americans can relate to his tales, regardless of which part of the country their family called home, as most Americans during these times had similar struggles.

Part of what Dr. Scruggs says in his preface to the book – “Regardless of where our journey takes us, neither place nor time erase the thoughts and actions of youth” – rings very true for most people in my generation. Being one of the so-called “Baby Boomers,” people in our generation have raised children and in some cases, have grandchildren as well. Yet no matter how far we go from where we grew up, we keep in touch with the people and the places that formed our values and the “grownups” that we have reluctantly become.

The View from Brindley Mountain is a wonderful memoir of growing up, and will hit especially close to home for those from the south. However, it also has great lessons for those who were as far removed as the large northern industrial cities or the fledgling towns of the American west.