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26 August 2011

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It was a lot easier to understand than Women, Food and God. I'll give it that.

I actually did like the book because it has a narrative structure that isn't just navel gazing. Catastrophe occurred. Roth realized that since she had been applying all her navelgazing to food for 25 years, she never paid any attention to money, and that her issues with money were exactly like her issues with food. She vows to embrace her money issues the way she did her food issues, and then good things happened and she took action. Ta da!

Now, Geeneen Roth is amazingly effed up. To not have even the basics of personal finance, like pay off your mortgage and repair the plumbing, is bizarroland to me. But she does own her bizarreness.

Nothing about Roth or her books makes me want to read her and your review did nothing to change that. I just watched a Frontline report on Madoff, and I must say I have a hard time feeling sorry for his victims. Sure they were conned, but since when should anyone believe anyone who offers them a sure thing? One doesn't have to be a genius to be wary of things that sound too good to be true.

Kerry,
Well, I think you're right; it seemed a more straightforward read than W, F, and God. Still and all though, how old is this woman? Does it take this long to apply what you've learned to food and money and everything? Will her next book be about how she is learning to apply her "be mindful of what you're eating" and "be mindful of where your money is" to, I don't know, "be mindful in how you clean out your closets"? Or a relationships book about how to "be mindful of your marriage"? Sigh. I AM grouchy today, again.

And, fair enough. She doesn't make any secret of the fact that she's working on her issues. So you make some good points. Thomas Friedman doesn't even admit he HAS issues, much less share how he is working on them.

Thomas,
Yeah, don't bother with Roth. There's a multitude of other much more interesting and helpful self-help and mindfulness authors out there. I was annoyed myself when I noted that Anne Lamott provides a blurb on her website; made me lose respect for Anne Lamott.

Oh, Madoff. As Mr. CR would say, have these people never heard of diversification? Or maybe not trusting one person with ALL of your money, especially if you don't understand what they're doing with your money? But I speak as a person who has never had enough money to justify handing it over to someone else to "manage"--I can just about "manage" to pay my mortgage every month, that's how I manage my money--so evidently these people with piles of money to hand off are all smarter than me anyway.

Diversification. Separate piles. Have it taken out before it even hits your checking account. Hopefully I'll be able to retire somewhat before I turn a very cranky 70.

If it doesn't pass the smell test . . . geez.

I don't read Geneen Roth (except her first book) so I don't have any comment on it. I just want to say I love *your* writing. It's so refreshing. I often find myself saying "Are you f***ing kidding me?" these days myself, because everything seems so much more exasperating. Is it my own advancing age, or the age we're in?

I knew there was a reason that I'd been shying off of reading Geneen Roth. Thanks, CR! I thrive on your crankiness!

Marija,
Thanks so much for the kind words, although I'm sad that these days we have to find our kindred spirits by our similar levels of swearing. That sad, it's very good to know I'm not the only one muttering that phrase a lot. Re: advancing age or the age we're in? Maybe a little from column A, a little from column B.

Bybee,
So glad my crankiness can serve a purpose (other than, you know, sapping my motivation and wearing out Mr. CR)! And yes, please do avoid Ms. Roth. If you're up for self-help there's any number of more helpful self-help authors out there.

"I don't care so much for myself, but it has come to my attention that perhaps CRjr would have an easier time of it if his mother wasn't an old, profane, grouchy misanthrope."

Yes, yes indeed. I have a very similar thought process regarding the forthcoming Baby X, due in January. But not apparently quite enough of it to get me to read Geneen Roth, at least not yet.

Laura!
CONGRATULATIONS!! Consider all of us here at CR as very pleased for you and your expected.
On the bright side, you should know my own mother is somewhat old and grouchy (although not quite as misanthropic as I am) and I have always loved her very much, and enjoy her negative views. So maybe there's hope for us yet. Skip the Geneen Roth and spend some time with Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5 (by Shelov; http://www.powells.com/partner/35332/biblio/9780553386301?p_ti). I found it much better than "what to expect the first year"--which makes it sound like everyone's baby should be talking and walking by ten months. Ha!

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