Sunday, May 27, 2012

Debt-Free U: How I Paid for an Outstanding College Education Without Loans, Scholarships, or Mooching off My Parents by Zac Bissonnette

I skimmed much of this book, but I found it very informative and useful. It helped me solidify some plans for our kids' education. As an example of the interesting stuff in here: a study showed that college students who work about 20 hours a week get better grades than those who work full-time and better than those who don't work at all. Now that's the kind of thing I like to learn for future reference, you know? There's a lot of good info for parents about prioritizing saving, too, i.e., savings and retirement should come before your kids' education. It's likely that I will be consulting this book again in the future.

Major Decisions: Taking Charge of Your College Education by Henry J.Eyring

This is now required reading for our kids (along with College Without High School). The first part is about deciding what to major in and the second part is about making the most of your college education once you get there. I wish I had read something like this when I was in high school.

A few years' worth of reading

Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare. A traveling group from Cedar City's Shakespeare Festival performed this at our local high school, and it was fantastic. After we saw it, I came home and read it. Shakespeare is so much fun when you can see it performed, and then it's more fun to read, too.

Antigone. This is embarrassing, but I can't remember if I read the play by Sophocles or the one by Jean Anouilh. We have them both, and I read them both in college. On second thought, it must have been the one by Sophocles, because my copy by Anouilh is in French, and I don't think I've read any significant amount of French since college. (A few pages of the first Harry Potter doesn't count.)

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I think I made it through about a third of this book before giving up. I have little patience for books that I don't enjoy these days, and this one was self-centered, self-indulgent, and annoying.

The Year of Pleasures by Elizabeth Berg. So far I haven't met a book by Elizabeth Berg that I didn't thoroughly enjoy.

The Samaritan Bueno by Jack Weyland. I hadn't read a Jack Weyland book for many years. I didn't mind reading this one.

365 Nights: A Memoir of Intimacy by Charla Muller. This was mildly interesting, which is not as interesting as you might think it would be.

The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall. I loved this book. Brady Udall is a very good writer. (Some people have found parts of it offensive, though, so you've been warned.)

From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg. I read this out loud to the three youngest. It was fun to read it again after many years.

So Brave, Young, and Handsome by Leif Enger. I didn't finish this. Enger is a really good writer, and I loved Peace Like a River, and Jon and Zed liked this newer one, but I couldn't finish it. Probably my fault.

The Female Brain by Louann Brizendine. This was mostly fascinating. It kind of fizzled at the end, which may be just because there isn't a lot known about hormones during and after menopause. In spite of that, I recommend it.

Bella at Midnight by Diane Stanley. I don't remember this very well. I'm not even sure why I read it.

Player One by Douglas Coupland. This is not my favorite book by Douglas Coupland, but I love all books by him. So far, anyway.

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. I read this out loud to the kids. I was surprised by how annoying they found Anne. I think she's hilarious.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Read this aloud to the younger kids. It's brilliant. I recommend the annotated version to all adults, although I didn't read those to the kids.

The Semi-Detached House by Emily Eden. I love Emily Eden! She should be more famous than she apparently is.

Invisible by Lorena McCourtney. I read this on my phone (the Kindle version is free!) and actually enjoyed it quite a bit. It's total fluff, but fun.

Anthem by Ayn Rand. Jon is appalled that it took me so long to get to this. It's tiny and a very quick, worthwhile read.

Lady Susan by Jane Austen. I only vaguely remember reading this. I'm sorry.

Your Chariot Awaits by Lorena McCourtney. Another piece of enjoyable fluff. I like that her protagonists are older women.

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua. Fascinating! And now I know why my kids are never going to be concert pianists.

The Pull of the Moon by Elizabeth Berg. I don't remember this very well.

The Senator's Wife by Sue Miller. I liked this until the end. The end seemed kind of cheap or something.

Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett. I was always intrigued by the title of this book, but then Lillian and I listened to it on a car trip, and I didn't like it. I don't remember why.

Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen. This was amusing and pleasant. I think.

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. It took me a little while to get into this, but I like it.

Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale. The Austenland books are fluff, but I love them. So fun! There's a movie version of the first book coming out this year, and I'm excited!

The Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale

It's been a few years since I read this, so I don't have a detailed review, but I enjoyed it. Shannon Hale is funny and insightful and I haven't been disappointed by her yet.