The Last Dragon – Silvana De Mari

If you like well-written fantasy and humour, this is the book for you.  Recommended to me by a children’s librarian,  I laughed out loud several times, and yet it was also very sad too.  A familiar set-up – an elf, a dragon, an orphan, and a prophecy to save the world, but an original execution of this plot – which I thought was wonderful.  As an adult science fiction/ fantasy fan, it was great to be surprised by children’s fantasy fiction.  Delightful! 

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Medium Raw

It starts out with a wonderful story about the most illegal meal he’s ever had. 

 A very angry cook wrote the iconoclastic Kitchen Confidential about the underbelly of the New York restaurant scene in the 1980s and 1990s, published in 2000.  It made Anthony Bourdain  a star.  I loved that book.  This is the follow-up.  He’s older and wiser and less angry, or at least he’s more self-aware and philosophical about it.  He writes the way he talks – which will be familiar if you’ve watched his TV show, No Reservations.  This book is about how Kitchen Confidential utterly changed his life, opening up the world to him.  He tells great stories, in a wry and humourous tone, and I was only sorry that the book ended – I would’ve been happy to keep reading.

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Debt-Free Forever: take control of your money and your life

 
I love her TV show on Slice – Til Debt Do Us  Part – and her other books have been great too.  Here is a practical book on getting out of debt that is fun to read – it feels like she’s speaking to you from the pages, in the same tone as her show.  Things that I learned:  
*
Cancelling a credit card isn’t always enough – you need to check your credit score to be totally sure.  Ask for written confirmation from the bank that the account has been closed.
*Written requests for your credit score cost nothing.  It is free once per year.
* You can save a lot of money on your mortgage by switching from a monthly payment to an accelerated weekly payment.
*I was not convinced by her arguments in favour of life insurance – I think that life insurance is only for people with dependents – and I don’t have any of those.  But I’ll be looking into critical illness insurance.
*I need a will.  I know it.  And I should probably have a lawyer do it. 
 
You can probably find things in this book that you didn’t know about money, budgeting, insurance, and getting yourself out of debt.  Very useful.