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Four Patterns Around Money

Interesting NY Times article from a couple years ago -- "Net Worth, Self-Worth and How We Look at Money."

It gives a brief summary of an academic paper that found four basic patterns around money:

1. Money avoidance2. Money worship3. Money status4. Money vigilance

The first was avoiding money by being worried about its negative effects, or thinking it's dirty to have. People with money avoidance tend to have low incomes, low net worths, and are young.

Money worship means people think that money will solve all their problems, which has its own negative effects. While these people get wealthier (obviously), it places a lot of personal self-worth on having money and leads to risky and neurotic behavior.

Review: The Last Dickens by Matthew Pearl

On Books In Progress

I will hold my hand up to two things at the start of this review. Firstly I am drawn to fiction based on other fiction, and secondly I'm not a big Dickens fan. For various reasons I just don't find him an interesting read.

However I can't deny his impact as a novelist at a time when reading as a past time was only just reaching the masses. And so this book looked intriguing.

Primarily set immediately after the death of the famous author, having completed exactly half of the installments of his latest book - The Mystery of Edwin Drood - James Osgood, the junior partner in his American publishers is sent to England to try to track down any other parts of the manuscript.

However dark forces are afoot; there are two murders related to the Dickens papers in short order and Osgood is attacked on the ship to England. Clearly someone does not want any more of Drood to be published.

Pearl has taken one of the greatest literary mysteries of all (there really are no clues about how Drood was supposed to conclude) and wrapped it in another fictional conundrum. He has clearly researched all of the details very well and uses real people - including Osgood and Dickens himself- along with fictional characters to tell the story. This gives the plot a certain solidity because so much of it is based in reality, with the fabricated parts showing through the cracks.

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