Last year’s reading list was a big hit with readers, so I’m doing it again, just in time for Christmas and New Year’s, last-minute gift shopping, and for many people—a bit of free time on vacation. Once again, I’m trying to pin down the elusive question of “What do you read?”
Since 2009, my reading list has become leaner and more focused. I’ve learned that I can’t consume it all, and that I can also trust myself when it comes to evaluating the quality of other people’s content. Sometimes, it’s just best to let go of things that don’t bring added value to our lives.
With that in mind, I’ve set up this year’s list in a familiar way. You’ll see the return of a few favorites, as well as many newcomers to the party.
After you’re done, be sure to share your own favorites in the comments!
5 Personal Finance Blogs I Can’t Live Without
For 2011, 80% of my focus is on these outstanding blogs:
- Budgets are Sexy: “J. Money’s” finance blog is one of the most entertaining ways to spend your morning. His life stories seem to have infinite personal finance applications, and it’s always fun to follow his net worth updates. The latest from BaS: How fast your financial situation can change.
- Get Rich Slowly: The continued relevance and high-quality writing at GRS have earned it a repeat appearance in this year’s line-up. The focus is still on good money principles, with increasingly more case studies. The latest from GRS: The Cost of Being a Better Parent.
- Financial Samurai: Sam’s blog is always full of fresh perspectives, little-known facts, a tinge of satire, and a good mix of current events and evergreen posts. The latest from FS: Let’s Just Be Regular People.
- Len Penzo dot Com: Len’s self-named blog has grown handsomely over the last 2 years (he recently celebrated a birthday). The posts are funny, full of good tips, and among the most relatable in the space. Latest from Len: Why Baseball’s Jayson Werth is Worth $126 Million (and You’re Not)
- Consumerism Commentary: For reasons I can’t yet pinpoint, I’ve become a much bigger fan of CC in recent months. The posts are usually insightful and spot on, and Flexo’s recent job resignation means he’ll have much more time to devote to the site! The latest from CC: Is it Time to Buy a House?
5 Non-Financial Blogs I Can’t Live Without
Life is not all about money, after all. Here are the top blogs that make my RSS reader a bit more balanced:
- Seth’s Blog: I have to admit that for a long time, Seth just didn’t appeal to me. Until one day, I finally “got it.” These days, it’s one of the few blogs I read on a daily basis, without fail. The latest from Seth: Lady Gaga and me.
- Smart Passive Income Blog: Pat is my hero because he’s a former architect that was laid off and went on to create an online money-making empire in a few short years. His blog has exploded since I started following him two years ago because of his consistent transparency, great business guides, and general awesomeness. Latest from Pat: The Recipe for a Popular Post.
- Copyblogger: This is a true blogger’s blog, but offers so much more—from marketing lessons to tips on writing to web design, and more! The latest from Copyblogger: How to Make People Give a Damn About Your Business.
- Dumb Little Man: DLM returns for a repeat appearance in this year’s round-up. This “tips for life” blog offers such a variety of great, concise, and informative posts that it can really appeal to a very wide audience. The latest from DLM: Healthy Eating During the Holidays: Yes, It Can Be Done.
- Chris Brogan: Chris also returns this year, as I’m enjoying his blog more than ever these days. His insights into marketing, social media, and the “human” side of business are thought-provoking and actionable. The latest from Chris: Why Investing in Your Customer is the Best Bet You Can Make.
5 Great Books for 2011
2010 was a light year in terms of reading, but I have a few books lined up for the coming year that I’m really excited about reading. Here is the list for the year:
- Smart Is the New Rich: Subtitled “If you can’t afford it, put it down,” this new release by Christine Romans takes an old-fashioned approach to money management, taking a look at what went wrong with the bubble that recently burst all over us. It looks interesting enough to pick up.
- The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke: This “classic” by Suze Orman is from 2007, but after watching her video at Google and looking at some of the Amazon snapshots of the book, I’m intrigued to see more. She’s definitely targeting my age group, and the book looks like one of the easiest personal finance reads I’ve seen.
- Your Money or Your Life: Probably one of the biggest classics of personal finance, I stopped mid-way through this book earlier this year, and would love to pick up where I left off. The exercises alone make this worth the read.
- The Thank You Economy: I really enjoyed Gary Vaynerchuk’s first release (Crush It!), and I have a feeling I’m going to like his next release, which comes out in early March. It’s all about relationships and the new ways customers and businesses interact.
- Your Money: The Missing Manual: For someone who’s a Get Rich Slowly fan, I’m ashamed to admit that I haven’t gotten around to picking up J.D. Roth’s book release. I’m very interested to see how his blog’s style and money principles have translated into print.
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What are YOUR Favorites?
Do you have a favorite personal finance blog, non-finance blog, book, bank, service, or anything else you want to rave about? Please share it in the comments!
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