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Money, A Memoir: Women, Emotions, and Cash Paperback – December 12, 2006

3.8 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Having attained the right to earn and spend their own money only decades ago, women have a more complex relationship to cash than men, argues Perle (When Work Doesn't Work Anymore) in this eye-opening audiobook. Much less a memoir than a call to action, Perle's audio uses her own unhealthy relationship with money as a springboard for a provocative discussion about women's finances—how money anxieties influence a woman's life decisions; how a woman's financial preparedness affects the way she feels about herself; and how, despite their tremendous buying power, women stand a greater chance than men of going bankrupt and of not having sufficient funds for retirement. Perle delivers this material in a measured, matter-of-fact manner. Indeed, some might accuse her of reading too slowly, but her deliberate pace makes it easy to grasp the impact of her weighty revelations. Although the audio lacks a clear organizational structure, it succeeds in driving home its primary message—that women need to be less ambivalent about money and more active in investing in the future—and in urging listeners to think about money in terms of not only what it can purchase, but how it has shaped their lives.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"A must-read for any woman who really wants to be in control of her life."--Arianna Huffington
"Liz Perle uncovers a wealth of emotions attached to money and a sisterhood of denial about finances. . . . Reading her book . . . will make you realize you're not alone."--People
"[A] welcome cautionary tale for the modern woman. . . . Her thought-provoking tract, bolstered by extensive interviews and research, urges women to forget Prince Charming, stop fantasizing about that six-burner Viking stove, and start funding their IRAs."--Entertainment Weekly (Must List selection)
"Ms. Perle has hit a nerve with her book. . . . If you are trying to step off the precipice of financial decline, reading this book is a good place to start."--The New York Sun
"Tackles some intriguing and important questions about a subject that too many nice girls were raised never to talk about at all."--Fortune
"A smart, compelling analysis."--The New York Times
"Liz Perle is not a traditional financial writer in the school of Suze Orman but rather a keen psychological observer of her own guilt, magical thinking, and emotional dodges when it comes to money."--Time
"Liz Perle confesses to erratic fiscal behavior in Money: A Memoir, bravely exposing her financial foibles and hang-ups. . . . Kudos to her for having the courage to air her dirty financial laundry so other women can benefit."--USA Today
"At once more contentious and more ambitious than the cynical view would have it . . . Perle has good cause to press on, and good instincts about where to press. . . . She backs herself up with psychiatrists and sociologists . . . but she also does the uneasy work, however anecdotally, of unpacking identity and security as functions of dependence and extrapolating the money-influenced issues of power and trust and respect that hang many women, and many men, up. Perle's best material is the really personal, presumably unspeakable stuff. . . . Driven to expose the most shameful, presumably unmentionable aspects of our financial disappointments, with the . . . conviction that frank discussion is essential for progressing beyond them."--San Francisco Chronicle
"Thought-provoking."--Chicago Sun-Times
 "Illuminating . . . With candor and self-deprecating humor, she offers herself as Exhibit A. . . . The book contains a message that needs to be heard and heeded, not only to benefit women but also to give their offspring a better financial example."--The Christian Science Monitor
"The strength of the book lies in Perle's willingness to 'be the first fool,' to lay out her own insecurities and missteps with total candor."--Los Angeles Times
"Intriguing . . . Compelling."--The Washington Post Book World
"A wake-up call for the retail-inclined."--Fort Worth Star-Telegram
"Money, A Memoir is written very much on the model of Naomi Wolf or Peggy Orenstein . . . Perle is so friendly sounding and full of examples that it's hard not to start thinking about your own financial situation as you read. More personal than a self-help book, more utilitarian than a memoir, Perle's book might instead be thought of as a call to arms. Time to get our financial houses in order."--Raleigh News & Observer
"Money, A Memoir is a page-turner."--Bloomberg News
"[A] remarkable sociological study-cum-memoir . . . Perle's book raises more questions than it answers, which is part of its allure--it'll surely have readers thinking twice before they log on to Bloomingdales.com after a bad day at work."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Eye-opening . . . Perle's interviews with psychologists and financial experts are compelling. Her phrase 'emotional middle class'--to describe what she considers the country's now-mythic middle class--may enter the lexicon."--The Buffalo News
"Fascinating."--San Francisco magazine
"This wonderful book shines a spotlight on the ambivalence women have about all things financial--we love nice things but feel guilty if we have them and resentful if we don't. I'm making it required reading for all my clients--men and women!"--Chellie Campbell, author of The Wealthy Spirit and From Zero to Zillionaire
"How did Liz Perle get so far inside women's heads? This is much more than a memoir. It's one of the most insightful and important books about women's behavior I've ever read."--Hope Edelman, author of Motherless Daughters
"If you want to understand many women's complex and contradictory attitudes about money, take out your wallet and buy Liz Perle's very personal and very honest look at the subject in Money, A Memoir."--Myrna Blyth, former editor-in-chief of Ladies Home Journal and author of Spin Sisters
"A smart, funny, insightful book on women and money. Liz Perle writes with love and enthusiasm about this essential topic."--Judith Orloff M.D., author of Positive Energy
"Change is in the air. Someone finally has the courage to be straight about women's emotional struggles with money. Every woman who reads this touching, smart, and true book will come away with more insight into one of the most important relationships in her life--the one between her and her pocketbook."--Debbie Ford, author of The Dark Side of the Light Chasers and The Best Year of Your Life

Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Picador (December 12, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312426275
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312426279
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,046,352 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
People have a hard particularly time being honest about their attitudes towards two things:Sex and...money. For whatever reason, women may find the path to financial literacy stewn with obstacles...perhaps even more so then men.

Whether you believe this or not, I'd urge you to read this book, especially if you are one of those women who happens to hate books about "money" and/or "finances". This one may change your mind and, at the least, get you to think more deeply about how your finances impact every area of your life. Is it enlightening? It certainly was for me and I've read quite a few financial books, from the classics to the downright silly. This is one I'd recommend.

If you are looking for a deeply researched and detailed sociological study of money and women, this is not THAT book. It isn't chock full of charts, graphs, statistics and all that. Instead, it is a brave, honest expose' by one women concerning her fears, impulses and patterns when it comes to money -and spending and saving it. In the process, she delves into the subject of women and money, going beyond her own individual feelings and into the larger community, talking to her friends, to other women, etc. She also doesn't take herself too seriously, which makes for a book that had me chuckling in places, even laughing out loud.

The author does have a point to make, focusing on how and why women need to understand how their emotions and values affect their spending patterns, for better or worse. She makes this point repeatedly. It is a point well worth repeating...to drive the point home.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I learned of "Money: A Memoir" while listening to the Diane Rehm Show on NPR. I was riveted to the radio as the author, Liz Perle, recited the statistics about the numbers of women who will end up living in poverty in middle and old age. At 63, divorced, the alimony having ended, the home equity loan no longer a blessing with interest rates going up and up, and having been a performance artist since I was eight-years-old (It takes constant hustling to earn one's living as a professional storyteller, historic portrayal artist, and folksinger), I heard myself as part of those statistics. However,I also heard that if I change my attitude towards money and separate emotions, fears, and what the "Joneses" think and instead focus on my particular needs and realities, I stand a chance of not seeing my (and millions of other women's) worst nightmare come true: that of becoming a bag lady. I promptly ordered the book and read it as soon as it arrived. I could not put it down. I felt like I had found a friend who knew what I was going through and what my fears and feelings of inadequacy were. Though I would have liked a greater variety of examples of women's stories and experiences to be included in the book, Ms. Perle's own story affected me deeply. When her divorce occurred and the savings were almost gone, she sat down and looked at her own necessities minus frills. She prioritized, added, and knew what she must earn to fulfill these needs. I am now in the process of doing the same. I gained strength and courage from her words and examples. Most-importantly, reading the book somehow took away my feelings that I was no one, nothing, the scum of the earth because I am not rich and don't have a retirement plan and may even consider renting a room or two in the four-bedroom townhouse I live in alone.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one of those rare gems of a book that you cannot put down once you begin reading it. And it imparts so much wisdom its hard to know where to start.

Now I admit I came of age during the height of the feminist movement of the seventies and admit I am always taken aback when I read any book by someone who is well educated, has had enough money to live middle class, yet makes choices that go against the self preservation that the feminist leaders of the seventies talked about almost ad nauseum.

The one element of the book the author doesn't deal with and she notes up front on page 2 'Since this is a book about money, I won't go too deeply into the losing-the-marriage part'. I note this simply because every book on finances and divorce note that money is the number one issue or cause, so looking deeper into this aspect would have been helpful if not interesting and educational for a lot of women.

Again she notes on page 8-9 'So it was five weeks later, at the age of forty-two, I bumped down on the stormy tarmac of San Francisco International Airport with no job, no home, and no clue what was going to happen. I had those hundred-dollar bills and, as it turned out, a small savings account, but almost everything else -- even the joint credit card I carried--was in my husband's name and under his control half a world away'.

Again I was shocked that in the years since the feminists had driven home the message that no woman should ever be dependent on a man and all women should have their own credit that I was reading of a woman who in her own words had fallen thru the cracks of what she knew was required.

This is what makes this book so important.
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