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Taking Stock: A Spiritual Guide to Rising Above Life's Financial Ups and Downs Paperback – October 24, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: AMACOM (October 24, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814407870
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814407875
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,710,279 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Rabbi Blech, a professor at Yeshiva University in New York and author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Judaism, uses his own experience of mismanaging his money and his counseling of others to offer his insights on having a healthier attitude about money. To make his case, Blech uses not only biblical references but also thoughts from philosophers, moguls and others. His key message is the commonsense, though not original, notion that people should not equate happiness or self-worth with their bank statement: "Far too many of us have internalized this ridiculous notion by defining success in life as the ability to accumulate material possessions. That forces our self-image to constantly waver between success or failure as a human being." The book is well organized with chapters covering such topics as "Wealth or Health," "How Expensive Is a Guilt Trip," "Pessimism Is Deadly" and "Is There Life After Failure?" Each chapter includes a summary of key points, though some are quite obvious: "Money, like everything else, is good in moderation" or "Those who are wise have always known that the blessings of children, family, and love far outweigh all financial aspects of life." Readers may well find these aphorisms soothing and the book's message generally supportive. However, anyone needing practical help managing his or her money won't find specific financial advice here.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"..chock-full of anecdotes,parables and quotes- that [...] form a blueprint for getting through the states of grief." -- The New York Times

"Taking Stock is a revelatory book filled with the wisdom and practical tools.." -- MyJewishBooks Online

"Tenth generation Rabbi Benjamin Blech offers a wealth of knowledge and insight,[...]about keeping financial matters in perspective." -- The Ft.Worth Star-Telegram

Tenth-generation Rabbi Benjamin Blech offers a wealth of knowledge and insight based on his immersion [...] realistic, upbeat advice. -- Morning Star - Telegram October 27, 2003

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Alicia Peck on October 30, 2003
Format: Paperback
A Must-read! I'm 32 and watched stocks of mine like Lucent go to ZERO. (So much for my savvy investing and early retirement plans.) But Taking Stock helped to give me a prespective and feel better about things. It was, in parts,very empathetic (I have to say that I felt better knowing that other people lost as much as I did...) but it was also upbeat, reflective, and really funny at times. One of the most important things is that the book encouraged me to move forward, figure out what matters, and put my energy into that...I think that it is an important read that will help put things into a healthy perspective.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jack Horowitz on October 23, 2003
Format: Paperback
I have to admit it -- I was one of those crazy people who clicked the "refresh" button every ten seconds to see how my stocks were doing. And they were doing great! And then, before I knew what had hit me, it was all . . . gone.
I had a really difficult time dealing with it. But I got over it. And nothing, *nothing*, helped me to do that, to get on with my life, more than this one book.
Blech writes with humor, with poignancy, and with insight. He's been there, and he takes us with him as he describes his own journey from despair back to having financial and spiritual perspective.
Buy this book. You'll be glad you did.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 17, 2003
Format: Paperback
TAKING STOCK is one of the most enjoyable, helpful and hopeful books I have ever read! It is the true reality book. Benjamin Blech, through personal experience, wit and incredible wisdom helps us face ourselves, our desires, our weaknesses, our strengths AND brings us to the point where we not only see reality but we appreciate it and build from there with joy and alacrity and inspiration. While dealing with financial adversity, this book is truly universal in appeal. We all have our demons, our sadnesses, our struggles. He gives us the tools and perspectives we immediately recognize, like a meeting with close friends, which enable us to face deep adversity and come through it more whole, happy and ready to embrace life fully. There is also a section of stories which I found paticularly poignant. The book reads very quickly. I liked this book so much, found it so beneficial and enjoyable to read, that I am going to buy additional copies and send them to family and friends.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 23, 2003
Format: Paperback
People think, talk, breathe, dream, and do just about everything else - money! Money is everything to many, and a lot to everyone else. This book, with its beautiful insights, in it's absolutely magnificent tone teaches us the uttermost valuable lesson of where money SHOULD be in our lives. I have never been as happy as I am now, after being enriched with Blech's lessons; my financial fortunes (or misfortunes) are now in perspective. Anybody who questions the significance of money absolutely needs this book; and everyone else needs to affirm that they have it where it should be!
Just the way he always does, Benjamin Blech takes the most important and complicated lessons of our lives and spoon-feeds them to us, as pure honey, for the brain to digest and enjoy. He is unbelievable! And this may be his best work yet! You have no idea what you're missing out on if you do not read this book - even if you do read it purely for enjoyment's sake; and the few lessons along the way couldn't hurt either. Simply put, this is one of the greatest books I have ever read!
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful By dave holzer on June 14, 2004
Format: Paperback
Nothing new here (as per the NY Times article)...but coming from an individual who lost $7 million (probably much more)the advice rings a little hollow.
We can all be Monday morning quarterbacks which is exactly what this book is.
Did certainly not stand up to the billing.
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