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

3.8 out of 5 stars 33 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

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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: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #245,690 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kcorn TOP 500 REVIEWER on January 15, 2006
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
My biggest beef with this book is that 80 percent of it was a non-fiction discussion of finance for women, while only about 20 percent of it was truly a memoir. All the same, Perle included a ton of great info on women and their relationships with money.

Another niggling item: while she loudly calls for the need for women to be more open about their relationship with money, Perle herself kept much hidden behind the veil. She alludes to "six-figure salaries" and "what I realistically needed to live" but never names numbers.

I also found the idea that she would let her ex -- who dumped HER -- take his stock options and run to be ridiculous. She said she traded those options for a good relationship with him -- Hmmm, sounds like the "inner stewardess" she so decried in earlier chapters was not quite as dead as she had claimed.

I felt that the book ended on too much of a Pollyanna note. "I made peace with money and so can you!" she says, without sharing enough of the dirty details with us. I just didn't buy (pun intended) the notion that all was as rosy as she purports. This book would have been more valuable to me if she had focused more on telling her own story and tracing her relationship in more detail, rather than glossing over her own history in favor of one more quote from the "experts."
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Format: Hardcover
Liz Perle takes a look at how us women see money and handle our finances. She spoke to about 200 women to get her research. The results are inside. A lot of women don't like to handle it or talk about it and let our emotions get in the way and let our husbands deal with it. Liz herself, had let her husband deal with the financial side of their marriage and later found herself divorced with a four year old child and out in the cold. She talks about money myths; things we tell ourselves about it. Some of those myths are; I bought it on sale, I don't buy for myself, If I ask for too much money, I will lose the job. She stress's that we have an emotional relationship with our money but if we get our emotions out of our finances we will be better off. Start taking responsibility, take control over our money and we will be happier, and hopefully not one of the many women down the track either widowed or divorced without knowledge of our finances. We then can have some power. I have learned quite a bit from this book. She gives good insight into what we should all be doing to help ourselves avoid getting into financial messes. I liked this and think many people could gain good information from reading this interesting look into why we do what we do with our money.
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