I received an advance copy of Dave Barry’s Money Secrets awhile back, and I’ve been planning on writing a review of it ever since. Well, here we are… Almost six weeks after the official release date, and I’m finally getting around to it. So… I’m not sure where to start. For those of you that aren’t familiar with Dave Barry, he who wrote a nationally syndicated column for the Miami Herald for over 20 years (1983-2005). A very funny nationally syndicated column. He’s also published a number of collections of his columns in book form, and he co-wrote the excellent Peter and the Starcatchers, which is a prequel to Peter Pan (he’s also co-author of the forthcoming Peter and the Shadow Thieves). Thus, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when he tackled a topic like money.
Well, all I can say is this… If you’re looking for a book that contains at least a tiny bit of useful financial information, then keep looking. But if you’re looking for a funny book about money, then this one might be just what the doctor ordered. I mean, when a book covers the following topics, how could it not be funny?
â€¢ How the U.S. economy works, including the often overlooked role of Adam Sandler
â€¢ Why it is not a good idea to use squirrels for money
â€¢ Strategies that will give you the confidence you need to try for a good job, even though you areâ€”letâ€™s be honestâ€”a no-talent loser
â€¢ How corporate executives, simply by walking into their offices, immediately become much stupider
â€¢ An absolutely foolproof system for making money in the stock market, requiring only a little effort (and access to time travel)
â€¢ Surefire tips for buying and selling real estate, the key being: Never buyâ€”or, for that matter, sellâ€”real estate
â€¢ How to minimize your federal taxes, safely and legally, by cheating
â€¢ Why good colleges cost so much, and how to make sure your child does not get into one
â€¢ How to reduce the cost of your medical care by basically not getting any
â€¢ Estate planning, especially the financial benefits of an early death
â€¢ And many, many pictures of Suze Orman
So what’s not to love?
To be totally honest, I’m a bit torn on this one. While Barry is definitely a very funny and creative guy, his schtick can get a little tiresome when it’s spread across 240 pages. All in all, I found this to be an amusing book to thumb through, but the goofball humor wore a bit thin over the course of the book, and I really didn’t feel compelled to just sit down and read Money Secrets.