Books & TV & Money


I’ve kept well to my reading challenge this year. All on the Kindle app, sometimes reading on tablet, sometimes iPhone, sometimes laptop. A couple of great books:


Lincoln in the BardoLincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

This book’s a bit of a challenge, but not like Infinite Jest. I knew nothing about it going in, and a few pages in, perplexed, I quickly read an intro to the book – OK, it’s about ghosts, OK, it’s about Abraham Lincoln, OK, sure! – then I sat back for the ride. I found it very beautiful, sad, and stunningly written/put-together.




The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. by Neal Stephenson

This one is an easy read, and very light-hearted, but I really enjoyed it. I didn’t read anything about it beforehand, which added to the fun of finding out what the heck was going on! I don’t want to give anything away… give it a whirl. I didn’t know where it was going, right up to the very end.





I’m so bad at watching TV shows. It’s like I just don’t care enough. I can browse Netflix and watch 10 minutes of this or that, then go off and do something else (like watch random YouTube videos, or read blogs). But! A few people had recommended Abstract, and after a few weeks of putting it off, I finally watched the first episode and it was a JOY. (It’s a documentary series on designers.) I usually find documentaries a bit boring, but in this one, it’s like they’ve collaborated with every designer in every episode and got their input on how to tell the stories!

Here’s the trailer for it:



My brother’s gonna face-palm if he reads this, but: I’ve been reading a book about money called The Barefoot Investor. My brother gave me this book about 100 years ago. No kidding. I’m sorry, TJ! The last thing I wanted to think about all-those-years-ago was being sensible with money and buying property and stuff. And my dad was telling me to knuckle down and save up a property deposit too, while meanwhile I just wanted to have fun (and I was terrified of being locked into a job that I hated –> just to get a high wage –> to pay a mortgage that I was stuck with!).

Anyway, 101 years later: I’m reading the book. Turns out, my sister (coincidence!) is reading it too.

The book Is super easy to read – just like the author’s sitting next to you, talking to you.

I’m partway into the book, and so far:

  1. Bank recommendation – I was already banking with the recommended bank (ING), and already had the multiple bank account setup that’s recommended. Done!
  2. Superannuation recommendation – I checked my provider (Virgin Super) against the recommendation and my provider seems to be fine. (Although I have realised that my provider offers a lower admin charge for maternity leave, so I’m wondering if I can belatedly apply for that?! Will have to call them.) But my partner’s super, yikes! Even though he’s with an industry super fund (which are supposed to have lower fees and do better investments), the fees are awfully high. So we’re looking into changing that.
  3. Health insurance recommendation – Oh dear. I checked what we’re paying against the recommendation and we’re paying too much. I did a quick Google, found this article, Australian Medical Association reveal the best and worst of health funds, got a couple of quotes, and I’m changing to a different provider (from Medibank Private to Frank).

We’ll save about $1400/year on the health insurance switch, but we need to ask for income protection insurance on the superannuation, so our newfound savings might be going towards that. Or to fine wining and dining and island holidays and massages? Depends how much the income protection is!

So that’s only 32% into the book. I’ll keep you posted.


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