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Book Review: Cream City Hustle

October 23, 2014 – 6:47 am | 8 Comments

Cream City Hustle Cover - Full SizeSo, I was perusing through James’ Retirement Savvy blog a couple of weeks ago, and found out that he had just published a book called Cream City Hustle .  How cool is that?  Now, I’m not generally a fan of, or do I ever, read fiction.  I’m just a non-fiction girl: we must always be learning, learning, learning children. :-)  But when James wrote that his fiction book was a personal finance fiction book, how could anyone who loves personal finance not be intrigued by that?  For the first time in many, many years, I put a fiction book on my list of “to buys” and went about life.  Very shortly thereafter, James sent me a copy of the book and asked for my thoughts.  Woohoo!  This would mean that I have to force myself to sit down, have some time to myself, and immerse myself in a good fiction read.  Oh, darn. ;-)

The story is set in a drug-riddled section of Milwaukee.  Having grown up in the heart of the world of drugs, gangs and prostitution in inner city St. Paul, (yes, I was very much a fish out of water.  I never had much targeted trouble there simply because I think most people were so shocked by the appearance of a skinny white girl dressed in leggings and a poofy Madonna-type skirt, complete with 80’s big hair in their rough and tumble neighborhood. :-) I know well the life of drugs and drug dealers, so I was eager to see if James’ story had a truthful ring to it.

It does.  Two of my requirements for liking fiction reads is that they are suspenseful, and truthful. Cream City Hustle is definitely both.  Without giving too much away, I’ll tell you that it follows the story of a young black man who grew up in a drug and gang-infested area of Milwaukee.  Marcus, despite his troubled neighborhood, has a strong family with parents that are loving, supportive, and always work to make sure he understands the importance of living a good and purposeful life.  He has a solid relationship with his younger brother, and Marcus also has dreams:  Dreams of college, a career and a successful life.

But Marcus doesn’t want to go to college and graduate with tens of thousands of dollars in debt.  He’s learned from watching those around him that  a life enslaved to debt is no way to live.  Marcus also knows that his dreams of paying for college in cash aren’t going to be fulfilled by working at his job at McDonald’s forever.  So Marcus, being a dedicated worker and a resourceful guy, turns to dealing drugs to raise the money he needs, telling himself that dealing is simply a means to a better end.  As he works his meager job and sells his drugs for extra money, Marcus also works to educate himself on the ways of personal finance so that when he gets the cash, he’ll know what to do with it.

I fell in love with Marcus right away.  James did a great job of writing in a way that draws readers in and makes them be able to identify with and connect with Marcus.  I found myself rooting for him right off the bat.

But anyone who knows anything about life as a dealer knows that it’s not as simple as “make enough money so I can go to college and then get out of this racket”.  Marcus’ plan to do that meets with dangerous circumstances, and Marcus has tough lessons to learn along the way.

Friends, if you are a fiction lover, or even if you’re not, I highly recommend Cream City Hustle .  It’s suspenseful, educational and riveting all at the same time.  Buy it today for yourself, or purchase Cream City Hustle as a gift for a friend or loved one who loves a good fiction read.  It’s well worth the time and the money.

And as for you, James, well done, my friend.  Well done. :-)

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2014 Garden Review

October 19, 2014 – 7:26 am | 44 Comments
2014 Garden Review

So, the garden is cleared out, ready to be tilled again for next spring’s planting.  Although we didn’t do as well as we’d liked garden-wise, (our goal is to provide our family’s veggies for the …

Garden Carrots 101

October 16, 2014 – 8:02 am | 28 Comments

One of the things we’re starting to feel like we’re really getting the hang of as far as gardening goes is garden carrots.  Carrots are super easy to grow and maintain, and as such, we’ve …

Why You’ll Never Be Happy Keeping Up With the Joneses

October 13, 2014 – 8:04 am | 77 Comments

Many of us have gotten the message, however there are still a large number of people and families chasing after the “privileged” life of the Joneses.  Having been a troll of the Joneses for many …

September 2014 Recap and October Challenge Update

October 11, 2014 – 6:50 am | 46 Comments
September 2014 Recap and October Challenge Update

As I type this, it’s 26 degrees outside right now.  I surely hope this is a blip on our fall and not the norm.  As prepared as we are for a long, cold winter again …

Two Steps to Get Out of Debt

October 9, 2014 – 7:18 am | 40 Comments

Hey, Frugal Farmer friends!  I’m excited to share this article with you from fellow debt-hating colleague, Douglas Goldstein, whose new book will be released soon. 
By Douglas Goldstein, CFP®, co-author with Susan Polgar of Rich As …

October Challenge: Spend Less, Eat Well

October 6, 2014 – 7:03 am | 61 Comments

I just realized it’s the 6th of October already and although I’ve had this self-induced challenge in place for six whole days, I still hadn’t written about it!!  It’s been on my mind for awhile …

Saturday Morning Ramble: Homesteading In Winter

October 4, 2014 – 7:55 am | 51 Comments
Saturday Morning Ramble: Homesteading In Winter

Happy Saturday, my frugal homesteading friends!!!  The Farmer’s Almanac tells us we’re due for another Polar Vortex hell of a winter again, so here at the Frugal Farmer homestead, we’re busily planning what we can …

Smoky Chipotle Salsa

October 1, 2014 – 6:48 am | 31 Comments

Hey, friends!  As we wade through what’s left of the produce to can and freeze, I thought I’d take a minute out and share with you the new Smoky Chipotle Salsa recipe we tried this …

Strange Ways to Invest Your Money

September 30, 2014 – 9:05 am | 5 Comments
Strange Ways to Invest Your Money

Investment strategies these days are quite risky to undertake especially that the erratic condition of the global economy creates an unstable market resulting to the skyrocketing of prices of all prime commodities. While mutual funds …

How to Build a Mobile Chicken Coop Extension

September 29, 2014 – 7:11 am | 6 Comments
How to Build a Mobile Chicken Coop Extension

Hey friends!!!  Charlie is featuring an awesome post over at our sister site, today, about how to build a Mobile Chicken Coop Extension for your backyard chickens.  Check it out!