If you are looking for help managing your money, there is no shortage of books offering advice. Amazon lists more than 33,000 titles in its personal finance section alone, along with tens of thousands more on investing, careers, and taxes.
With so many titles to choose from, we know that not all personal finance books are created equal. But how do you decide which ones are really worth reading and which ones you should ignore? Some people will say that it’s best to avoid the genre altogether. “A lot of their advice isn’t really great, to say the least,” Helaine Olen, author of Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry, said in a 2013 interview with The American Prospect. Olen singles out popular personal finance gurus like Suze Orman, Robert Kiyosaki, and Dave Ramsey for offering advice that at best won’t help most people improve their finances and at worst could make their situation worse.
Yet the Internet is full of lists of Must read personal finances books. Many of the titles on these lists are trusted classics, like that of Thomas Stanley The millionaire next door and Ramsey’s The total makeover for the money. But these established authors face constant competition. In 2013 alone, over 500 new personal finance books went on sale, according to Bowker, editor of Printed books.
To help you decide which one to add to your reading list, we’ve compiled a list of five of the most popular personal finance books of the past few months, based on the New York Times Bestsellers in the Advice, How-To and Miscellaneous category. Next, we’ve highlighted some representative reviews from professionals and readers to give you an idea of if these books will really help you get your financial life in order.