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A reader of this newsletter asked me to suggest a few good books for this summer. One of the best books I’ve read in ages is The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. However, I’m guessing this person wanted personal finance book ideas, not fiction.

Here’s a stack of recent personal finance books that recently arrived on my desk.

Some of the personal finance books that recently arrived on Rob's desk.

Rob Carrick/The Globe and Mail

For recommendations on the best personal finance books, period, I consulted people via Twitter and Facebook. There were dozens of responses covering a wide range of classic and recent personal finance and investing books. A few of the books mentioned that are worth noting:

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  • Worry-Free Money, by Shannon Lee Simmons: Written by a millennial financial planner and ideal for that demographic and others. As I said in a blurb on the cover, “Practical, readable, fresh advice here.”
  • The Little Book of Common Sense Investing, by Jack Bogle: Concise, logical, clear thinking on investing from the guy who basically invented low-cost index investing. Rookie investors, this one is for you.
  • The Wealthy Renter, by Alex Avery: A welcome contrarian view on home ownership. We need more of this type of thinking in a country where home ownership is priced out of reach for so many young adults.

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Rob’s personal finance reading list…

Buy or rent? An economist offers an answer

A very sensible analysis of buying and renting from someone who is not in the housing sector.

‘Why don’t we spend money like other families?’

Advice on how to explain to your children why other families spend more on vacations and various luxuries. Worth reading if you feel pressure to spend money so your kids don’t feel left out.

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How to peel garlic and the dreaded avocado

Advice on how to peel tricky foods like eggs and garlic so you don’t end up wasting a bunch of it.

Get to know Canada’s online banks

A look at four virtual banks that offer a full banking experience online and via mobile apps. Zero fees, good rates. Two other online banks that do well on savings and chequing: Alterna Bank and Motive Financial.

Today’s financial tool app

SideDrawer is a free app designed to help you organize the many documents that make up your estate using the camera on your phone or tablet. This is a new app – let me know what you think.

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Podcast of the week

The Rewards Canada podcast had me in recently to talk about why it’s risky for people to hoard their credit card points.

Ask Rob

Q: Can you recommend or provide a couple of firms that can provide a second opinion on current investments?

A: I looked at three ways to get a second opinion on investments in this article for Globe subscribers.

Do you have a question for me? Send it my way. Sorry I can’t answer every one personally. Questions and answers are edited for length and clarity.

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What I’ve been writing about

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