So my 100th book is The Bag Lady Papers by Alexandra Penney. It's about a middle aged woman who finds that all of her carefully saved and invested money has been stolen by Bernie Madoff; aka "MF" in the book. Yes, I think you can guess what MF stands for--and it's not 'my friend'. Alexandra lives a comfortable life as a single woman in New York City who's stepped away from editing Shape Magazine to focus on her passion, art and photography. She enjoys the finer things in life, but is by no means a snob. She learned very early in life to appreciate quality over quantity, and had carefully saved since college for retirement.
This book follows the months after she receives the phone call that turns her world upside down. What I found very interesting was her fear of turning into a bag lady. This phenomenon apparently is fairly common in women of all ages and monetary levels. It's a fear of losing everything and becoming homeless. It did get me thinking that I have had those thoughts, too. As a single woman, you realize that there is no one else there as a "net", you are the net. As Alexandra struggles through anxiety, sleeplessness, and stress, she looks back on how she managed to make money as a wife, mother, and then single woman in the 80's. She's pretty darn smart, and very creative.
Alexandra does not feel sorry for herself; she realizes so many other people have it worse than she does. This keeps her story from becoming an annoying tale of a woman who lost it all and just whined about it. Alexandra is surrounded by loving friends who help her in big and small ways to get through her experience. I learned a lot from this book, and enjoyed it very much. It have me the inspiration to keep plugging away, and think out of the box when I don't know what to do in any situation.
To celebrate my 100th book for 2010, I'm giving away a copy of The Bag Lady Papers. All you need to do is post what your favorite book was this year, and what book is on your list for 2011. Oh, and it would be great if those who don't follow already follow my blog now!
I'll pick a winner Wednesday, December 15th and notify you! Good luck!