Mailbox Monday – Misbehaving by Richard Thaler

I’m so happy that I received an audiobook copy of Misbehaving by Richard Thaler on its release date today! Thank you to Audible for giving me a copy in exchange for an honest review. Here is a description of this exciting new release from Amazon:

“Get ready to change the way you think about economics.

Richard H. Thaler has spent his career studying the radical notion that the central agents in the economy are humans – predictable, error-prone individuals. Misbehaving is his arresting, frequently hilarious account of the struggle to bring an academic discipline back down to earth – and change the way we think about economics, ourselves, and our world.

Traditional economics assumes rational actors. Early in his research, Thaler realized these Spock-like automatons were nothing like real people. Whether buying a clock radio, selling basketball tickets, or applying for a mortgage, we all succumb to biases and make decisions that deviate from the standards of rationality assumed by economists. In other words we misbehave. More importantly, our misbehavior has serious consequences. Dismissed at first by economists as an amusing sideshow, the study of human miscalculations and their effects on markets now drives efforts to make better decisions in our lives, our businesses, and our governments.

Coupling recent discoveries in human psychology with a practical understanding of incentives and market behavior, Thaler enlightens listeners about how to make smarter decisions in an increasingly mystifying world. He reveals how behavioral economic analysis opens up new ways to look at everything from household finance to assigning faculty offices in a new building to TV game shows, the NFL draft, and businesses like Uber.

Laced with antic stories of Thaler’s spirited battles with the bastions of traditional economic thinking, Misbehaving is a singular look into profound human foibles. When economics meets psychology, the implications for individuals, managers, and policy makers are both profound and entertaining.”

If you’d like to see a copy of Misbehaving, please click on the image above or the link below:

Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

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Happy Birthday to You! Birthday Freebies

When I compiled a list of birthday freebies, I decided to limit it to FREE instead of FREE WITH PURCHASE. Free with purchase never seems actually free to me. I have more respect than ever for awesome freebie and frugal bloggers like Heather of Heather spoils her readers everyday with freebies.  Subscribe to Heather’s blog and enjoy!

And treat yourself on your birthday to any or all of these birthday freebies:


Aveda: Free custom blended body product:

Benefit: Free brow arch at the eyebrow bar.

Sephora: Two free lip pencils

ULTA: Free eye shadow palette.

Victoria’s Secret: $10.00 to spend for your birthday.

Drinks & Food

Au Bon Pain: Free Sandwich

Baskin Robbins: Free ice cream

Del Taco: Free premium shake on your birthday and two grilled tacos for joining.

Denny’s: Free Grand Slam Breakfast

IHOP: Free pancakes on your birthday, free pancakes when you join, and free pancakes on anniversary of joining

Panera: Free birthday gift loaded to your card.

Red Robin: Free burger for your birthday.

Starbucks: Free custom drink of your choice on your birthday (I’m still waiting for Bailey’s shots, HA) and free custom drink of your choice for joining Starbucks Rewards.

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Amazon Has Coupons!

How did I not know this? I thought I was as addicted to Amazon as every other smart shopper. But I just found out today that Amazon has digital coupons you can “Clip” and put in your cart. The savings will be applied at check out.

Of course, I found this out when I was looking at pet supplies. The following link is for Pet Supplies Coupons.


If you’d like coupons in other categories, like Office & School Supplies, Beauty, Grocery & Gourmet, just scroll along the left side of the page after you click on the link under “Browse Coupons”. Enjoy!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

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America’s Sleepheart:Chessie the Railroad Kitten

When I was researching historic rail travel, I found the enchanting story of Chessie the Railroad Kitten. Chessie the Railroad Kitten became “America’s Sleepheart”. When the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad needed a new advertising slogan, “Sleep Like a Kitten, Arrive Fresh as A Daisy” emerged starring Chessie.

Chessie soon had a husband, Peake, who went to serve in WWII, and two adorable kittens.

A cat museum opened in Alliance, Ohio and will preserve stories like Chessie’s.

You can see Chessie: The Railroad Kitten at Amazon by clicking on the image above.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

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The Cat’s Maw (Shadowland Saga Book 1)

Here is the description of The Cat’s Maw by Brooke Burgess from Amazon:

From award-winning storyteller Brooke Burgess (Broken Saints) comes a haunting, touching, and inspired children’s fiction debut – THE CAT’S MAW – the first volume in a contemporary mystery/fantasy epic for brave young readers. With countless rewards for lovers of page-turning adventures, fans of creepy and magical thrills…and, of course, for feline fanatics of all ages!


In the sleepy town of Appleton, a young loner follows a stray cat onto the road and is struck by a car. A leg is shattered, a summer is ruined, and the troubled life of Billy Brahm goes from bad…to cursed.

When the mysterious cat appears at his bedside, Billy is haunted by strange and prophetic dreams — the creatures in them speak of Watchers, and Shadows, and the Enemy that Awakens.

Does this impossible realm hold the key to healing the broken boy? Is the golden-eyed cat there to help him…or to make the nightmares come true?

Too frightened to share the truth with his strict adoptive parents, Billy realizes that the only ones he can turn to are the local vet’s daughter, the town’s ‘crazy cat lady’…

…and a mystical tiger, beckoning from his dreams.

*includes more than 20 original pen-and-ink illustrations by SARA MACHAJEWSKI, along with an exclusive BOOK 2 Preview. ”

Billy bravely navigates a world where he’s been labeled as cursed, hit by a car, and tormented by a rich bully. With the help of a bookmobile librarian and her brilliant cat, a neighbor and her cool cat colony, and a budding love interest with a German Shepherd, Billy conquers his demons.

Billy’s budding love interest, Lynn, is a smart girl who offers sage advice and guidance. The cats are ass-kicking rodent terminators. The beautiful illustrations make it easy to envision this book as a movie. I’m eagerly looking forward to news of a movie adaptation.

You can see The Cat’s Maw at Amazon by clicking on the link below:
The Cat’s Maw (The Shadowland Saga Book 1)

Disclosure: I received a copy of The Cat’s Maw from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

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Here is the description from Amazon:

“A story of inspiration and transformation for the really desperate housewife—now a TV series from the creator of Sex and the City, starring Sutton Foster and Hilary Duff!

She’s old enough to be his mother.

Alice has always looked young for her age, even with her graying hair and her dowdy New Jersey housewife style. Make that ex-housewife: Now that her husband’s gone and her daughter is grown, Alice is in desperate need of a whole new life. So she lets her best friend Maggie, a hip New York City artist, transform her on New Year’s Eve. Soon, thanks to the wonders of hair dye and tight jeans, Alice looks really young, as one night in a Manhattan bar confirms. At midnight, she kisses a boy who was in diapers when she was in high school.

She’s having too much fun to care.

The white lie Alice tells Josh gets her thinking that if no one asks her age, she doesn’t have to tell. So she applies for a job she had briefly before becoming a full-time mom—and gets it. Meanwhile, Josh is falling head over heels for Alice, who’s just way cooler than girls his age. He figures she’s about twenty-nine—and for the first time since she was twenty-nine, or possibly ever, Alice feels that life is ripe with possibility. Unfortunately one possibility is that she’s gonna get caught.

Challenging the adage that the truth will set you free, Younger is a hilarious and insightful story that proves that you’re only as young as you feel.”

Younger, written by Pamela Redmond Satran, and splendidly narrated by Meghan Wolf, offers hours of listening fun. Meghan has a keen narrator’s talent for making voices distinct and telling a story you want to hear.

Younger is the story of a woman redefining herself after her husband’s unexpected departure. As Alice emerges from life as a stay at home mom, she discovers that romance and the job market favor the younger. It’s how Alice handles the expectation and assumption that she’s younger than her chronological age that transforms her.

Alice confronts the proverbial boss from hell with wit and charm and forges her own way in a challenging industry. When a former neighbor mistakes her for her adult daughter, she grapples with whether she should offer a correction. The question of what Alice will reveal to whom and when keeps her story intriguing.

And whether she’s with her boyfriend, best friend, or daughter, she’s so likeable that you’ll find yourself hoping she gets everything she wants in life.

You can see the audiobook edition of Younger on Amazon by clicking on the link below:


Disclosure: I received a copy of Younger from Audible in exchange for an honest review. This post includes affiliate links.

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Jonas Salk: Reluctant Hero, Visionary, and Ladies Man

I love my Kindle for a lot of reasons. One is that when I find a nearly 600 page biography that I don’t want to put down, it doesn’t take any heavy lifting to carry it with me. Jonas Salk by Charlotte Jacobs is a brilliant and thought provoking biography.

All heroes pay a price for heroism. Jonas Salk, beloved son of a determined mother, grew up in a New York tenement. He conquered a virus that not only attacked tenement dwellers but aristocrats like FDR. Americans were terrified of deadly, paralyzing, and unpredictable polio. They wanted a hero. They foisted the mantle of hero on Jonas Salk. For the public’s adulation, that he never sought, Jonas Salk paid the price of jealousy within factions of the science community.

Jonas Salk never won a Noble prize. He was never admitted to The National Academy of Scientists. Yet he always took the high road even when others sniped at him. After introducing the inactive virus vaccine that took the world on the road to eradicating polio, he focused on immunology and Aids.

He was a visionary who lent his name to the creation of The Salk Institute in La Jolla when it became evident that without Salk’s name, funding an institute would be impossible. The Salk Institute attracted Nobel Prize winning scientists. Sadly, certain scientists felt borderline disdain for the gentleman who made the Institute possible and wanted his laboratory space.

The Salk Institute’s design is well-displayed in My Architect, a documentary about its architect, Louis Kahn.

In My Architect, Jack MacAllister, the young architect whom Louis Kahn hired for The Salk Institute appears with a vitality you’ll remember. And Jack MacAllister appears again in Jonas Salk’s biography as one of the few people who seem to wish Dr. Salk well when he marries his second wife, French artist Francois Gilot, famously known as a mistress of Picasso.
The biography also reveals that once Jonas Salk lost his laboratory at The Salk Institute, he spent some of his happiest days with very attractive and smart twenty-something women. It was a life well-lived. I highly recommend Jonas Salk by Charlotte Jacobs for the story of a complex and interesting man who left the world better than he found it. Also, don’t miss My Architect if you have an opportunity to see it.

You can see the Kindle edition of Jonas Salk at Amazon by clicking on the link below:
Jonas Salk: A Life

You can see My Architect at Amazon by clicking on the link below:
My Architect: A Son’s Journey

Disclosure: I received a copy of Jonas Salk from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

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Audiobook Review: Flight 232: A Story of Disaster and Survival

You can’t listen to Flight 232, A Story of Disaster and Survival, written by Laurence Gonzales and narrated by Victor Bevine, without feeling like you went through this historic plane crash yourself.

Here is the description from Amazon:

“Twenty-five years after the catastrophe, a dramatic and extraordinarily rare 360-degree view of the crash of a fully loaded jumbo jet.

As hundreds of rescue workers waited on the ground, United Airlines Flight 232 wallowed drunkenly over the bluffs northwest of Sioux City. The plane slammed onto the runway and burst into a vast fireball. The rescuers didn’t move at first: nobody could possibly survive that crash. And then people began emerging from the summer corn that lined the runways. Miraculously, 184 of 296 passengers lived.

No one has ever attempted the complete reconstruction of a crash of this magnitude. Drawing on interviews with hundreds of survivors, crew, and airport and rescue personnel, Laurence Gonzales, a commercial pilot himself, captures, minute by minute, the harrowing journey of pilots flying a plane with no controls and flight attendants keeping their calm in the face of certain death. He plumbs the hearts and minds of passengers as they pray, bargain with God, plot their strategies for survival, and sacrifice themselves to save others.

Ultimately he takes us, step by step, through the gripping scientific detective work in super-secret labs to dive into the heart of a flaw smaller than a grain of rice that shows what brought the aircraft down.

An unforgettable drama of the triumph of heroism over tragedy and human ingenuity over technological breakdown, Flight 232 is a masterpiece in the tradition of the greatest aviation stories ever told.”

None of the details are sanitized. You’ll learn about clothes burned onto bodies, a severed arm found nearby, and the practice of mapping bodies in a field for the morgue. Flight 232 led to changes in forensic dentistry. At the time it crashed, it was necessary to forcibly break a jaw to identify a dead body by teeth. Today a much less invasive digital technique is available.

From the pilots who landed the plane with a mechanical failure that would have made it impossible to land in less capable hands, to a man who rushed back in the burning plane to save a baby not his own, to the people on the ground who gathered to help when they saw the emerging disaster, Flight 232 is a story of heroes. This is a book that will stay with you a long time.

You can see the audiobook edition of Flight 232 on Amazon by clicking on the link below:

Flight 232: A Story of Disaster and Survival

Disclosure: I received a copy of Flight 232: A Story of Disaster and Survival from Audible in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

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Ooh la la. My Paris Dream by Kate Betts

Ooh la la. My Paris Dream by Kate Betts is the best Paris memoir since Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast. This isn’t one of the detached collections of vignettes about going to the market or Luxembourg Gardens that limply passes as a memoir of Paris. This is real life written by an American expatriate who lived and loved in Paris.

Just as A Moveable Feast makes you feel like you’re in 1920s’ Paris, My Paris Dream transports you to 1980s’ Paris, where they’re talking about the beginning of the chunnel connecting Paris and London and the American “cowboy President”. Kate Betts propels herself to a fabulous job at Fairchild Publications where her boss, when giving her an assignment in Provence, tells her, “Run through the lavender fields!”

Most of us, okay, all of us, will never have a boss who says, “Run through the lavender fields,” but you don’t have to be a fabulous reporter and editor to relate to the timeless stories of following a dream, falling in love, falling out of love, becoming consumed by work, and redefining yourself. She meets everyone in haute couture. There’s a charming story about meeting Christian Louboutin that I don’t want to spoil by posting here. It’s worth reading yourself to fully enjoy.

And there’s a reverence for Paris on nearly every page. That’s why I’m going to recommend My Paris Dream like I recommend A Moveable Feast. That doesn’t mean it’s all glam. It’s the author’s resolute determination to keep going even when she experiences bumps that reminds you of Hemingway’s wise quote: “Paris was always worth it and you received return for whatever you brought to it.”

You can see My Paris Dream at Amazon by clicking on the link below:
My Paris Dream: An Education in Style, Slang, and Seduction in the Great City on the Seine

Disclosure: I received a copy of My Paris Dream from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

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Mailbox Monday (3)

The Great Divide: The Conflict between Washington and Jefferson that Defined a Nation by Thomas Fleming. This book will be released on March 10, 2015. Thank you to Netgalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Thank you Audible for a review copy of this audiobook of the AMAZING story of pilots who flew a plane without controls and the 184 out of 296 passengers who survived.

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