A few books to give away today… :)

Been starting to clean off my shelves for our upcoming move (more on that in a bit), and came across a few books I thought you might enjoy ;)

Two of them may seem pretty random, but they actually do tie into money!

Here are the books, followed by how to enter if you’re interested in any…

#1. “Work Optional” by Tanja Hester of OurNextLife.com

work optional book

This one you already know about from our giveaway earlier in the year, but stumbled across another copy I had so here’s another chance at it if you missed out the first time around :)

Via Amazon:

In today’s work culture, we’re expected to hustle around the clock. But what if you could escape the traditional path and get on one that doesn’t require working full-time until age 65? What if you could wake up every day without an alarm clock and do the things you love most?

Tanja Hester and her husband Mark left their crazed careerist lifestyle to live their dream life in Lake Tahoe, retiring early from high-stress careers. Now Tanja will help you map out a customized plan for freedom and make it easy to succeed, whether you’re good at math and budgeting – or not!

Work Optional is more than just a financial plan: it’s a plan for your whole life-designed by you, not by an employer or clients. Tanja walks you through envisioning your dream life, accounting for variables such as health care and children, protecting yourself from recessions and future unknowns, and achieving a purpose-filled early retirement, semi-retirement, or career intermission with completely doable, non-penny-pinching steps.

You can live a happier, more meaningful life, free from the daily grind. Regardless of where you are in your career, Work Optional will get you there.

More info here: Work Optional: Retire Early the Non-Penny-Pinching Way

#2. “Selections From Walden by Henry David Thoreau”

selections from walden book

Picked this bad boy up from a used book store a while ago to blog about, but seeing how it hasn’t happened in 4 years now I think it’s finally time to find a new owner, haha…

If you’re a FIRE lover you know this is one of the “required readings” so often mentioned, so now’s your chance at the CliffsNotes version like the true FIRE hacker you are! ;)

Here’s a summary from a new $$$ blogger on the scene who’s aptly named, WannaBeWalden.com:

“Walden” is a an old book written by Henry David Thoreau. Henry moved into a little house in the woods, and stayed there for two years. He embraced frugality, and simplicity. By doing so, he found happiness and freedom. If we let us be inspired by Walden, the world of freedom is right in front us.” – WannaBeWalden.com

[FYI the book is pretty beat up, but it does have a really neat bookplate of mushrooms in it for any of you bibliophiles out there ;) Would also be fun trying to track down the original owner!]

#3. “Show Your Work!” by Austin Kleon

show your work! book

Lastly, Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon whose newsletter I’ve been immensely enjoying since being recommended by Cait Flanders a few month ago…

He’s more of an artist/writer than $$$ blogger (in fact, he’s not even remotely a $$$ blogger so I don’t know why I just said that?! Haha…) but I’m always finding good takeaways from him, and if you’re an entrepreneur of any sort you probably will too…

Here’s the table of contents which sums it up pretty well (though I must add there are almost as many pictures in it as there are words, which also makes it an enjoyable read ;)):

  1. You don’t have to be a genius.
  2. Think process. Not Product.
  3. Share something small every day.
  4. Open up your cabinet of curiosities.
  5. Tell good stories.
  6. Teach what you know.
  7. Don’t turn into human spam.
  8. Learn to take a punch.
  9. Sell out.
  10. Stick around.

More info about the book here: Show Your Work!

Want any of these???

Tell me which one – and why – in the comments below or via email, and you shall be entered to win. I’ll leave the giveaway open until the end of the weekend, and then close it out and notify winners Monday afternoon. (As well as update this post with the winning names)

Good luck!

And thanks for reading the blog!!

books dancing gif

UPDATE: The giveaway is now over! The lucky winners are…

  1. “Work Optional” — Pai Ying
  2. “Selections From Walden” — Sara N.
  3. “Show Your Work!” — Liberty @ Love Liberty Shelter

Thanks everyone! Will be doing another giveaway of some new $$$ books hitting the shelves here shortly – keep your eyes open :)

PS: U.S. residents only, sorry :(

Links to books above are Amazon affiliate links….

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  1. anon May 23, 2019 at 5:44 AM

    I’d like “Show Your Work” since I’ve read Kleon’s previous book (Steal Like An Artist) and liked it.

    1. J. Money May 23, 2019 at 5:58 AM

      Oh cool – haven’t read that one yet, but have always loved the title of it ;)

      You’re entered!

  2. Diane Eberle May 23, 2019 at 6:14 AM

    I would like to be entered to win work Optional because that falls in line with what I am interested in right now. I don’t really need to retire as much as re-evaluate and make sure I will be in a position of freedom where I can work in a semi retired or freelance work when I am ready. I am seeing things differently as my oldest just graduated college last week and my younger two are finishing up freshman and junior years in high school. I seriously don’t get why some parents act like life is over when kids grow up. I am ready to ramp up.

    1. J. Money May 23, 2019 at 7:50 AM

      Haha good for you!! A brand new version of your life – I love it! :)

  3. Elaine May 23, 2019 at 6:26 AM

    Show Your Work sounds interesting; please enter me to win. Thanks!

  4. Slackerjo May 23, 2019 at 6:30 AM

    Since I live in Canada, I think I will check out Work Optional at the library.
    Especially after a rather long annoying shift of repeating 34,298 times “I’m having a hard time hearing you, are you on speaker phone?”

    1. J. Money May 23, 2019 at 7:48 AM

      Haha… good call.

  5. Barbara May 23, 2019 at 6:43 AM

    Would love to read Work Optional since I’m a fan of their blog!
    When are you gonna write a book, J. Money?! ;)

    1. J. Money May 23, 2019 at 7:49 AM

      When my kids are all out of the house :)

  6. Erin Smith May 23, 2019 at 6:50 AM

    work optional sounds like something I need to read. That is what I’m trying to envision for my life.

  7. J Hsu May 23, 2019 at 7:00 AM

    I would love to read Work Optional. I have been following Tanjas blog for a while and can relate to get in many ways.

  8. Bridgette May 23, 2019 at 7:42 AM

    I’d love to read show your work or work optional!

  9. Jody May 23, 2019 at 8:15 AM

    I’m interested in Show Your Work, being an artist myself and all. I’m glad you posted the info about his blog and stuff, I’m going to check it out….

    1. J. Money May 23, 2019 at 5:34 PM

      Try out his newsletter too – I’m always uncovering interesting stuff there :)

  10. Mike Holter May 23, 2019 at 8:22 AM

    I’d like “Work Optional”.

    My reasoning is because I had the best morning yesterday. I took off from work because my 5 year old had Kindergarten orientation for next year. We both got to sleep in, until 6am, I took her and my son out to breakfast and then we went to her new school and met with teachers and was able to be with her and hang out with her all morning.

    I didn’t even mind having to go into work in the afternoon because I had such a nice, leisurely morning with my kids. The book could help me find a way to transition into that type of morning everyday and I’m all for that.


    1. J. Money May 23, 2019 at 5:35 PM

      That does sound magical :)

  11. Collin May 23, 2019 at 8:51 AM

    I’d love to read Selections from Walden! I have been a fan of Thoreau’s writings for a long time but I’ve never sat down and actually spent the time to read all of Walden! This would sit next to my bed and I could get my daily dose of “best of Thoreau” every night before bed.

    1. J. Money May 23, 2019 at 5:35 PM

      Totally!! And it’s only the more juicier parts too haha…

  12. Wes May 23, 2019 at 8:56 AM

    I’d love to read Work Optional. My fiance and I are so close to being debt free, the next step for us is growing our money as hard as we can. FIRE is my passion but this book still eludes me :D

    1. J. Money May 23, 2019 at 5:36 PM

      Congrats on almost being at the first stage of freedom!!

  13. Suz W May 23, 2019 at 8:58 AM

    Until reading this, I wasn’t aware that I didn’t have all the necessary prerequirements for FIRE… I’ve missed out on reading Walden, so that one appeals to me!

  14. Kim May 23, 2019 at 9:00 AM

    I’d love to win Show Your Work for my friend at work. We are both nurses but she is an amazing artist who is clearly in the wrong profession. While I’m just a few years away from pulling the cord (3 years and 14 days until the youngest graduates but who’s counting!) she is still struggling financially and probably years away from retirement at this point. This book might just help her realize how to make her dreams a reality.

    1. J. Money May 23, 2019 at 5:37 PM

      She’s lucky to have such a nice (and smart!) friend around :)

  15. Jessy May 23, 2019 at 9:01 AM

    Please enter me for Show Your Work. I am looking for a creative side hustle to carry into retirement.

  16. Chad May 23, 2019 at 9:06 AM

    I’d like the copy of Work Optional.

    I’ve taken a huge undertaking of being one half of a dynamic duo to reach out and bring Financial Independence to Columbus Ohio and helped create content for new FI’ers who will just be beginning their journey.

    I’ve heard great reviews of Tanja’s book of getting away from the typical stereotype of retirement and that it really digs deep in the philosophy of FI.

    As a future coach and mentor, any knowledge of how to help those from a philosophic and behavioral standpoint would be great. Knowing that persuasion is not my greatest strength, the more knowledgeable I can be the better.

    1. J. Money May 23, 2019 at 5:38 PM

      Awesome thing to be striving for, man!! Now you need a blog so you can reach more people too! (And easier to craft words for persuasion than in person! :))

  17. Jacob Schreiber May 23, 2019 at 9:07 AM

    I would like to enter for Work Optional. I’m new to the FI world and would love guidance on how to work on reaching FIRE without being a Scrooge!

  18. rocketsummer May 23, 2019 at 9:26 AM

    I would like to read Work Optional. While I don’t mind working, I can’t stop dreaming about the life I want to live in retirement and want to get there faster! There’s more to life than commutes and cubicles and conference calls.

  19. Erin May 23, 2019 at 9:28 AM

    Selections From Walden by Henry David Thoreau sounds interesting. I don’t know much about the whole FIRE thing yet but I feel like this would be a good start.

    Work Optional sounds like a book I need to read as well.

  20. Julia May 23, 2019 at 9:59 AM

    I would love to read Work Optional. Thanks for the giveaway!

  21. Margaret May 23, 2019 at 10:03 AM

    I really want to read Work Optional and it’s not yet available at my library. But Show Your Work also sounds like a really good book to put on my list.

  22. Chanda Riley May 23, 2019 at 10:10 AM

    Either, and or both Walden and Show Your Work. Always looking for that “key to paradise” side hustle. The Walden book would be enjoyed by myself and my almost 17yr old. She is currently sitting through her last day of sophomore year and who recently purchased Pride and Prejudice to read this summer. :o)

    1. J. Money May 23, 2019 at 5:46 PM

      Heyyy sounds like a smart woman!

  23. Don May 23, 2019 at 10:16 AM

    Perfect Timing! I just recently placed “Work Optional” in my Amazon wish list, where I keep a list and prioritize of all the books I want to read. Tanja Hester was recently interviewed by several podcasters that I listen to, and I was drawn to her message and lifestyle. I’m a little too old to be “FIRE”, but I sure as heck am thinking a lot about my plans for the future. I have no doubt that her book will give plenty of solid guidance to help me on my journey into retirement.

    1. J. Money May 23, 2019 at 5:46 PM

      You’re never to old to FIRE!!! :)

  24. Elora May 23, 2019 at 10:53 AM

    I’d like to win “Show Your Work!” by Austin Kleon because
    1) I’m reading “Work Optional” right now
    2) I have “Walden” on my nook
    3) I’m working towards being 100% self-employed, chipping away at that goal little by little until I can say good-bye to my traditional job. I’m always looking for more tips and encouragement to help me stay the course :)

    1. J. Money May 23, 2019 at 5:47 PM

      You’re on top of things!

      (also – super pretty name!)

  25. Wendy May 23, 2019 at 10:58 AM

    Show Your Work, please! It sounds like it’s aligned well with where I am in life at the moment.

  26. Finacially Fit Mom May 23, 2019 at 11:24 AM

    Thank you for the recommendations! I’m not entering to receive them from you, because then I’d just have more books I wouldn’t be sure what to do with, but I’m adding to my library list! I’m super intrigued with Show Your Work and I am currently dealing my with mid(ish)-life identity crisis :)

    1. J. Money May 23, 2019 at 5:48 PM

      Excellent books for the library :)

  27. Yvonne Gaskin May 23, 2019 at 11:33 AM

    Show Your Work – love his work and haven’t read this one. Also working towards a creative side hustle.

  28. JR May 23, 2019 at 11:39 AM

    I’d love to put my name in the hat for “Show Your Work” so that I can gift it to my pops! He’s going to turn 70 next month and he’s trying to jump into the digital world (some coaxing maybe on my end) to sell his original artwork. (I have a couple of pictures on my IS gram). He’s an incredible artist and an incredibly bad marketer, ha! Love your voice, appreciate what you do. Thanks!

    1. J. Money May 23, 2019 at 5:50 PM

      Cool! I’d love to see some of his work!

  29. Kristin May 23, 2019 at 12:22 PM

    I’d enjoy reading “Work Optional”. It looks like another good perspective to review, as I continue my journey to FIRE. Also, I checked and my library doesn’t have a copy… Always looking for new tips, tricks, and points of view.


  30. Lori Radecki May 23, 2019 at 1:02 PM

    I would love the Work Optional book! I appreciate Tanja’s writing style and the timing couldn’t be better. My husband and I will both be retiring January 2020.

    1. J. Money May 23, 2019 at 5:50 PM

      Wow – so close!!! Congrats!!

  31. Deb May 23, 2019 at 2:39 PM

    Work Optional. My grandson is graduating from high school and has his sights set on 1) a coding career, 2) building a rental real estate business and 3) retiring early. This book would be the perfect book to pass along to him. Thanks!


    1. J. Money May 23, 2019 at 5:50 PM

      I love that he’s already ready to retire before even getting his 1st “real” job, haha…

  32. Susan McCullough May 23, 2019 at 2:39 PM

    Show Your Work! Because I tell really good stories!

  33. Liberty @ Love Liberty Shelter May 23, 2019 at 2:48 PM

    I’m really interested in Show Your Work, especially right now. I’m currently working on a crazy creative project designing and making kimonos, bengkung belly wraps, and other beautiful bohemian things to sell on Etsy. For fun, for a creative outlet, and to accelerate our FIRE goals, too!

    1. J. Money May 23, 2019 at 5:51 PM


  34. MK May 23, 2019 at 4:08 PM

    As a penny-pincher who feels like she’s squeezed the pennies as thin as possible, would be interested in Work Optional. As a creative, would be interested in Show Your Work, since I enjoyed Steal Like an Artist.

  35. Lina May 23, 2019 at 4:31 PM

    I vote for Work Optional. I was working stressful for many years even through cancer fighting. I dreamed of retire early and pursue my dream. This book is great guide. What a coincidence that the author is also from DC area and we are about the same age. I really want to know how she did it because this idea came to me since last year but never come true. Thank you for the wonderful blog!

    1. J. Money May 23, 2019 at 5:52 PM

      You must be one strong a$$ women to work through cancer!!! I hope that means you beat it too?!!

  36. Kris May 23, 2019 at 5:15 PM

    I would enjoy reading Work Optional. I’ve read Tanja’s blog a good number of times the last couple years and love her work. Reading about how to setup not only our financial outlook when you FIRE but also your envisioning how your life will shape up to be. It’s sounds like an intriguing read. I already have it on my to-do list at the library but to own it would be great. Thanks for setting this up J!!

  37. Shana Brown May 23, 2019 at 5:22 PM

    I would like to win all three. It would give my 11 year old son and I the opportunity to read these books this summer together since this is his least favorite thing to do. We read Rich Dad Poor Dad together and I was amazed at our conversation about Assets and Liabilities. He was like mom, see I can get into this book but other books are like pulling teeth for him to read, so anything with money and education about how to work smarter on living life to the fullest, we both want it.

    1. J. Money May 23, 2019 at 5:55 PM

      That is so awesome you guys do that together :)

      You should pick up a copy of “One Red Paperclip“. Nothing really to do with finance or career per se, but it’s a super fun (true) story about what happens when you just put things out into the world :)

  38. PikiDad May 23, 2019 at 8:13 PM

    I’d love to get the Walden Selections book. Would be awesome!

  39. Avicado May 23, 2019 at 9:42 PM

    My book treat would be Selections From Walden by Henry David Thoreau, because I don’t have it and it looks like one that should be in my hands and on my shelf :)

  40. Max Out of Pocket May 23, 2019 at 9:57 PM

    Nice work alternating sock colors before photos ; ) I will go with ‘Show Your Work’. My wife is a ‘creative’ math teacher and she is always telling me about kids who can’t seem to show their work on tests. The table of contents also looks pretty solid. But mostly, because your feet are invisible on that one

    1. J. Money May 24, 2019 at 6:23 AM

      Haha… Socks Are Sexy.com

  41. M L May 23, 2019 at 11:02 PM

    While they all sound great, got to go with “Work Optional” it is just time to find a path without a high stress “career”

  42. Linda May 24, 2019 at 7:44 AM

    I would love Walden. I am a big fan of Henry David Thoreau even if I have not lived as simply as I sometimes I wish I had.
    “How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.” HDT
    If I am fortunate to get the book, I will do a blog post on my site (or yours) in your honor!
    Thx for the opportunity of winning Walden!

    1. J. Money May 24, 2019 at 2:30 PM

      oooh excellent quote right there – had never heard that one before!!

      and now secretly hoping you win it! haha… (it’s randomized so I have no say!)

  43. Mike S. May 24, 2019 at 9:13 AM

    I would love Show Your Work as I’m really intrigued by the titles of Chapters 7 & 8.
    Really curious about Human Spam.

  44. Nichole May 24, 2019 at 11:58 AM

    I’d love to check out Work Optional! Tonja’s blog is great and I’m excited to see what she has to say in an entire book.

  45. Becca May 24, 2019 at 12:40 PM

    I’d love Show Your Work – as a lawyer, I could use some more creative thinking in my life!

  46. Enrico May 24, 2019 at 1:55 PM

    I’d like to read Work Optional. I can really learn something from this book. I bet a lot of people would love to work optionally.

  47. SHANA LITTLE May 25, 2019 at 3:18 AM

    I would be lucky to win any of them! I haven’t read these books and am an avid reader. Please enter me into the drawings for each book! Thank you!

  48. Maisie May 25, 2019 at 12:43 PM

    I would like to read Work Optional. I have been enjoying Tanjas blog for while now. She has so much great info on her blog, I bet the book has some great ideas worth thinking on and exploring.

  49. Paul N May 25, 2019 at 3:05 PM

    I’d love to win Walden’s book, bc I’m reading Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport and he mentions Walden quite a bit, going in depth about his move to the countryside and his new economics philosophy of how much does something cost in terms of his time spent, and that all of his basic needs could be covered by 1 day of work a week…hence, why work 5-6 days and to what end?

    1. J. Money May 27, 2019 at 6:27 AM

      Oh cool – I love Cal’s stuff! Interesting idea w/ the 1 day/week working!

  50. Adrian Bias May 25, 2019 at 4:02 PM

    I would like to win the Show Your Work book because I work in a technical field and I feel that I could get a leg up if I was more creative.

  51. catseye May 25, 2019 at 11:21 PM

    “Show Your Work” just sounds really interesting, and if you like his blog, it must be good.

  52. Shannon May 26, 2019 at 2:11 PM

    I’d like to check out Work Optional- I follow her blog and would like to see what she has to say

  53. Bradley Kennedy May 26, 2019 at 7:08 PM


    First off I’d like to say thanks for all the work you do. Thanks to the money show podcast my life has turned 180 degrees. I went from overspending, underinvesting, and accumulating debt to being in a strong financial position. In less than 1 year since discovering the show and the FI community both my significant other and I have paid off all our debt (totaled $49,000), put away over 6 months in emergency savings each, and now comfortably save/invest over 53% of our income. I grew up in poverty so I hope you know that having others to learn fiscal responsibility from makes a world of difference to people like myself. My life will forever be improved thanks to the resources I’ve found such as bloggers/podcasters like yourself!

    I’d like either Work Optional or Selections From Walden. I currently own Work Optional and loved the book. Actually rereading it for a 3rd time as I work out my path to FI. I would like to gift it to my brother though. I’ve realized that I can spark similar change in him as I’ve done in myself. The goal now is help my family rise up, not just myself. I’d give him my copy but it is full of highlights, page tabs, notes, etc. I try to pull all I can out of a good book!

    As for Walden I’m mostly curious about the book as another book I read references it often (Atomic Habits). There is one quote I love from Walden even though I’ve never read the actual book. It’s goes something like this, “The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life which is required to be exchanged for it”. That one line lead me to a huge epiphany. I can only imagine the rest of his work is equally powerful.

    Thanks again for all you do!


  54. Bradley Kennedy May 26, 2019 at 7:11 PM

    Had to correct myself. The book I read that mentions Walden was actually Cal Newport’s “Digital Minimalism”. Have to give the appropriate credit where it is due!

    1. J. Money May 27, 2019 at 6:32 AM

      Rock on man – congrats on the come back!!! So glad you liked the show and have channeled it all into ACTION! The hardest part! Love that you want to now help those around you get on a better track as well – you are a positive force in this world :)

  55. J. Money May 27, 2019 at 6:58 AM


    The luck winners are:

    #1. “Work Optional” — Pai Ying
    #2. “Selections From Walden” — Sara N.
    #3. “Show Your Work!” — Liberty @ Love Liberty Shelter

    Thanks everyone! Will be doing another giveaway of some new $$$ books hitting the shelves here shortly – keep your eyes open :)