The best books about money and your life

Why am I passionate about this?

I realised in my twenties that there were millions of people who desperately needed advice about their money but could not afford an accountant or an adviser. Since then my passion has been to simplify the deliberately complex financial world, explain the obscure and often unintelligible rules about tax, childcare, benefits, investment, savings, and borrowing. Recently as the tsunami of fraud has swept across the UK I have devoted more time to help people avoid losing money to scammers – both criminal and respectable. Most people can’t afford professional advice, but they can afford me – I’m freely available in print, on air, and online. 


I wrote...

Money Box: Your Toolkit for Balancing Your Budget, Growing Your Bank Balance and Living a Better Financial Life

By Paul Lewis,

Book cover of Money Box: Your Toolkit for Balancing Your Budget, Growing Your Bank Balance and Living a Better Financial Life

What is my book about?

From nought years old to 99Money Box shows you what you need to know as the years pass. How to get more money, how to stop wasting money, and how to use the money you have better. Help from the government. Using your skills to make money. Not paying for daft things. Making the money you have work for you not someone else. Pay less tax, beat the banks, and remember the finance industry is not your friend. 

It reveals the things that can leap up and bite you or stealthily drain your money away. And how to stop thieves in their tracks – with a weapon that is always with you. 

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results!

Paul Lewis Why did I love this book?

It does what it says on the cover. Don’t just shrug your shoulders if an airline refuses to refund your money, your insurer won’t pay up, or the jeans you bought online don’t fit. Challenge the firm! Complain! Get your money back – and then some. Helen – who calls herself the Complaining Cow – is a master at all of this and herself a serial complainer. The book explains who to write to, what to say, and what to demand – and the laws to quote to make sure you get what you’re entitled to. 

By Helen Dewdney,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Complain as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*UPDATED 2019* Here is the result of over 30 years of experience from the campaigner Helen Dewdney, who sports the online persona, The Complaining Cow. Including tips, real-life examples, anecdotes and handy template letters, you are provided with the knowledge and confidence to assert your legal rights, overcome any consumer complaint hurdles and always gain redress. Discover what kind of complainer you are, how you can gain better results and how to deal with the common fob offs companies use. Get comprehensive advice on the most up to date consumer laws you could ever need, how to complain effectively, how…


Book cover of Beat the Fraudster: How to Easily Protect Yourself Online and Offline

Paul Lewis Why did I love this book?

Fraud is now 40% of all crime. It is the crime we are most likely to come across. Yet the authorities seem powerless to stop it. This book explains how frauds work and, armed with that knowledge, how to prevent them happening to you. Doug has years of experience and understands the world of fraud as well as any fraudster. Read it and keep safe. 

By Doug McAdam,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Beat the Fraudster as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Email protection, PayPal security, web browser attacks... how to prevent cybercrime and protect your digital self from being a target of scammers.

Not all frauds require your participation. Whilst scams require you to fall for their ruse, other frauds occur in the background completely without your knowledge or consent, such as identity theft.

Whilst millennials and the elderly are statistically at a higher risk, due to lack of life experience or technological advancements, fraudsters often actively target business owners aged between 30-60 as they often have better credit ratings. Even high-ranking police officers and fraud specialists have fallen victim. Anyone…


Book cover of How to Fund the Life You Want: What everyone needs to know about savings, pensions and investments

Paul Lewis Why did I love this book?

At last a book that tells the truth about investment and how it works. The most important thing is keeping down charges. They eat away at your money every month and only enrich other people. Don’t let them manage your money – trust the markets. There are exercises and worksheets to do. So it is not a casual read. But if you study it and work through it you will end up better off and have enough money for your future. Which is the true meaning of wealth.

By Robin Powell, Jonathan Hollow,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Fund the Life You Want as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An accessible and practical guide to personal finance that busts myths, clarifies jargons and clarifies the best options for building your wealth More and more people are reassessing their lives as a result of the pandemic. Many have left their jobs or reduced their hours. Others have resolved to work only as long as they must, retiring early to focus on families and friends, hobbies or travel. Meanwhile, employers all over the world are experimenting with a four-day week. Making the most of these choices requires having and growing enough money to enjoy your future life, without needing to worry…


Book cover of Treasure Islands: Uncovering the Damage of Offshore Banking and Tax Havens

Paul Lewis Why did I love this book?

Nicholas opens the door to a parallel universe of tax havens and money laundering, where wealth flows from poor to rich, lies are traded as truth, and violence lurks beneath the smiles. This hidden world only meets normality when it needs a law to be passed – or suppressed, an election to go one way or the other, or the right leader to take power. Half the world’s trade passes through tax havens. Nicholas’s light shines into these dark corners of the world. You may not like what you see. Because far from shrinking this parallel universe is growing fast and in rude – sometimes very rude – health. 

Book cover of A Guide to the Unprotected in Every-day Matters Relating to Property and Income

Paul Lewis Why did I love this book?

This book – a copy is free at hathitrust.org – shows how some truths about money are eternal. 

It is the first personal finance guide written for women but its advice is still valid – ‘high interest is another name for bad security’ ‘Do not put all your money into one concern’ ‘the Broker [you employ] should be of high standing and respectability’ ‘place the money…in the bank at interest [or] put it into the Funds’. And it is a model of clear writing. I loved it.

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Native Nations: A Millennium in North America

By Kathleen DuVal,

Book cover of Native Nations: A Millennium in North America

Kathleen DuVal Author Of Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of the American Revolution

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a professional historian and life-long lover of early American history. My fascination with the American Revolution began during the bicentennial in 1976, when my family traveled across the country for celebrations in Williamsburg and Philadelphia. That history, though, seemed disconnected to the place I grew up—Arkansas—so when I went to graduate school in history, I researched in French and Spanish archives to learn about their eighteenth-century interactions with Arkansas’s Native nations, the Osages and Quapaws. Now I teach early American history and Native American history at UNC-Chapel Hill and have written several books on how Native American, European, and African people interacted across North America.

Kathleen's book list on the American Revolution beyond the Founding Fathers

What is my book about?

A magisterial history of Indigenous North America that places the power of Native nations at its center, telling their story from the rise of ancient cities more than a thousand years ago to fights for sovereignty that continue today

Native Nations: A Millennium in North America

By Kathleen DuVal,

What is this book about?

Long before the colonization of North America, Indigenous Americans built diverse civilizations and adapted to a changing world in ways that reverberated globally. And, as award-winning historian Kathleen DuVal vividly recounts, when Europeans did arrive, no civilization came to a halt because of a few wandering explorers, even when the strangers came well armed.

A millennium ago, North American cities rivaled urban centers around the world in size. Then, following a period of climate change and instability, numerous smaller nations emerged, moving away from rather than toward urbanization. From this urban past, egalitarian government structures, diplomacy, and complex economies spread…


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