By Laura Lee
The economic downturn has forced nearly everyone into a life of limited means, but author Laura Lee was broke before it was cool. She won’t tell anyone to clip coupons or forego their morning latte—in fact, she won’t give any guidance on how to be saved from a dark financial destiny. Instead she provides readers with a psychological how-to full of fun tidbits. Broke is Beautiful is an insightful compendium of history, inspiration, facts, and humor that all celebrate the lack of money as a gateway to more serenity, self-awareness, and yes, even security. In the tradition of Alain de Botton’s How Proust Can Change Your Life and Eric Wilson’s Against Happiness: In Praise of Melancholy, here is an unconventional take on a subject that is relevant to us all. It is quirky comfort for the (literally) poor soul: offering historical and geographic perspective, ponderings on consumerism and credit scores, and even recipes for ramen noodles.