Thursday, January 8, 2009


The Financier by Theodore Drieser - Frank Cowperwood is the wheeler-dealer in this great American success story.

Washington Square by Henry James: Catherine will not get even one button of her father's money if she chooses to marry a fortune hunter.

James Taub's nonfiction work Too Good To be True: The Outrageous Story of Wedtech is a highly readable book on the Wedtech scandal which took place during the Reagan years. I found this book by accident, but the story was so amazing, I couldn't put it down. Later, recommending it to a friend at a library, I noticed another book on the scandal and read that one too. It was just such an incredible story. Taub called it vast deception, and it was.

Jonathan Kozol Rachel and her Children (1988) I'm not surprised that someone found a story to tell about a homeless family living in NYC. This kind of book is sometimes difficult to read.

There are so many Money how-to books out there, how to invest, secrets that millionaires know and you don't, how to get out of debt, how to become rich...


About two months ago,I happened to walk past the Old Martinique Hotel in Manhattan. It's the Holiday Inn Martinique now, and it's a hotel I would never ever stay in. I found myself shocked to see it looking resplendent - I got emotional, and even upset that they'd kept the name Martinique, that the building was still standing, that so many people would stay there, never know what suffering had occurred...

Fresh out of college, I got a job that was just a block away from The Martinique Hotel. And for a year I lived about six blocks away from the place. Every day I'd walk past the hotel at least once, and it was a complete horror. It was one of the city's welfare hotels, often called Hell Hotels and you never needed to go inside to see the hell, it spilled out into the streets around The Martinique. A lot of people looked at the families in these hotels and shrugged, maybe they were drug addicts, or just lazy, wanting a free place to live. But no one would ever chose to live at The Martinique. People would be safer almost anywhere else. Women and children had nasty accidents at The Martinique. The hotel's interior (and water and electrical systems) were in shambles before they ever decided to move the homeless in. The rat problem was unbelievable. People lived like animals there, and sad families would hang around outside the place on hot summer days. It was a place of complete and utter misery, and it was just a few blocks from the bustle of Macy's Department Store.

Every single time I walked past the Martinique I would think about the haves and have-nots, maybe I would wonder what it would be like to be an eight year old kid living there, or think about families who live paycheck to paycheck, barely getting by, (they could end up here...) but always I'd think about about my money theory of the moment. It's one thing to have a theory about money, and it's something else to have children and no support system, no way of earning enough money to keep body and soul together.

"The dirty, dangerous Martinique Hotel symbolized New York City's welfare hotel scandal. Now the scandal is ending. The last family moved out of the Martinique last week; the city works to fulfill its promise to close all the hotels by July 1990." - The New York Times.

1 comment:

Megan said...

You stop! I can't read that fast! I'm so far behind!!


My Classic Fiction Book List -Partial List

  • Austen, Jane: (Complete Works)
  • Balzac: Cousin Bette/ Eugenie Grandet / Cousin Pons
  • Best Russian Short Stories
  • Boyle, TC: Short Works
  • Brennan, Maeve : Short Works, 1 Novella
  • Bronte, Emily, Ann, Jane (Complete Works)
  • Brookner, Anita ( Complete Works)
  • Cather, Willa (Complete Works)
  • Chekov: Short Works
  • David Copperfield (Dickens)
  • Dickens:A Tale of Two Cities
  • Dickens:Great Expectations
  • Dickens:Nicholas Nickelby
  • Dickens:Our Mutual Friend
  • Dickens:The Old Curiosity Shop
  • Doyle, Roddy (some novels, memoir)
  • Drabble, Margaret (4 Novels)
  • Drieser, Theodore (Complete Works)
  • Fitzgerald, F.Scott (Most Novels & short works)
  • Hardy, Thomas (Complete Works)
  • Hemingway, Short stories
  • Hemingway: The Old Man in the Sea
  • Hemingway: The Sun Also Rises
  • Hugo: Les Miserables/Hunchback Of ND
  • James, Henry: Daisy Miller
  • James, Henry: In The Cage
  • James, Henry: Portrait of a Lady
  • James, Henry: The Golden Bowl
  • James, Henry: What Maisy Knew
  • James, Henry: Wings of a Dove
  • James, Henry:The Ambassadors
  • James, Henry; The Bostonians
  • Kerouac: Dharma Bums
  • Kerouac: On The Road
  • Kerouac: The Subterraneans
  • Kerouac: Tristessa
  • Lardner,Ring:Short Works
  • Larsen: Quicksand
  • Lewis, Sinclair: Arrowsmith
  • Lewis, Sinclair: Free Air
  • Lewis, Sinclair: Main Street
  • Lewis, Sinclair: The Job
  • MacGill, Patrick (Complete works)
  • Mackin, Walter (novels)
  • Maupassant: Short Works, novels
  • McGahern, John (novels of)
  • McNulty, John (Short Works)
  • Norris, Frank: McTeague
  • O'Brien, Edna (3 Novels)
  • O'Donnell, Paeder : Novels of
  • O. Henry
  • Potok, Chaim (4 novels/1 non fiction)
  • Salinger, JD : Nine Stories
  • Salinger: Franny & Zooey
  • Salinger: Raise High the Roofbeams
  • Salinger: The Catcher in the Rye
  • Sinclair, Lewis: Dodsworth
  • Sinclair, Lewis: Elmer Gantry
  • Sinclair, Upton: King Coal
  • Sinclair, Upton: The Jungle
  • Steinbeck, John: Sweet Thursday
  • Steinbeck: Winter of our Discontent
  • Steinbeck: Cannery Row
  • Steinbeck: East of Eden
  • Steinbeck: The Grapes of Wrath
  • Theroux, Paul (3 Novels )
  • Toibin, Colm: (Novels of)
  • Tolstoy: Anna Karenina
  • Tolstoy: Short Works
  • Turgenev (2 novels)
  • Twain: T Sawyer, Life on the Mississippi
  • Vonnegut: Early Works (1950s-60s)
  • Wharton, Edith: Novels of/Short Stories
  • Women & Fiction (Edit. Cahill)
  • Zola, Emile ( 10 novels)