‘You Don’t Own Me’ presents intriguing questions about ownership

“You Don’t Own Me: How Mattel v. MGA Entertainment Exposed Barbie’s Dark Side” by Orly Lobel, 2017, W.W.Norton, $27.95, 304 pages.  As a kid, what was your favorite toy? You can probably remember it instantly: the thing you couldn’t bear to leave at home, the doll you spent hours with, the toy truck that road-tripped your imagination. Just thinking of it gives you a warm feeling and a wistful smile, but in “You Don’t Own Me” by Orly Lobel, you’ll read about two toy companies that weren’t playing around. Years after it happened, Carter Bryant couldn’t tell you what spurred him to think the way he did that sunny afternoon.

Farm grows year-round with efficiency help

Fifteen years ago, Christa Alexander and Mark Fasching started selling extra produce from their prolific vegetable garden. They invested in some chickens, then some livestock, some more land, and before they knew it were farming full-time. Fast forward to today. Jericho Settlers Farm is a thriving diversified, organic farm with a large number of wholesale clients as well as CSA, farmers market offerings and a farm stand. And now, by pairing onsite solar power and biomass heating with energy efficiency, the farm has managed to extend its growing season almost to year-round.

‘Power UP’: Survival in a male-dominated economy

“Power UP: How Smart Women Win in the New Economy,” by Magdalena Yeşil, 2017, Seal Press, $27, 230 pages
One. For many years, that’s the number of women there were in your department at work. One (you), or maybe a few more, but not many. You survived it, for sure, but times have absolutely changed since then. And in the new book, “Power UP,” by Magdalena Yeşil, they’re still changing, even now.

Cautionary but entertaining tales from ‘Rossen to the Rescue’

“Rossen to the Rescue” by Jeff Rossen, 2017, Flatiron Books, $24.99, 256 pages

You know your rights. You’re well aware of what you can and can’t do legally because you’ve armed yourself with knowledge. You have rights, and the new book “Rossen to the Rescue,” by Jeff Rossen, makes clear one of them is the right not to be scammed, schemed, or unsafe. So, let’s say you’re on a cross-country flight. The attendant just handed you something with ice.

Does market volatility scare you?

Halloween is almost upon us. Of course, on Halloween night, you may see a parade of monsters, demons, Transformers and other frightening individuals stopping by your house, exercising their right to demand candy. Fortunately, their appearance will be unlikely to cause you unpleasant dreams. But some people seem to have real fears about other things, such as what may happen in the financial markets. One way to keep those fears at bay is to avoid certain impulsive moves, such as the following:
— Avoid ducking out of the market. Consider this: In March 2007, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at about 12,275 points.

Behind-the-scenes comic book battles and heroics

“Slugfest: Inside the Epic 50-Year Battle Between Marvel and DC” by Reed Tucker, 2017, Da Capo Press, $27, 286 pages

You know what your workplace needs? A superhero. Sure, a superhero! Someone who can leap tall problems in a single bound. An invincible mutant who can handle customers, recall conversations in great detail, dispense product in minutes and stop time in the break room.

International investing: Still a journey to consider

Columbus Day is observed on Oct. 9. And while it may be true that Leif Erikson and the Vikings beat Columbus to the New World, Columbus Day nonetheless remains important in the public eye, signifying themes such as exploration and discovery. As an investor, you don’t have to cross the ocean blue, as Columbus did, to find opportunities. But it may be a good idea to put some of your money to work outside the United States.

A holistic approach to aging’s ‘new normal’

 “How Do I Get There from Here?” by George H. Schofield, 2017, Amacom, $16.95, 237 pages. White sandy beaches. Waves that gently kiss your toes with warm water. In your minds’ eye, they stretch for miles and they’re yours to explore. That will be your retirement — or so you hope.

Not investing carries risk

You’ve no doubt heard about the risks associated with investing. “This investment carries this type of risk, while that investment carries another one.” And it is certainly true that all investments do involve some form of risk. But what about not investing? Isn’t there some risk associated with that, too? In fact, by staying on the investment sidelines or at least by avoiding long-term, growth-oriented investments, you may incur several risks.

Social media and workers’ comp fraud

The no-fault nature of the Vermont workers’ compensation system means that almost any worker injured on the job will receive benefits. That system relies on an assumption of truthfulness from the injured worker as to the circumstances, extent and nature of the injury. When an injured worker is found to have misrepresented their injury, it’s possible the employer will be able to defend against the claim or discontinue ongoing benefits. This past spring the Vermont Legislature passed legislation addressing employees’ social media account privacy and prohibitions. The law goes into effect on Jan.