"The Bag Lady Papers" by Alexandra Penney

Alexandra Penney has always had a deep fear of becoming a bag lady and has lived her life accordingly. Working as a fish-monger, editor of Self Magazine and everything in between she has always worried that everything would come crashing down and she would lose all she had.

In December of 2008 that is exactly what happened. She had invested every penny she had ever saved with Bernie Madoff, and lost it all. The Bag Lady Papers is her story of losing it all and the road to recovery.

The book is based on a blog that Penney wrote for The Daily Beast and it definitely has a blog feeling to it. It is a quick read but is not light on material. Penney is honest about her fears, anger and determination both before and after the Madoff scandal. One great thing about her book is she honest about understanding that people may not feel sorry for her as she lived a life of luxury that many will never know. She also writes of knowing that she will always be able to find something to fall back on, unlike the seniors who lost of all their retirement money to Madoff.

The Bag Lady Papers is a great story of how a person can pick themselves up after experiencing the one thing they have feared most and make the most of their new normal.


  1. Oh my word -- I had no idea a victim of Madoff's had written a book (or a blog). Wow - so many lost everything. Sounds interesting!

  2. It's a good book because it doesn't talk anything about the scandal or what happened, just her reaction to it and how she managed to pick up the pieces after. It was her worst fear come true, and it's interesting to read how she came through it.

  3. this sounds interesting! I am adding it to my TBR. Thanks for the review.

  4. i have added this book to my "to-read" list

  5. I really enjoyed this book, too. It is a fast read, but very engaging.


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