Alyson (2005), $12.95
Laid off and forced to work in the wobbly world of freelance writing, where little to no cash flow is the norm, author Camper English culled enough know-how as a nightlife correspondent to pen a book with the audacious title Party Like a Rock Star Even When You're Poor as Dirt. Among the tips: how to get into concerts for free and how to determine which types of clubs are worth your time ("Ladies' nights always suck," he claims). English also offers his wisdom on making extra cash, from the obvious (selling your books and clothes to thrift stores) to the not-so (selling your body for medical experiments and sex). He covers eating while you're starving, too; he recommends dropping in on hotels' continental breakfasts, which are routinely unguarded feasts free for the sampling, as I know from practice. Smart and funny, the book makes for an easy and enlightening read, perfect for savvy college students, the financially foolish, or merely the economically hard-up. English's guide -- while not necessarily useful in helping you achieve a lifestyle of the Mick Jagger variety -- will assist you at living merrily, just like you were in the upper- to middle-class tax bracket. Cancer recovery and post-traumatic stress disorders notwithstanding, what other self-help book do you need?