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Tess Vigeland on Business and Books

Dylan Schleicher

August 27, 2015

On our final day with Tess Vigeland, she gives us a few questions to ponder (and the likely answer to one), and some books to add to our reading list.


"[Why do] people in other developed countries—like Japan and Germany—
have better savings rates than people in the U.S. I always wanted to go to those countries
and figure out what it was that allowed them to save so much more than we do."
—Tess Vigeland


We now come to our final day with Tess Vigeland. It's so, so hard to say goodbye... but she leaves us with some books to add to our reading list, and some questions to ponder. So let's move past the pain and get to it, shall we.

800-CEO-READ: What is the one unanswered question about business (or personal finance, since you worked in that arena for so long) you are most interested in answering?

Tess Vigeland: Oh shoot—I was hoping this would be "the question you are most interested in getting the answer TO from someone else..."—and that would be how the hell is it that no one went to jail for the 2008 financial crisis.

But a more realistic "most interested in answering" would be why people in other developed countries—like Japan and Germany—have better savings rates than people in the U.S. I always wanted to go to those countries and figure out what it was that allowed them to save so much more than we do. Is it government programs? Is it the way they're raised? Is it something about how they approach money psychologically? Is it that ours is such a consumption-obsessed economy that we can't stop buying crap we don't need? Yeah—probably that last one. Okay, I need a new question to solve.

8cr: What book has influenced your work the most?

TS: When it comes to my work in radio, I guess it would be the audio writing and production bible Sound Reporting, by Jonathan Kern, which I read as a cub reporter and went back to again and again over the years.

8cr: What is the book you wish you had written (or admire the most) and why?

TV: Bossypants by Tina Fey. It was honest, it was full of truth-bombs-dropped, she said stuff that more women should say out loud in in crowds, I feel like I got to know her, and I laughed the entire time I was reading it. I fell in love with her as a person, as a comedienne, as a feminist, and as an author. Every page of that book made my day better. (I know I should've said something like The Sun Also Rises or Ulysses but oh well.)

8cr: What book are you reading right now?

TV: Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World. I'm hosting All Things Considered this weekend and this is required light reading for an interview with the author.

On my iPad I'm about halfway through Aziz Ansari's Modern Romance, and next up will be Attica Locke's Pleasantville.


"Bossypants by Tina Fey. It was honest, it was full of truth-bombs-dropped,
she said stuff that more women should say out loud in in crowds,
I feel like I got to know her, and I laughed the entire time I was reading it.
I fell in love with her as a person, as a comedienne, as a feminist, and as an author.
Every page of that book made my day better."


PREVIOUS

Learn more about Ms. Vigeland, how she made her leap, and "How to Know When You've Gotta Go" in our first installment of this series. Then check out our Q&A with Tess about her new book, Leap: Leaving a Job with No Plan B to Find the Career and Life You Really Want.

NEXT

Well, buy the book already. And you can keep up with Tess on Twitter and Facebook.

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