Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Book Review Club (October 2015)

Happy October and Belated Canadian Thanksgiving! October is also Breast Cancer Awareness month (see Lucy Sartain's review below). And today is National Dessert Day. So, grab a couple of desserts and settle in for some thoughtful book reviews. Weirdly, we have more reviews of nonfiction books than usual. Something's in the autumn air... 
by Karl Pillemer (adult, nonfiction)

Karl Pillemer, Ph.D., a gerontologist, interviewed over one thousand Americans elders (the average age was 78 yrs) to discover the most important lessons these people have learned during their lifetime. We're talking about "80,000 years or so of combined life experience"!

The reason behind the book: "Older people have one unique source of knowledge that the rest of us do not: they have lived their lives. They have been where younger people haven't."

30 Lessons for Living is divided into eight chapters. Each chapter covers a different aspect of your life: marriage, career, parenting, aging, living without regrets, happiness. There are lessons, tips and many real-life anecdotes from a broad variety of people across the country.

I didn't agree with all the lessons. But I may change my mind with a few more years under my belt! And some of the advice seemed a little simplistic. But perhaps that's my problem; perhaps I'm making life more complicated than it needs to be! I'd like to discuss some of the lessons with Mr. Summy's parents, who are in their early eighties. (Sadly, my own parents died many years ago.)

All in all, the book made me stop and think. It's uplifting and sends the message that life is doable, being happy is doable.

Here are a few random lessons:
*Say yes to opportunities.
*Marry someone a lot like you.
*Happiness is a choice. Not a condition.

I particularly like that third piece of advice.

Dear FCC: I own this book. 

And now....onto the rest of our reviews. Please click through. You won't want to miss a single one!

Beth Bonini of TRAC: CUCKOO SONG by Frances Hardinge (MG)

Ellen Booraem: THE NIGHT GARDENER by Jonathan Auxier (middle grade fantasy)

Stacy Nyikos: **THE GOLLYWHOPPER GAMES: FRIEND OR FOE by Jody Feldman** (MG)

Sarah Laurence: I CRAWL THROUGH IT by A.S. King (young adult)

Alyssa Goodnight: GIRL WAITS WITH GUN by Amy Stewart (historical)

Ray Potthoff: ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE by Anthony Doerr (historical)

Stacy of the Cat's Meow: THE FINE ART OF F**KING UP by Cate Dicharry

Jenn Jilks of Cottage Country: THE CAREGIVING TRAP by Pamela D. Wilson

Lucy Sartain of Ranting and Raving: BETTER by Amy Robach

Patti Abbott:  THE MOST DANGEROUS BOOK by Kevin Birmingham

                      WRITING by Libbie Hawker

**Written by our very own Jody Feldman**

 Note to Reviewers: Any errors (broken link, missed review, etc), just shoot me an email or leave a comment. Thank you so much for your reviews!


Lucy said...

I think there are so many things we can learn from older generations. This sounds like an interesting book. Thanks for the review.

troutbirder said...

Now that I've reached the elderhood stage I'll have to see how my thirty lessons compare with the authors....:)

Sarah Laurence said...

I like the concept of asking elders for advice on life. That deference used to be embedded in society. I agree about happiness being a choice, especially for those of us in the developed world who have our basic needs met. Thanks for hosting!

Bee said...

Did the book have advice for empty nesters? My life is going to change big-time this year and I'm not sure that I'm entirely ready for it. Middle aged, but a long way from wisdom . . . on the other hand, I do have more time for reading now. :)

Alyssa Goodnight said...

That *is* interesting! Even if I don't read this book, I'm encouraged to ask my parents and MIL what their advice/wisdom would be. (MIL's will surely be hilarious…) ;)

Thanks for the review!

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

An interesting review, Barrie! I do think that while elders have life lessons, they don't always fit into modern day scenarios.

I do a Life Review with my sentient clients, it always proves interesting!
(ツ) from Cottage Country Ontario , ON, Canada!