Tag: book review

GOING GYPSY or How to Escape Old Age & Survive

GOING GYPSY or How to Escape Old Age & Survive

I have followied Veronica and David James of Gypsynester fame since they first flew the empty nest and ventured into the world of life ongypsynester the road. I admired there chutzpah and their sense of humor, not to mention their upbeat outlook on life. It was a breath of fresh air. Life seem more than hard from where I sat and I was curious to see how tossing all one’s cares away would all play out. A very big part of me was wishing I was doing the same thing! I so wanted to escape old age!

Back then, when boomers everywhere were trying to figure out the next phase of life, the internet created an opportunity for us to be privy to some really awesome adventures, and courageous folks telling their stories in vivid detail. If you weren’t one of the lucky ones to read David and Veronica’s blogs along the way, you’ll love their new book, Going Gypsy: One Couple’s Adventure from Empty Nest to No Nest at All. Humor always prevails in their world and they both have the gift of the story teller. It’s a delightful, page turning adventure complete with pictures.

Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy. Then scurry on over to their website and sign on for further adventures. I promise you, you won’t be disappointed.

Going Gypsy: One Couple’s Adventure from Empty Nest to No Nest at All

by David and Veronica James


FOLLOW David and Veronica on Twitter and Facebook. 



You’ll enjoy learning about Carefree RV Resorts


The Evolution of the Hollywood Heartthrob by Sylvia Safran Resnick

The Evolution of the Hollywood Heartthrob by Sylvia Safran Resnick


Hollywood reporter  Sylvia Resnick not only writes about the evolution of Hollywood heartthrobs, she lived it! (Learn more about Sylvia’s fascinating life in my review of her book, The Walton Family Cookbook.) Sylvia’s new book, The Evolution of the Hollywood Heartthrob, offers us a perspective of Hollywood that we may not have thought about, and one I found,, particularly intriguing.

As a young woman I swooned over the likes of Clark Gable, Tyrone Power (Zorro my very first fantasy super hero), Gregory Peck, Richard Burton, Tony Curtis, Paul Newman and Robert Redford, just to name a few. Growing up in the fifties, we were given  a delightful array of charming male heartthrobs to fall in love with, while awaiting our own knight in shining armor to come along and swoop us off our feet.

The Big Screen world evolved before our very eyes. Most of us took it for granted. We were drawn in, mesmerized by the allure of the bigger than life characters that have now become a part of every day life, oblivious to how it would change our perspective on so many aspects of life. The Evolution of the Hollywood Heartthrob lays this evolution out for us in black and white. Looking through the lens of the men in our Hollywood lives, Sylvia takes us decade by decade, through the lives of the most enchanting of male actors, complete with photos, biographical information, facts, films, and bits of personal info that we likely did not know. An overview of the most significant world events lays the groundwork for each decade. It’s fascinating.

Sylvia’s new book is a great book to peruse on lazy weekend afternoon, or a snowy day like the one we have here today. I keep my copy close at hand on a table in my living room. It’s a perfect coffee table book, a conversation starter and a perfect gift for anyone who loves the movies, and who doesn’t!

The Evolution of the Hollywood Heartthrob is available on Amazon.



Living with Mental Illness and Surviving Suicide – One Mother’s Story

Living with Mental Illness and Surviving Suicide – One Mother’s Story

Leaving the Hall Light On  A Mother’s Memoir of Living with Her Son’s Bipolar Disorder and Surviving His Suicide is the powerful, heart wrenching story of one women’s journey through 17 years of heartbreak and struggle. It is a story of strength and courage, creative genius and despair. Madeline shares her confusion and anger, her hope and disappointment as she recounts the events that led to her son’s ultimate suicide, and along the way the reader has an up close and personal introduction to this debilitating disease and its effect on a family. I came away from this book with a new depth of understanding and compassion for all who are and have been touched by serious mental illness. It’s message has lingered long after the initial reading. It will broaden your perspective and awareness and for that reason alone, this is an important book.

In addition, Madeline is our peer. A woman of our generation and experience who tells her story, not only as a part of her healing journey but, to inform and support others who are struggling with a similar challenge. Whether or not you have someone in your life who suffers from mental illness, there is not a one of us who has not witnessed its destruction, most recently in the shocking and unexpected death of Robin Williams.  We long for understanding. We search for hope. Perhaps together, by raising awareness, we can find a cure, a satisfactory treatment, or at the very least, an opening of our hearts in support of one another.

Madeline Sharples

Although Madeline Sharples worked for most of her professional life as a technical writer and editor, grant writer, and proposal manager, she fell in love with poetry and creative writing in grade school. She pursued her writing interests in high school while studying journalism and writing for the high school newspaper, and she studied journalism in college. However, she only began to fulfill her dream to be a professional writer later in life.

In addition to Leaving the Hall Light On, Madeline co-authored Blue-Collar Women: Trailblazing Women Take on Men-Only Jobs (New Horizon Press, 1994) a book about women in nontraditional professions and co-edited the poetry anthology, The Great American Poetry Show, Volumes 1 (Muse Media, 2004) and 2 (2010). Her poetry accompanies the work of photographer Paul Blieden in two books, The Emerging Goddess and Intimacy as well as appearing in print and online on many occasions.

Madeline is now a full-time writer and is working on her next book, a novel, based in the 1920s. She and Bob, her husband of 40+ years, live in Manhattan Beach, California, a small beach community south of Los Angeles.

Connect with Madeline online: 

Visit her website: http://madelinesharples.com/

On Facebook: Madeline Sharples

On Twitter: @madeline40

On G+

Finding Hope – Quotes & Inspiration for Midlife Women

Finding Hope – Quotes & Inspiration for Midlife Women

Finding Hope June 2014


Quotes & Inspiration

Mounting life pressures, unexpected change or disappointment can leave us depleted and without hope. In this book the author gives her readers just the lift they need to make it through hard times. Packed with insight and inspiration, this carefully crafted collection of vignettes and quotes by some of the world’s greatest teachers, will help you right your ship and find balance in your life once again. Available for Kindle on Amazon


“This little book really resonated with me in so many areas. It’s clear the author has lived a life like many of us reflecting a few regrets and insecurities, some hurts and some loss combined with much success and happiness. I love the way she has learnt how to be positive and turn life’s tragedies and challenges into times of learning and growing. As I hurtle towards my three score years and ten I was beginning to feel depressed and conscious of the time ticking away. This book has come just at the right time to encourage me and make me appreciate all that I have rather than focusing on the things I don’t have. I think many women over 50 will enjoy the inspiration and quotes. It’s a book you can dip in and out of picking up little gems of encouragement just when you need it most.”    Pat Price,  Babyboomers Retiring

“I keep my copy by my bed and the pages are already dogeared from reading i t so much. Whenever I pick it up I seem to find something that gives me hope and lifts my spirits!”  says fifty-two year old Cindy L.

“My kids left home in September and I’m still trying to adjust, to find myself again and Dorothy’s book has been just what I needed.” ~ Joyce, 49

“I’ve been taking care of my elderly mother full time for the last several months. I don’t have time to sit down and read a book but I can grab a few minutes here and there to read one of Dorothy’s little stories or reflect on a quote.  The book has saved my life. I even read bits and pieces to Mom when she is having a bad day and it really seems to help her.”   Martha L. (62)

book content pdf

Breakfast with Buddha – A Review

Breakfast with Buddha – A Review

The Aging Abundantly Book Club on Facebook just finished reading Breakfast with Buddha by Roland Merullo. What a delight! I think the thing I liked most about Breakfast with Buddha was the utter honesty portrayed by the main character. I doubt there’s a single person alive that can’t resonate in some way or another with his thoughts and behavior. He’s funny, bright and his narrative is thought-provoking. I’m still thinking about it, weeks later. The author draws the reader in quickly and completely and it read like a dream. Yet the underlying themes Merullo addresses are anything but simplistic.

I would encourage all midlife travelers, male and female alike to have Breakfast with Buddha. 

Our next read is Mom and Me and Mom by Maya Angelou. We won’t begin our discussion until October 15th, so there’s plenty of time to catch up. If you’d like to join us, just follow the link above and request to be added to the group. It’s a closed group to protect participants privacy and to help me manage interlopers (:))

© Dorothy Sander 2013


Choosing the Real You

Taking Back Your Life One Step at a Time

QUIET by Susan Cain

QUIET by Susan Cain

Browsing through  the audio books on one of my favorite websites, Audible.com, I was drawn to a book called Quiet, by Susan Cain. The title caught my attention, but it was the subtitle that hooked me: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. An introvert through and through, I knew I had to read this book and I am so glad I did. Quiet is a revolutionary work that has garnered attention and respect in ever-widening circles.  To me, it is just one more example of the growing understanding of how the mind works and the alchemy that is taking place globally between the body, mind and spirit.

Throughout my life, I, like most other introverts, endured society’s persistent pressure to change, to be something other than I am. The most essential characteristics that made me, me, were of little interest or value to the world in which I lived. As I listened to Susan Cain’s thoughts and discoveries, I could feel my body relax, my mind ease, and my spirit lift. It’s seems that I am not the only one whose well-intentioned parents pushed them into social situations where they were destined to fail or feel inadequate; or the teen hovering on the periphery of social acceptability, only to be labeled “stuck up” by those who didn’t understand the fear I lived with every day. Others also struggled to succeed and excel in academics and the work place, those who were not gregarious enough to be noticed and thought to be unintelligent as a result.

I worked every day to be different from the way I was, seeking careers that did not suit me, wondering all the while why I was miserable.  I eventually gave up the battle, but not the war. That is, until I read Quiet and through sharing in the author’s own experience and research I was able at last to value the person that I truly am.

 Susan Cain’s explanation of the science behind the introvert/extrovert dichotomy is fascinating. Her explanation of our culture’s obsession with extroversion allows the introvert to see themselves in a very different light. I have recommended this book to more people than almost any other book, as I discover how many incredible people are closet introverts. I know everyone does not enjoy reading non-fiction as much as I do, so rather than simply write a review, I thought I’d go through Quiet here and highlight some of the salient points. Perhaps that will be enough for you. If not, I hope you’ll read the book. It’s available in paperback and on audio. Stay tuned for subsequent posts.