Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader, volunteers reading the Bible to the elderly, and makes handmade jewelry. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and one granddaughter.
Author: Christine Sparacino
Publisher: Via Verde Press
“This book is a collection of stories that shares what some people decided to do when they retired and asked themselves, Now what? It narrates how they designed a lifestyle to include activities that bring meaning to their lives,” Christine Sparacino writes in the author’s note of her book, Energize Your Retirement: Stories of Passionate Pursuits.
At four hundred and two pages, this paperback targets those interested in options to consider when facing retirement or semi-retirement from employment. Keeping the fifty to eighty year old age bracket in mind, it offers twenty-nine suggestions to stay busy when a job no longer is the focal point in life.
With the author experiencing retirement, Sparacino realizes that as we age, we need to maintain a physically active lifestyle, have good mental health that is stimulating and challenging, and keep emotional connections through personal relationships. Her eclectic collection of interviewing retirees shows how differently the subject is approached.
After an introduction, the book is divided into five sections: animals and nature, arts and letters, civic and social participation, mechanics and technology, and physical activity and sports. With five to six examples in each, ten pages are devoted to a specific topic.
Each activity is explained, examined, and discussed in interview format of a person who has found personal pleasure doing the task, hobby, or part-time job. A black and white photograph of the interviewed is also included along with potential pitfalls, highlights, and accomplishments. Each chapter ends with a bullet-point list of fascinating facts as well as resources on the internet and in apps, videos, and reading materials.
Suggestions range from a mushroom hunter, service-dog trainer, crossword-puzzle constructor, stone sculptor, Medicare counselor, and youth mentor to a craft-beer homebrewer, woodturner, dancer, and triathlete. The end of the book contains notes, sources, acknowledgements, and an index.
With information on cost, amount of time involved, and personal experiences, soon-to-be retirees can glimpse what activity may interest them when they have gone through the emotional and mental changes of retirement.
Although the book is missing several options such as golfing, drawing, or volunteering at thrift shops such as this reviewer’s mother-in-law did up to her late eighties, it recognizes retired people can find a sense of well being later in life. Having experienced semi-retirement since turning fifty, I can attest the part-time business, tax school, jewelry and candle making, mystery shopping, reading to the elderly, and book reviewing and editing have kept boredom at bay.
Thanks to Via Verde Press and Bookpleasures for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review of the reader’s honest opinion.