October 24, 2014
Inspiring stories of people who have energized their retirement, 5 stars
As someone who has had a longstanding interest in how to live long, well, and in good mental and physical health, I was intrigued by Christine Sparacino's "Energize Your Retirement: Stories of Passionate Pursuits." As I expected it would be, this is a truly inspiring book profiling people from all walks of life who have used their retirement years to stay active and pursue their passions in a way that may not have been possible during their "working" lives.
In this book we read of 29 men and women in their late 50s to their early 80s who are using their retirement (or semiretirement) years to follow pursuits such as beekeeping, bird watching, service-dog training, magic, fiction writing, volunteering in a national park, mentoring youth, motorcycling, woodturning, dancing, and playing softball, among other avocations. And they are having a blast doing it. Not only are these stories inspiring in themselves, but they can also be used as a way of motivating those who have retired or are even thinking about what they might do when they retire to discover an activity that truly engages them.
Sparacino's book skillfully weaves first-person testimonies with background information on the activities being highlighted in a way that is never boring. Once I began this book I had trouble putting it down. In addition to the book being a good read, each chapter is followed by a "Resources" section for those interested in looking into the highlighted activity in more depth.
As someone who has fairly recently "retired" from college-level teaching, I can resonate with those who have a passion to remain active. My hobbies of beer and winemaking, hiking, and writing keep me far more busy than I ever was when I was officially employed. Retirement is a far more exciting period of life when one's days are full and fulfilling.
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for writing an honest review.
Thank you Christine for your book Energize Your Retirement - I won it on the Goodreads Giveaway and it came signed by Christine Sparacino. Although retired for a while, I felt I needed a "boost" and this book allowed some great insights into what others, like (and unlike) me, are doing. Not only ideas for me - but one that I am certainly going to pass on to a close friend whose talent had been laid aside some time ago and who had lately been lamenting that she wanted to pick up on it (calligraphy) again but couldn't get started. The book gives great ideas for starting points as well as even possible costs and variations to look into.
The Habitat Restoring caught my eye - and already being a blogger/vlogger of sorts - as well as into Irish dancing - I am getting ammunition for my dormant and not so dormant interests.
Easy to follow - even to pick up in different areas of the book - and it doesn't hurt that the font is a little larger for me.
Energize Your Retirement: Stories of Passionate Pursuits lives up to its title with true tales of American retirees ages 59 through 84, each of whom found engaging and meaningful pursuits to enliven their golden years. In their own words, they tell of finding satisfaction through bird watching and conservation; writing; sculpting; counseling others on Medicare; home brewing; blogging and vlogging (video blogging); operating ham radio; playing softball; and much more. Each person's interview is presented largely in a question-and-answer format, with emphases on how they got started in their chosen activity, and any regulations, licenses, or requirements involved. A handful of black-and-white photographs, an index, and a wealth of informative resources and websites round out this inspirational font of ideas for relishing every day as a retiree!
James A. Cox
Editor-in-Chief, Midwest Book Review
In December, the ebook version of Energize Your Retirement received the Benjamin Franklin Digital Book Silver Award from the Independent Book Publishing Association.
In November, the print version of Energize Your Retirement received First Place in the 2014 North American Book Award for General Non-fiction. I received a framed certificate, which I proudly display in my home office.