Review: A Delightful Little Book on Aging by Stephanie Raffelock

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A DELIGHTFUL LITTLE BOOK ON AGING
by
Stephanie Raffelock

Confession time: I wasn’t sure whether I should be flattered or insulted when asked to review a book on aging, but after reading Stephanie Raffelock’s little book, I will admit that A Delightful Little Book On Aging lives precisely up to its name!

Read on to learn more about this tiny tome and enter the giveaway to for a chance to win your own copy. My copy was provided by the author via Lone Star Book Blog Tours; all opinions are my own.

A DELIGHTFUL LITTLE BOOK ON AGING
by
Stephanie Raffelock

Genre: Inspirational / Spiritual / Essays / Self-Help
Publisher: She Writes Press
Publication Date: April 28, 2020
Number of Pages: 119 pages


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All around us, older women flourish in industry, entertainment, and politics. Do they know something that we don’t, or are we all just trying to figure it out? For so many of us, our hearts and minds still feel that we are twenty-something young women who can take on the world. But in our bodies, the flexibility and strength that were once taken for granted are far from how we remember them. Every day we have to rise above the creaky joints and achy knees to earn the opportunity of moving through the world with a modicum of grace. 

Yet we do rise, because it’s a privilege to grow old, and every single day is a gift. Peter Pan’s mantra was, “Never grow up”; our collective mantra should be, “Never stop growing.” This collection of user-friendly stories, essays, and philosophies invites readers to celebrate whatever age they are with a sense of joy and purpose and with a spirit of gratitude.

Praise for A Delightful Little Book on Aging:

“Where are the elders? The wise women, the crones, the guardians of truth here to gently, lovingly, and playfully guide us towards the fulfillment of our collective destiny? It turns out that they are right here, in our midst, and Stephanie Raffelock is showcasing the reclamation of aging as a moment of becoming, no longer a dreaded withering into insignificance. A Delightful Little Book on Aging lays down new and beautiful tracks for the journey into our richest, deepest, and wildest years.” – Kelly Brogan, MD, author of the New York Times bestseller A Mind of Your Own

“A helpful, uplifting work for readers handling the challenges of growing older.” – Kirkus Reviews

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A Delightful Little Book on Aging lives entirely up to its name! It’s a delightful collection of essays in a tiny book (both in length and dimension), but it contains a massive amount of sense and insight for women on both sides of 60. (For the record, I am on THIS side of 60, thank you.)

The beauty of books like this is that you can digest it in nibbles or big bites. I devoured it in a gulp, but there were so many bits that really hit home that I know I will be returning to its now dog-eared pages time and again.

The book is broken into four sections: Grief, Reclamation, Vision, and Laughter. Why does it begin with grief? The author writes:

“Aging begins in grief. Loss and letting go become part of the landscape: youthful beauty, physical prowess, hot monkey sex, and the ability to eat whatever you want fade into memories.”

That brief introduction alone lets me know this isn’t your usual look at aging! The section on Reclamation acknowledges that as life takes away, it offers different gifts in return, and as we age we can reclaim parts of us that we pushed aside.

The lessons inside are delivered in the form of brief essays, stories that take place at all ages of her life but offer little insights. A story about attempting the monkey bars at the park (and subsequently falling on her ass) leads to a frank discussion about not slowing down but instead modifying and changing the ways we keep moving, along with practicing gratitude and mindfulness. Excellent reminders for the next time I tempted to try a cartwheel along with the teenagers, or jump on the trampoline, which I love to do (but my bladder does not.)

“Getting older presents a clear and simple choice: you can resent what life takes from you and miss what life is presenting, or you can let go of what is past and embrace the gifts from the harvest.”

For where I am in life, the section of reclamation spoke most strongly. The essay on deciding which things to let go/get rid of, and which to embrace, made me laugh out loud. An essay on saying “no” more often is one that, quite honestly, women of every age could use. One line that resounded:

The section on Vision also connected with me, particularly the essays on practicing gratitude (something I try to do, and something that has become as much of a struggle as a necessity right now) as well as one on how to shake off the “myth of insignificance”. Her list of “things she wants her nieces to know” is spot on. And her final section on Laughter both talks about and offers up a touch of its subject along with deeper insights.

Raffelock’s writing is both fluid and familiar. The book reads like a conversation you might have with her over a cup of coffee (or a bottle of wine). It’s a welcome reminder that age is just a number and that we aren’t limited to slowing down if that’s not what we want this next chapter of our life to look like.

I do have one TINY quibble about the book, however. For a book that discusses aging, and the changes that women face, the font size used was a bit smaller than I honestly was expecting. I was forced to pull out the dreaded readers, and the font size was still a bit smaller than I was comfortable with. I’m not sure how much this has to do with the fact that I probably need my reader prescription updated as well, but we had a good chuckle at the irony of it all.

That said, it was worth the effort (and the wearing of the dreaded readers) as the book offers up a lot of wisdom and ideas for reframing our thoughts on aging. I’m giving this book four-and-a-half stars.

four and a half stars
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image of Stephanie Raffelock author of A Delightful Little Book On Aging

 Stephanie Raffelock is the author of A Delightful Little Book on Aging  (She Writes Press, April 2020). A graduate of Naropa University’s program in Writing and Poetics, she has penned articles for numerous publications, including the Aspen Times, the Rogue Valley Messenger, Nexus Magazine, Omaha Lifestyles, Care2.com, and SixtyandMe.com. Stephanie is part of the positive-aging movement, which encourages viewing age as a beautiful and noble passage, the fruition of years that birth wisdom and deep gratitude for all of life.  She’s a recent transplant to Austin, Texas, where she enjoys life with her husband, Dean, and their Labrador retriever, Jeter (yes, named after the great Yankee shortstop). 

 Website   Facebook   Instagram   Amazon

A Delightful Little Book on Aging GIVEAWAY!

TWO WINNERS: Signed hardcover copy of A Delightful Little Book on Aging + a set of 50 pocket inspirations
ONE WINNER: A set of 50 pocket inspirations
JULY 7-19, 2020
(US ONLY)

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CLICK TO VISIT THE LONE STAR LITERARY LIFE TOUR PAGE

FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY, or visit the blogs directly:

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7/9/20ReviewStoreyBook Reviews
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7/11/20Author VideoAll the Ups and Downs
7/12/20Guest PostChapter Break Book Blog
7/13/20Author InterviewTexas Book Lover
7/13/20ReviewForgotten Winds
7/14/20ReviewMomma on the Rocks
7/15/20PodcastThe Clueless Gent
7/15/20ReviewKelly Well Read
7/16/20ReviewIt’s Not All Gravy
7/17/20Guest PostMissus Gonzo
7/17/20ReviewSydney Young, Stories
7/18/20ReviewBooks and Broomsticks
7/18/20ReviewReading by Moonlight
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Comments

  1. Thank you for reviewing my book, “A Delightful Little Book on Aging.” I had to chuckle when I got to “wearing the readers to see the print “part of your review. Here’s a “go figure” for ya . . . my distance vision improved with age. I no longer wear glasses to watch television or to drive. But . . . I can’t see anything right in front of my face, and therefore readers! There’s some sort of metaphor in all that, probably best left alone.

    Thanks for hosting this blog stop today. You have fun and witty writing style that is very compelling. I so appreciate being here. Thanks for the hospitality and onward . . . with or without the readers.

    Big hugs!

  2. Love this review (and was giggling at the irony you pointed out — I had to wear readers, too!). This is a book I will re-read and share with friends. Thanks for the post!

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