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No! I Don't Want to Join a Book Club: Diary of a Sixtieth Year (original 2006; edition 2007)

by Virginia Ironside

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Member:Boobalack
Title:No! I Don't Want to Join a Book Club: Diary of a Sixtieth Year
Authors:Virginia Ironside
Info:Viking Adult (2007), Hardcover, 240 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:**
Tags:Aging Humor, Fiction, Funny!, Read

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No! I Don't Want to Join a Book Club: Diary of a Sixtieth Year by Virginia Ironside (2006)

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English (27)  Dutch (2)  Finnish (1)  All languages (30)
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
If you are the sort of woman who wakes up unable to get the word 'Matabileland' out of your head, this is the diary for you.

Made me laugh, and realise with gratitude there is someone else on the planet who fears, rejoices and criticises life in much the way I do - (just wish I had Virginia's light writing style. And, had me surfing the internet half-way through to check if there is a follow-on diary, as I didn't want this to end. And yes, hurrah, there is. ( )
  LARA335 | Sep 21, 2013 |
Subtitled "Diary of a Sixtieth Year," No! I Don't Want to Join a Book Club, by British author Virginia Ironside, is a humorous novel in diary format narrated by a British woman who is turning sixty. Marie Sharp is happy to be doing so, and rejoicing in all the things she no longer HAS to do. She feels no pressure to do the things others think they should do just because they now have the free time, like volunteer work, or long-distance traveling - or joining a book club. She's also thrilled about all the privileges she gets (at least in Great Britain) from being an official senior citizen.

Her amusing friends include a gay male couple and a hypochondriac girlfriend. The plot revolves around the announcement of and arrival of her first grandchild, but the illness of one of her friends is also a primary storyline.

I did not relate to much in this book. I'm still a number of years from retirement, don't have any grandchildren (other than steps who are age 8 and up) and am NOT looking forward to getting any, and I'm not British and have never been to England. (You might need a British slang dictionary to learn, for instance, that a dummy is a pacifier, although most of the slang eventually becomes clear in context.) As mentioned above, I don't think of 60 as old - maybe 80, but definitely not 60 - perhaps because it's less than four years away for me!

Nevertheless, I enjoyed this book for its humor and for its sympathetic treatment of dealing with friends through illness and loss. At 231 pages, it's a light, easy summer read.

© Amanda Pape - 2013

[I purchased this book used at a Friends of the Library book sale – the title and cover art caught my eye. It will be donated back to the Friends group. This review also appears on my blog, Bookin' It.] ( )
4 vote riofriotex | Sep 5, 2013 |
"One of the funny things about being old is that when you're four years old, you can only imagine yourself as a one-, two- or three-year-old. But when you're sixty, you've got a vast range of years to choose from. So one day I feel like a miserable three-year-old, the next like a girlish twenty-five-year-old, hop straight into feeling like a mature sixty-year-old and back, before you know it, to being a precocious twelve-year-old. The cast of selves increases and increases until eventually you've got a veritable Wagner opera of people on stage to pick from."

Marie Sharp is about to turn 60 so she decides to take one last stab at keeping a diary. Everyone in her world seems to be resisting old age but Marie is diving into it head first. To Marie sixty means freedom; no longer will she feel obligated to "improve" herself. "That's what's so great about being old. You no longer have to think about going to university, or go bungee jumping! It's a huge release ... " Lack of bungee jumping aside, Marie's life is pretty rich. Marie has Michelle, a beautiful young French girl renting out one of Marie's rooms; a brand new grandbaby; and a handful of good friends. Her best friend, Penny, is a hypochondriac of the highest order. One of the sentences in the book about her had me in tears of laughter. Quite a few times reading this I laughed, literally, out loud. This was a fun and entertaining book with a little wisdom (I especially loved the passage about grief), romance and drama thrown in for good measure.

Utterly forgettable but lots of fun. I was just happy to read something that made me laugh. ( )
  avidmom | May 6, 2013 |
Great fun for women of a certain age! Only frustrating part was knowing that people over 60 in the U.S. don't have access to free prescriptions, free public transportation, or, free home heating as they do in England. ( )
  Marzia22 | Apr 3, 2013 |
A very funny take on aging, with good humor and insight. Some of the Britishisms may take some figuring out (dummies instead of pacifiers, for example) but pretty much add to the charm. ( )
  sleahey | Oct 22, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
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I'm just behaving like any sensible person would behave. OK : on the minus side, I'm dying very soon. On the plus side, however I'm never going to get cataracts or have hip replacements. Someone sniffed a thing about deaf aids through the letterbox this morning and I chucked it away with a light laugh. I'm never going to lose mu menory r mu teeth. I will never have to master a Zimmer frame- the list is endless, Marie.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0670038180, Hardcover)

A delightful novel about letting go of youth and embracing the sassy curmudgeon within

Don’t harass her about parasailing or taking Italian language courses. Forget about suggesting she join a gym. Marie Sharp may be a little creaky in the bones as she heads toward the big 6-0, but she’s fine with it. She would rather do without all the moving-to-Florida-bicycling-across- Mongolia-for-the-hell-of-it hoopla that her friends insist upon. She’s already led an exciting life: She came of age in the 1960s, after all. Now, with both a new grandchild and a new man on the horizon, all she wants to do is make the most of what she considers the most interesting stage of her life. In this wonderfully astute novel based on the author’s own experiences, No! I Don’t Want to Join a Book Club is the funny—and often poignant—fictionalized diary of an older woman . . . a decade or two past her prime and content to leave it all behind her. So don’t tell her to take a gourmet cooking class, and whatever you do, don’t you dare tell her to join a book club. Fresh and truly unique, moving gracefully on in years has never been more hilarious than in this forthright grandma’s take on the "third phase" of life.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:38:56 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Approaching what she believes will be the most interesting period of her life, nearly sixty-year-old curmudgeon Marie Sharp eschews the trend-oriented activities of her peers in order to enjoy her relationship with a new grandchild and a new gentleman friend.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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