Reviews for No! I Don't Want to Join a Book Club : Diary of a Sixtieth Year

Booklist Reviews 2007 January #1
Marie Sharp is about to turn 60, and unlike many of her peers, she has no interest in taking up paragliding or living for three months with a Masai tribe in Africa. She's intent on accepting this new phase of her life, which brings with it the freedom to do old things, such as getting a pension and free prescriptions and, as her neighbor helpfully points out, "tekkin' it eezee, man." Marie, in fact, has such an easygoing attitude toward aging that her friends are constantly inviting her out to dinner and on vacation. She's also excited about becoming a grandmother and babysitting for her grandchild, who has "the air of a very clean goblin" given to "laughing rather inappropriately." And though Marie has declared herself done with romantic entanglements, there's a very kind old friend, recently widowed, who has a crush on her. For Marie, old age is looking pretty wonderful. Ironside is pretty wonderful herself, offering a witty and, at times, poignant depiction of the challenges and freedoms that come with getting older. ((Reviewed January 1 & 15, 2007)) Copyright 2007 Booklist Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2007 January #1
A divorced woman, turning 60, decides there are actually advantages to getting old.In this debut from Ironside, Marie Sharp, advice columnist for The Independent and retired art teacher, makes a remarkable discovery: She likes being old. Free rides on public transit! Free eye exams! Most of all, she likes being alone. Well, alone as in not having a relationship with a man, that is. In fact, she's given them up. Hasn't the time for them, really. She has great friends she's known for more than 40 years, and besides, she has just learned she's about to achieve that greatest moniker of all: Grannie. When baby Gene is born, Marie thinks her world is complete, but the human condition doesn't seem primed for stasis, and suddenly Marie finds herself waking in the middle of the night with weird dreams and fears for Gene's safety: His socks are too tight. Never mind that grass can sprout through tarmac! His feet might be damaged. And her dear friend Hughie, a gay man so physically attractive that even now, after decades of loving friendship, Marie finds herself momentarily wondering if he and she could ever. . . . But she catches herself. She's given up sex. Resolutely. And anyway, the results from Hughie's MRI are in--and the news is bad. Hughie is resigned to the fact that he has just months to live, but James, his partner, is bereft. Meanwhile, Marie's childhood friend Penny has begun a new round of Internet dating--now with a 30-year-old. Through it all, Marie pours out her heart into her journal, but one name keeps popping up: Archie. She had a crush on him in high school, and now he is a widower. Better late than never. A smart, funny coming-of-old-age novel. Copyright Kirkus 2006 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2006 December #2

In her first American release, London journalist Ironside slices through the hullabaloo about reclaiming youth. On the cusp of 60, Marie begins keeping a diary, and the approximately 18 months' worth of entries that make up the narrative offer blunt appraisals of the state of the world, matters of health and family, and the good and bad aspects of the Internet age (cut and paste is good; booking travel online is bad). The major development is the thrilling news Marie's going to be a grandmother, and plenty of smaller crises, squabbles, life events and drama are contributed by her posse of goofball pals. Widower Archie, whom Marie had a crush on when she was a teenager, is still around, and Marie's friend Penny is on the brink of a fling with a man 30 years her junior. After grandson Gene is born, Marie, of course, fawns over him, though that happiness is mitigated by a friend's illness. Both humorous and poignant, this will appeal to its target boomer demographic and should pull in a few younger readers as well. (Apr.)

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