Thursday, April 30, 2015

Middle-Aged Crazy - Book Beginnings on Friday and The Friday 56


Middle-Aged Crazy: Short Stories of Midlife and Beyond (The Complete Collection) is just what the title says, plus it's a lot of fun. In this collection of eighteen short stories and essays, author Lynne M. Spreen introduces a variety of characters--from Rita (driving a semi across the Donner Summit in a fierce storm) to Carolyn (advice columnist who writes "Carolyn's Corner" for the Bee). I enjoyed meeting every one of them. The book ends with several thoughtful essays, including "Could You Live in a Ditch?" and "Do You Lack Purpose?" Lynne Spreen, I like your attitude!

I highly recommend this book, not only for midlife readers but also for adult readers of any age. 
FYI: Ms. Spreen is also the author of Dakota Blues.

Book Beginning (from "The Kirby Girls"):
This girl came up my son's driveway just as I was stepping outside to take my baby granddaughter for a walk. The Santa Anas were coming up already, and the wind blew the girl's shoulder-length hair every which way, hiding her face. She was holding a clipboard and I figured she was one of those Jehovah's Witnesses, here to save my soul, but then I changed my mind when I saw she was wearing real short shorts the color of old mustard, and black tights. I bent down to the baby in the stroller, fastening the straps so she couldn't fall out, and I thought maybe she shouldn't be seeing this girl.

The Friday 56 (from "Phoenix"):
(I found this terrific description at 54% on my Kindle)
      The address on the cement saguaro confirmed she was in the right place, but Stacey stood on the front porch knocking for a good five minutes without any response. Now her knuckles were copper-tinged, and every time she knocked on the rusty security screen, she had to angle her body to avoid the Palo Verde tree. Its lacy branches buzzed with bees, to which Stacey was allergic.

Genre: Coming of Age / Contemporary Women
Amazon link: Middle-Aged Crazy
Length: 129 pages
Author Website/Blog: Any Shiny Thing - Aging Well

                 

Anyone can participate in Book Beginnings on Friday and The Friday 56.
Click HERE to connect to other Book Beginnings posts (sponsored by Rose City Reads) 
Click HERE to join other Friday 56 bloggers (sponsored by Freda's Voice)


42 comments:

  1. This does sound like it could be a lot of fun. Hope you enjoy it!

    Check out my 56 with Book Beginnings.

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  2. I have a hard time making myself read Short Stories. I'm glad you are enjoying this collection.
    My Friday Quotes

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    1. In my case, it depends on my mood. Sometimes I like to read something short and then think about it before beginning another story. These stories were so entertaining that each one was a delight.

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  3. I love short stories. Mostly because I myself enjoy writing them more than long, lengthy books. I am truly intrigued by this though I'm not quiet middle age yet. Definitely going to check it out on Amazon!

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    1. I like to write short stories too. I'm sure you'll enjoy the stories in Lynne's book.

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  4. Both of those excerpts sounds like they're from really fun and interesting stories. I don't know whether I'm confident enough to read an essay about my purpose, but I'm pretty confident I could live in a ditch if the circumstances asked for it! Thanks for sharing :) I hope you have a great weekend!
    My Friday post
    Juli @ Universe in Words

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    1. If my survival depending upon it, I could live in a ditch too. But I'd miss my books.

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  5. Nice excerpts, the beginning gave a great depiction of the "girl coming up the driveway".

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    1. All the stories are filled with beautifully written detail -- about the characters and the settings.

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  6. I love the beginning of this book.

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  7. I love the descriptions...and the idea of a book "chock full" of middle-age craziness...LOL. Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

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  8. What a interesting concept for a book of short stories.

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  9. Sandy, thanks so much for featuring my book. Here's a secret I've never told anybody, but I'll share it with your readers: both the grandmother in the first excerpt and Stacey in the second are based on me, and my actual experiences. Stacey's story was more fictionalized (the lazy husband is not Bill!) but the story in Kirby Girls really happened. Thanks again!

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    1. You're welcome! Thanks for stopping by today and sharing your secret. I enjoyed each and every story in this book.

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  10. I love the title. :)

    Sounds fun and interesting.

    Thanks for sharing. ENJOY!!

    Elizabeth
    Silver's Reviews
    My Book Beginnings

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  11. I love the premise, and the titles of those essays! I also have trouble sticking to short story collections- right now I am trying to pepper up my usual novels with a short story or two in-between, or when the action gets slow.

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  12. I really like the opening to The Kirby Girls! It screams a lot of questions, it makes you want to read it to find out what's going on!
    Amy x

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    1. Each of the stories in this collection is different with different characters and settings. I paused between each one to stop and "digest" it, then continued on to the next delightful story.

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  13. Sounds like a lot of fun to read. Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier! :)

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  14. I haven't heard of this author, but it looks like a great collection. Have good weekend!

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  15. Great beginning! This sounds like an interesting collection. The author is new to me but definitely sounds like I should give her a try!

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    1. You'll enjoy her novel, DAKOTA BLUES, too.

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  16. This sounds like a wonderful book!

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  17. Great pick I am not really into reading short stories but this book peeked my intrest just a bit! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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    1. Sometimes I like to delve into a big heavy book. Other times, I'm in the mood for something shorter.

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  18. It has been a very long time since I've read anything other than children's or YA but I would read this. Thanks for the heads up and for visiting my post. Happy weekend!

    brenda

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  19. This sounds like great fun! Great pick!

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  20. I love short stories and collections and read a bunch of them. With the characters being in my age group, these would be such great ones to read while out by the pool.
    Thanks for stopping by my post and have a lovely weekend:)

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    1. Sounds like a great place to read. I'm sure you'll enjoy Middle-Aged Crazy as much as I did.

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  21. Wow! The descriptive writing is excellent and I love the beginning. Our granddaughter is visiting with us and we're loving every minute together! Great excerpts, Sandra!

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    1. Enjoy your granddaughter. I'll be spending today with mine, too.

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  22. Sounds like some fun short stories!
    Happy weekend!

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  23. This sounds quite interesting. Not something I usually read mind you.
    Thanks for visiting.
    Lauren @ myexpandingbookshelf.blogspot.co.uk

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  24. They both seem like interesting reads! Have a great weekend. :)

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  25. "The Kirby Girls" sounds interesting to me. At 75, I'm well beyond midlife. As I tell people, though, I'm every age I've ever been. I can still remember midlife, which sometimes makes me very happy to be retired.

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  26. Bee allergy, not good. Interesting that in the first snippet, the narrator was worried about the baby seeing the girl. I doubt that would have occurred to me; it makes me wonder about the speaker and want to know more.

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  27. Hi Sandra,

    Wow! ... Spot the middle aged women in these stories :)

    Whilst I have read a few short story collections, this is not one of my usual genres. However I am totally intrigued by the idea behind this collection.

    I shall be spending some more time checking out the 'inside' of this book on Amazon, but I am already pretty certain I shall be adding this one to my own list.

    I am, in my opinion, 'middle-aged', however I shall be intrigued to discover just what the average age of these middle-aged women are, as perceived by the author!

    Thanks for sharing those great excerpts :)

    Yvonne.

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  28. Sounds like a good book Sandra. I hope you're enjoying it.

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