Monday, August 24, 2009

I'm feeling severely unmotivated about reading and blogging today. I haven't had a day like this in quite awhile, so I suppose it was only natural for it to happen again soon. About every 4-6 weeks I have a day where I'm just sick of the whole book-a-day thing - which I actually consider a really good number. At the beginning of the year I expected days like this to come at least once a week. I'm looking forward to next year when I'll be able to take one day of here and there to recharge and come back to reading with fresh eyes. Since that wasn't an option today, I had to go with the next best thing, pick a book that sounds fun and hope that will be enough to get me through the day.

Today's book, "When author Andrew D. Blechman's next-door neighbors suddenly pick up and move from a quaint New England town to a gated retirement community in Florida, he is bewildered by their decision. Their stories about "Florida's Friendliest Hometown," could hardly be believed. Larger than Manhattan, with a golf course for every day of the month, two downtowns, newspaper, radio and TV stations, The Villages is a city of nearly one hundred thousands (and growing) missing only one thing: children. More than twelve million Americans will soon live in such age-segregated communities, under restrictive covenants, and with limited local government. To get to the bottom of the trend, Blechman delves into life in the senior utopia and offers an entertaining first-hand report of all its peculiarities."

Shallow thoughts:

  • Today's book turned out to be the perfect book to read today. Not only was it fun and interesting, it was also a quick read which was a definite bonus on a day filled with a huge, boring to-do list. I really enjoyed the writing style of the book, which made me want to read anything else the author may have written. But, unfortunately the only other book he has written is about pigeons, and I have absolutely no interest in that subject. I do, however, have questions - such as, what would posses a person to want to write an entire book about pigeons. I'm tempted to e-mail the author and find out, but there's really no way to ask someone that question without it coming out sounding judgmental (which is basically is, so I should probably just own it and stop acting like I'm Little Mary Sunshine.)

  • The downside to today's book is that it severely tested my resolve to not mention TV on the blog (oops, I guess I just lost the game.) Well first there's the obvious parallel - how can I possibly read a book about senior citizens and not think about Golden Girls? It's just not possible. But I tried anyway - I tried to stand firm in my resolve - and then the author mentioned Leave it to Beaver. CRAAAAAAAP How on earth am I supposed to avoid talking, and thinking, about TV when I'm thinking of Golden Girls and the author is talking fancy to me about Leave it to Beaver. I'm afraid I'm just not that strong. So I caved and spent the day thinking about all of the episode of Golden Girls that mentioned Shady Pines, followed by several twenty minute sessions of wondering how June achieved such an odd hair shape (it's truly baffling.)

  • The author spends a great deal of time throughout the book being horrified by what he considers a fake, overly sanitized community. Excuse me Mr. Author, but what could you possibly have against fake and overly sanitized? Some of my favorite things in life are fake and overly sanitized, Brady Bunch; those ketchup commercials they used to play in the late 80s; Disney World, which the author attempts to make some comparisons to. I've often heard people argue against those things (well not the ketchup commercial, because I seem to be the only one who remembers that) by claiming that they are too fake/too happy/too sanitized/too unrealistic, completely ignoring that it's the fakeness (I'm fully aware that's not a word, but it's my blog, so I'm using it anyway) that makes it fun. Good grief, there are enough things in the world that are hideous, boring, unpleasant, and bleak - can't I just enjoy a few places in life that are clean, fake and happy. But, despite the author spending a lot of time in the book railing against my preferred fake lifestyle, I still really enjoyed the book, and I definitely recommend it.