Friday, March 21, 2014

Book Review: Johann Christoph Arnold's Rich in Years

There aren't many books written that are non-fiction on growing old, or being old. Then again it's not like I've sought them out either, so I'm sure there are a lot more then I can bring to mind. Johann Christop Arnold writes this very short book that gives some advice on getting older and dealing with it. Regardless, of whether you're old yet or not, you will either be old one day, or die before you are old. Either way it's a reality that is there, so you don't have to be older to read this book. The main problem I had, and perhaps it's because I'm not older, but I didn't feel the book touched on anything groundbreaking. It's mainly reassurance, which works fine enough.

Summary: Arnold is now in his seventies, and with age he has had to put in practice all of what he says in this book. From accepting the fact you are older, to also making peace with your pass, he lets each chapter be a guide for those that are aging. He also includes scripture from the Bible, and comfort as well, and gives uplifting advice in living older richly.

Characters: The strongest point of this very short book is that Arnold uses real people to bring what he wants each chapter to teach to life. He also even includes photos of some of the people that he uses to share stories of their own experiences growing older. So not only do you have their stories to feel it's easy to relate to, but you also have their photos that gives you an all around way to get to know them. Not only does Arnold use real life stories, but he also uses Biblical characters to keep the story also Biblical based. I feel though that the book is so short it may lack a bit of the impact from just sharing them in a brief way without too much insight.

Writing: The writing as said doesn't elaborate enough, and at times for me felt it was rambling for even the short chapters already given to each subject. I don't know why, but I didn't feel the emotional connection to what he was saying, and I could see the appeal in what he was saying, but perhaps I'm not at an age where it resonates with me as much just yet.

Plot: Well it isn't like there is a plot considering it is non-fiction, but I think the book is at least well laid out in giving each chapter a direction, and growing toward where it is going. The book begins with sharing information about getting older to ending it with accepting it. Now one thing that bothered me is that sometimes begin reading a chapter, and then have to refer back to the chapter title to remember the topic I was reading about. I wasn't just naturally aware of it through what the chapter was writing about. He also incorporates a lot of quotes that aren't his, and it distracted me from what the chapter was trying to say in the first place.

Now I think this book can be a good resource, but I felt it could have been a lot deeper as well. I would consider keeping this book on my shelf, because as I grow older it could be a comfort. For me though I'm much more logical driven in this sense, and sometimes my reassurances need to be a lot deeper based.  I feel this book provides community and encouragement for those who are already older, but it won't bring you anything you might not know.

Rating 6.5 of 10.

This book was provided by Plough publishing through Handlebar Marketing in exchange for review.

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