Book Report: Coffee Is Cheaper Than Therapy by Ann Conklin Unruh (2015)

Book coverI bought this book almost two weeks ago (already?) when we visited Old Trees during our vacation and promptly read it since it’s a collection of short, what, essays? A woman in late middle age or early later age meets friends for coffee, and she captures some of the things they talk about into these brief paragraph or so musings. They’re kind of grouped by topic, but mainly they’re just musings on life, the goings on in the world, and family by a local author.

It clocks in at 102 pages with room in the back for discussion questions (and To and From on the frontspiece) that indicates this book is not supposed to be heavy literature but rather something to perhaps trigger other discussions. But, you know, discussions between people, not “discussions” that are Serious Political Messages You Must Present Strenuously Until Your Family Agrees Just To Shut You Up. The entries are not Political, but sub-political. That is, real life, but which percolates up into the political these days, unfortunately.

And I liked the–voice? The paragraphs are a little thin to really have a narrative voice. But I agreed with a lot of it, which kind of worried me: Why am I, so very young-thinking and -acting (why, I just this week showed off a bit in martial arts class by doing a set of ten push-ups as clapping push-ups which I impressed my sainted aunt with on one of my visits to the St. Louis area in 2019), why am I agreeing with a woman of a certain age so much?

Because I guess I am getting to that certain age, albeit reluctantly. And, as this blog attests, I was a curmudgeon in my relative youth.

The author is a toastmistress, she mentions in the book, and the book came with a the top of Toastmasters Item 163 which is a ballot/evaluation form for speakers at a meeting. Given that only the top remains, I have to wonder if this book was used as part of the discussion at a Toastmasters event and then found its way to the Webster Groves Book Shop. As you know, gentle reader, I once thought about (and created) a blog called Found Bookmarks (now a category on this blog, and the sparse entries in that category indicate why it never went anywhere. This stub would not warrant a full entry in that line, but it did make me look up the local Toastmasters clubs–and there are five entries in Springfield, Missouri, in 2021. So now I am thinking about maybe sitting in and seeing what it’s all about.

So, definitely worth my time in reading on my vacation. Better than an encyclopedia of disasters, truly, but that’s a lower and lower bar to clear.

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