Happy New Year to those who are online today. (I'm not. I pre-scheduled this post.) Here's a cheerful book for quick, cheap, and easy celebrations...
Book Review: Endangered Pleasures
Author: Barbara Holland
Publisher: Little Brown / Harper Collins
ISBN: none (click on the image to find it on Amazon)
Length: 182 pages
Illustrations: black-and-white decorative graphics
Quote: “Our only permissible enjoyments now are public, official, and commercially regulated, as in Disney World, casinos, shopping, television, organized sport, and rock concerts...To make sure we aren’t having any casual, private fun, the contemporary wisdom has withdrawn a lot of our older pleasures...Changing out of wet shoes and socks, for instance. Bathrobes. Yawning and stretching. Real tomatoes.”
Yes, this is a whole book recalling our attention to the “casual, private fun” of everyday, free and cheap things. Chapter titles include “Waking Up,” “Breakfast,” “The Morning Paper,” “Working,” “Not Working,” and if they include a few things that are not so much pleasurable as merely rebellious, like “Cigarettes,” “Driving Beltless,” and “Bad Words,” I’m inclined to forgive Holland’s low tastes because her celebrations of “Water” and “Talking” are so delightful to read.
Carolyn See recommended buying this book as a gift: “Perfect for bread-and-butter presents, bed-and-breakfast ornamentation, or....those theme baskets that are always fun to make up as wedding or birthday” presents. Endangered Pleasures will do very well for those purposes, but read it yourself first. In any circumstances most of us are likely to get into, Endangered Pleasures will, without a single hint of Positive Thinking or denial of unpleasant facts, remind us of something we can do, right now, that is fun. This makes it a valuable reference book that might end up saving you huge amounts of money.
So celebrate a good yawn, a leisurely breakfast with family, a vine-ripened tomato (despite the mention of bacon and martinis in the subtitle, most of the Endangered Pleasures are healthy) and laugh at the trends that have pushed these everyday pleasures into obscurity.
Sadly, Barbara Holland no longer has any use for a dollar, so this is not A Fair Trade Book. To buy it here, send $5 per copy + $5 per package to either address in the lower left-hand corner of the screen. Add as many other books, by Holland or by other authors, as will fit into one package and pay only the one $5 shipping fee. If you choose a vintage book whose author is still living, I'll send 10% of the total price (including the $5 shipping fee) to the author or a charity of his or her choice.