Book: Changing Shoes by Tina Sloan

Sloan, Tina. Changing Shoes: Getting Older – NOT OLD – with Style, Humor and Grace. New York: Gotham Books, 2010. Print.

Hear All About It

Sloan is best known for her work as nurse Lillian Raines on the greatly lamented soap opera Guiding Light. Before I read it I was already captivated by her imaginative campaign of promoting “Book” as she fondly called it. Book had all sorts of adventures before it was officially published. She took it everywhere with her and photographed Book doing all sorts of things. She encouraged fans to take and share their own photos of Book and some even made videos featuring Book’s adventures. I’d recommend any aspiring author take a look at Sloan’s example.

@tinasloan http://www.changingshoes.com

Stories Worth Dining Out On

I didn’t really know what to expect from Changing Shoes before I read it and that’s probably a fair thing because it seems to be an unusual book. Having read it and thought about it a bit, I think the clearest picture might come from this. You know how there are sometimes scenes in novels or movies where the hero or heroine comes across the area at a party where an older woman, normally one dripping in jewels, is holding court. The woman at the center is holding the entire group in thrall with all her best well polished stories that she’s “dined out on,” as the saying goes, for years. In the movie or novel you normally just get the very ending of one of these stories followed by laughter and gasps which lead the storyteller right in to her next story, but the hero or heroine who we are following is either leading someone away from the group or rushing on to hide from someone or what have you. The audience never gets to stay to hear all of the stories. That’s what this book is the very best well polished stories of an interesting life, lived among interesting people. In between are some no nonsense assessments and challenges to do better and some frank advice on everything from our own medical welfare to the legal challenges of dealing with aging parents. This time there is no director or writer dragging us away, we can stay and read every last morsel of her very best stories.

Highlights of an Interesting Life

Although I think it might well be a help to someone experiencing taking care of elderly parents, I think it mostly challenges you to take another look at your own life, if you should change your shoes and try sometime new.  You don’t have to be a woman of a certain age to get something out of it, I think almost anyone would enjoy it. There are true tragedies (women basically being thrown out of their former lives when their husbands die), seem like it to me tragedies (favorite swimsuit no longer fits), and out and out laughs. See Sloan hand a spatula not a scalpel. See Michael O’Leary order a C-SPAN instead of a C-Section. See a paralyzed character suddenly jump to his feet because of a cigarette burn on live TV. “It’s a miracle!” In amongst this get some good advice about things like making sure your children don’t have to hunt for important papers in case of your death or incompetence, how to take care of your own parents, and how to make it easier for your kids to take care of you. Plus, a good helping just plain exciting adventures from a marathon in Paris to almost freezing to death on Mt. Kilimanjaro. I think you’ll enjoy Changing Shoes.

UPDATED February 25, 2016: I added my signature block and headings.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+,  LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

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trundlebedtales

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

3 thoughts on “Book: Changing Shoes by Tina Sloan”

  1. This sounds so interesting. I put in a request at my local library so I should be reading in a few days. Thanks for taking the time to review.

  2. I remember this post! I got the book from the library and it’s really a good read. It’s hard to describe why, but it gave me lots to think about and it’s one that I often put out for Staff Picks when I’m volnteering.

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