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No! I Don't Want to Join a Bookclub

3.07  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,307 Ratings  ·  338 Reviews
"Certainly not!" said Marie Sharp, when a friend suggests she join a bookclub when she turns sixty. "Bookclub people always seem to have to wade through Captain Corelli's Mandolin or, groan, The God of Small Things. They feel they've forever got to poke their brain with a pointed stick to keep it working. But either you've got a lively brain or you haven't. And anyway, I d ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published 2007 by Penguin Books (first published 2006)
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Feb 07, 2008 Michele rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"Don't Touch It With A Bargepole"
According to the main character of this book, Marie Sharp, a woman turning 60 who decides to start a diary, there are only two ways to describe books: "One is: `Absolutely brilliant! You must read it!' or `Total cr@p. Don't touch it with a bargepole.' " Here in the USA we might refer to a "ten foot pole" rather than a "bargepole," but it wasn't for a lack of understanding British humor/humour or widely used British slang that made me find this effort not remotely
Book Concierge
Subtitle: Diary of a 60th Year
Well, that pretty much sums up the (non)plot of this charming little novel. Marie Sharp is turning 60 and she’s a little cranky. She’s perfectly content with her age and doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about. She doesn’t need advice on how to look and feel younger, thank you very much. One friend is determined to find a new lover, but Marie is horrified at the prospect, and (frankly) glad to have left all that hullabaloo behind her. Things change a bit for h
I decided to read this book only because of the mention of a bookclub in the title. And lemme tell you, it is NOWHERE related to a bookclub, so if you plan to read it only for the book-ish title, then don't read it.

The story is about Mrs. Sharp who decides to start a diary for her 60th birthday. The story revolves around Sharp and her other friends, that is , other oldies and how their life changes after a certain age. How a small child and bring happiness for old grandparents. Sharp shares her
Pam Brownlee
Mar 27, 2014 Pam Brownlee rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club, fiction
"No! I Don't Want to Read This Book."
I wish there was a place on Goodreads to say that, while I didn't finish the book, I stopped reading it because I just couldn't make myself read another page. In fact, I returned it to the library right away, because I just didn't want it in my house any more. I'm sure there are many people who will enjoy the book, but the temperament and outlook of the lead character ("I'm turning 60, so now I can be lazy and old and don't have to enrich my life any more") a
Aug 18, 2015 April rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Okay, so I picked this book up because of the bookish title, right? I read the blurb on the back and I thought, Hey, may as well try it, hmm? So I did. And it wasn't great. It wasn't horrible either, but it really didn't go anywhere.

Even though I'm nowhere near 60, I did enjoy how feisty Marie is, although she did kind of whinge a lot throughout the book. But I'm also taking this book somewhat as satire rather than a serious-with-some-humor-injected novel.

My favorite part? Right here, yo:

I said
Sep 29, 2014 Kate rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit
There's not much to enjoy in this book. It's not terrible for chick lit, but it's not particularly good, either. It's about a woman "in her 60th year" who decides that, rather than continuing to attempt to fully engage in life, she'll just live her life with a sort of "screw it" attitude. She'll enjoy her grandchild, but when it comes to learning a language, or doing anything else, forget it.

I am quickly hurtling toward 60, and I don't like the main character at all. I mean, by the time you hit
Carolyn Agosta
Jul 22, 2010 Carolyn Agosta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Virginia Ironside's book is a hoot and I think the lady doth protest too much about age. She claims not to want to go cheerily into that good night but at the same time, does seem obsessed in her own particular way about reaching 60. Since I'm still a few years shy of that, maybe I'll come around to having the same obsession (although, in the US, I can't look forward to social security until age 66 and maybe that will make a big difference, but since there probably won't be any funds left in Soc ...more
Sep 03, 2012 Kathy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Somehow, I got the impression that I really MUST read and enjoy this book because I’m heading towards sixty myself; that I was supposed exclaim ”Eureka! That’s me!”

Well, I didn’t. In fact, I was bored silly. To begin with, is Ironside speaking only of single women? That’s the impression I got!

I didn’t feel there was any character development. Rather, the characters are stereotypes, as if the author had “made up” these almost stick-figures to get her point across.

These stereotypes are based on a
Jeanette Michalets
This first novel, written in diary form, is laugh-out-loud hilarious. Virginia Ironside is British and the novel is set in and around London. The narrator, Marie Sharp, is witty, sarcastic and sweet, all in one. I loved the "Britishisms" as I call them, sprinkled throughout the book and I was drawn in by the salty narrator as she navigates her 60th year.

The book has some poignant moments also, dealing with death, change and growing older. All of the main characters were a riot. I was chuckling a
Dec 16, 2015 Carol rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In diary form, Marie reveals her thoughts on aging (on turning 60). She looks forward to growing her roses and relaxing, to giving up on men and sex, and to resisting all the activities generally recommended for seniors, including book clubs. She is determined to face aging in her own way.

Marie is feisty, determined, and British, at least as we Americans think of older British women. She has her memories good and bad, her friends, her married son, her cat, her garden, and a great ironic sense of
K.C. Hilton
Oct 30, 2014 K.C. Hilton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really loved the point of view from a sixty year old woman. Set in England, this woman doesn't hold back saying what she thinks. Sex, no sex,'s all good! Grandchildren are a Grandparent's reward, for not killing their own children ~ (I loved this quote!).
Nancy Brady
Marie is turning sixty and decides to chronicle her life in a diary, and she does. Sometimes her thoughts are humorous, sometimes a bit sad, and often they are snarky. Her life is constantly changing and evolving in this chick-lit novel that embraces the changes seen as women age. Loss of dear friends, additions of a grandson, and re-kindling a girlhood crush all combine to make a curmudgeon smile.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Marie Sharp is turning sixty. Turning sixty, for Marie, is a relief. She can drop all pretense; no more attempts to learn Italian, no more hikes into remote regions of the world, and no more silly bookclubs.

I like the character of Marie. She offers inspiration for us all. Why not start at fifty-one?

If you are not over 50, you may not appreciate the humor in this book. However, if you are approaching an "older" age, the book is hilarious. It is fiction but could very well be an actual diary of someone who is not afraid of approaching the age of 60.
This was the worst book my friends and I had ever read. And the title which pokes fun a book club members being full of OAP was not a good start.
Varying in age from late 30's to 50's none of us could find anything positive to say about this book. Based on the life of Marie as she approaches 60 in the form of a diary nothing of interest happens in the course of a all 247 pages. The main problem is that she is so content with life, she has absolutely no problems with reaching 60, has a great soci
Mar 15, 2012 Karissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
I've read several negative reviews of this book, and I've got to say that I do NOT agree with them! Marie/Mary is the woman I want to be when I turn 60! Of course, I won't have the same kind of past, but I did find it refreshing to hear about this woman that lived her life the way she did. She wasn't sorry about anything. And all she wanted to do was celebrate being old when everyone else talks about life beginning anew.
Yes, nothing huge and momentous happens, but this book is a Diary after all
Jul 07, 2013 Ruth rated it liked it
Marie Sharp resists the idea of joining a book group, learning a language or joining the university of the third age, in order to assert her right not to improve herself as she reaches 60. She is determined to relish the letting go of responsibilities, inhibitions, sexual relationships and the trappings of middle age, and embrace her inner elderly person. And she learns that there are joys to be had. There is the joy of her grandchild, the joy of friendships and the poignancy of being parted fro ...more
Harsha Priolkar
Mar 17, 2013 Harsha Priolkar rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013
I found this book wedged under my copy of Murder on the Orient Express when I went to read the latter for a much needed break from the rather intense and depressing books I'd just finished - The God of Small Things and Kaalam.

The summary and reviews promised a fun read, and one review likened it to a sort of Bridget Jones for seniors. So of course I had to read it! It started well enough, funny, light and even witty, especially when the author describes the neighborhood in which the story is set
Apr 30, 2008 Marianne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although librarians certainly encourage joining book clubs, author Ironside’s point is that one shouldn’t feel obliged to join in predictable “senior” activities like a book club or learning a foreign language. Instead, retired London art teacher and singleton Marie Sharp embarks on her 60th year with a sense of entitled crabbiness and gallows humor. Marie believes that she should be free to be old, rather than being a slave to the youthful activities with which oldsters often cram their retirem ...more
Mary Sharpe, having just turned 60, is defiantly approaching 'old age' with humor, crustiness, and confidence. She is thrilled to be at this stage of life with its awareness of life's ups-and-downs, grand old friends, and a certain 'come-what-may' attitude. She swears off entering into any new relationships by stripping her bedroom of any reminders of her old life and buying a nice single bed...where, she says, there is no room for any man. When Gene, her 1st grandbaby, enters her life, she is s ...more
Nov 03, 2010 Sharron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I doubt that I would have enjoyed this very funny book as much as I did but for the fact that Sian Phillips did such a wonderful job of narrating it. Her voice is perfect and her reading is very entertaining. That said, I do think that the humor of this story will be lost on any woman who has not yet reached "a certain age" and, similarly, I think it will also be lost on anyone who is insecure about growing old. I found it refreshing to encounter a character who doesn't feel the need to endlessl ...more
Apr 21, 2016 Sharon rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-reads
This is one of those books you hope won't finish - that you'll keep turning the pages and find more still being added on as you read, lol. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Op-shop buy for $2 :)
Jun 12, 2015 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I expected this book to be a fluffy chick lit novel, but was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the writing and the depth of wit in it. The book is comprised of the diary of Marie Sharp, a divorced British woman about to turn 60 years old, as she and her friends deal with the events inherent in being middle aged.
Mark Holencik
Jul 26, 2015 Mark Holencik rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I read reviews after I finish the book. I do not want them to infulence me in any way. Looks like I am the only guy that read this book.

I buy my audio books in lots. Some of the ones I get I never read. This would have been one of them, but I took a chance. I usually do not read novels. So I have a pile of audio books that are just sit there.

At first I was thinking why am I wasting my time on this book. My favorite type of people are the ones that walk out of step with the mainstream of society
Jun 27, 2016 DéborahL rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book. I've read a lot of diary-style lately and it's grown on me, I suppose.
Marie is... a bit odd, from my point of view. I'm way too young to actually relate to her, but my parents are her age (a little bit older in fact), and I kept thinking all through the book how much the same generation growing in different places can differ.
It's an interesting read, and I think the reason so many people disliked it is because they expected Marie to be the average 60 y.o., while she is her own
Aug 31, 2014 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I noticed that people either loved or hated this book. What I suspect is that the either loved or hated the protagonist, Marie Sharp. Personally, I liked her, so I liked the book. I thought she was funny and honest and perceptive. I love her take on old age. But I found it hard to believe that 60 is quite as elderly as she describes it. I also found that the diary format fell flat from time to time. Why would you explain who someone you were related to were in your personal diary -- though of co ...more
Novel Destination
Great British humor is interspersed throughout this book. Author Virginia Ironside's main character, Marie, lives in the London area and she is turning 60. Marie is annoyed that so many people keep wanting her to try new things. She feels turning 60 gives her a free pass from any future new experiences. Her friends and family are interesting characters who are loyal and working through their own issues (as Marie reports in her diary entries). They eventually help Marie see her life is just begi ...more
Mar 10, 2016 Tammy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun, irreverent. I enjoyed being with the main character, Marie Sharp, whose story is told through her diary entries during the year she turns 60. She has some big changes in her life during this year, including becoming a grandmother for the first time. I was drawn to this book because I am a long-time book club member, and I am not far from 60. I could relate to this character in many ways, but she also had many experiences and attitudes that I found interesting because they are so different f ...more
Apr 03, 2014 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The title of this book nearly put me off, since I enjoy book clubs myself. I read this book because (in my early 50s now), I wanted to know what might be coming up ahead. I found this a humorous read and enjoyed it. I do think one probably has to be in the right mood to enjoy this book, and certainly don't go into this expecting to find some huge life lessons. It did make me think, though, about how I would like to approach advancing age.
I would not recommend this book for a book club discussio
Apr 03, 2014 Phillipa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit
Okay, this was a fairly "sweet" read but I think I'm a few years prior to being able to relate to a woman who's just turned 60. Although I can totally relate to the looking forward to being a grandmother thing ... I am really looking forward to that :) Although I admit that I have yet to bag the man and give birth to their potential parents, the thought of my future grandchildren still fills me with anticipation. Meh, I wouldn't really recommend it, but if you've got nothing else but this lying ...more
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