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On With the Butter! Spread More Living onto Everyday Life


Worth reading 😎

A bright and cheery read encouraging small, practical life changes that can spark spontaneity and joy. Aimed at readers aged 50+

On With The Butter is an upbeat, cheerful read; part-motivational self-help book and part-memoir.  Herman interlaces her advice on how to be open to new life experiences with accounts of her lively and inspiring Icelandic mother.  

The book is aimed at older generations, particularly retirees.  It arrives, however, when advice such as finding the joy of “just sitting on a porch” may speak to those of all ages experiencing ongoing lockdown in response to Covid19.  

The title is a translation of an Icelandic saying which means, “keep going on” and throughout the book there is a strong emphasis on retirement being the beginning of a new chapter rather than a gradual decline. 

There are many examples of ambitious projects such as skydiving and ice-caving that are not accessible to every ability level, though Herman also provides many tips for “escaping a sedentary lifestyle” “when you can’t leave your home”, exploring safe and productive ways of using social media to stay in touch with loved ones and making new friends.  The well-structured chapters end with a “Challenge Checklist” of achievable ways of finding opportunities for life enrichment and spontaneity.

My positive thoughts on Herman’s book are caveated by the fact that this is a North American book and almost all of the links for further investigation are for people living in the USA.  These American signposts are so frequent that it may become jarring and mildly frustrating to a non-US reader.  

This book is not setting out to revolutionise your life and I advise that it acts more as a good starting point for those looking to add vibrancy and creativity to their later years.  Herman encourages us to take small achieveable steps that culminate in a brighter, more optimistic outlook, which in turn could add up to three years to life expectancy.  She then asks, “what will you do with your 1000 extra days?”  

On With The Butter poses intriguing questions; it is up to us to answer them with enthusiasm and a new-found sense of adventure.

Reviewed by

I’m a professional librarian, writer, artist and photographer


About the author

I started my writing career with articles and professional writing but my first published works were children's books. I enjoy sharing the folklore of my Icelandic heritage, but truly love the complexity of novels, particularly women's fiction, delving into the emotional strength and achievement. view profile

Published on August 14, 2020

40000 words

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Self-Help & Self-Improvement

Reviewed by