Book Review | “Shivers and Signposts: The Journey Continues” by Len Richman

Posted Wednesday, 24 February, 2016 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

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Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a part of the blog tour for “Shivers and Signposts: the Journey Continues” hosted by iRead Book Tours. As I signed up for the blog tour, I realised the book being featured is a sequel to “Raindrops Glimpses Moments” which is why I requested to see if I could read both together rather than to enter the narrative without knowledge of the former. I received a complimentary copy of “Shivers & Signposts: The Journey Continues” direct from the publicist at iRead Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

This continues my entreaty into a duology of memoirs by a Canadian author who has found clarity and personal re-collective insight in his retirement years wherein he has devouted time to recount and digest everything that percolated inside his mind’s eye. Bookended together, these are volumes of personal living truths and the insights of a well-lived life wherein the author directly highlights and engages his readers into self-examining their own living truths as they take the sojourn with him back through his own passages of time.

Book Review | “Shivers and Signposts: The Journey Continues” by Len RichmanShivers and Signposts
Subtitle: The Journey Continues

Shivers & Signposts: The Journey Continues is Len Richman’s second exploration of a life measured out by a distinct rhythm of his own devising. Picking up where his first memoir, Raindrops Glimpses Moments: An Unconventional Memoir of an Unplanned Journey, left off, Richman shows in Shivers & Signposts that he still has much to do, and much to say.

Richman attacks life with uncommon vigour. Never motionless, he moves forwards - and sometimes backwards - suffusing each manoeuvre with unique energy…vitality and constant evolution.

Shivers at the thought of growing old, of becoming stale…occasional alienation and loneliness, Richman, is driven onwards by “a pressing need to redefine and redirect his innermost self”, a self that he continually re-evaluates through the lens of modern technology, literature, theatre and film.

These are the signposts that guide him through his fascinating quest for renewal of spirit and self…Let us hear his decisive commentary on modern social and cultural mores, his unapologetic tackling of issues from racism to materialism to present-day psychoanalysis. Let us listen to the music of Richman’s own Love Song, about the love of a life well-lived – and still well-worth living. Let us be challenged, through Richman’s examination of his own life, to ask of ourselves: How should we presume?

From the “Introduction” by Stuart Lubarsky, M.D.

Places to find the book:

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ISBN: 9781460269534

on 13th August, 2015

Pages: 184

About Len Richman

Len Richman

Len Richman has a long history with the Thomas More Institute of Montreal: student, course designer/ leader, Board of Directors member, and Chair of the Accreditation Committee.

He holds a teaching certificate from McGill University’s MacDonald College; a B.A. from the University of Montreal (Literature); an M.A. in education from Concordia University (Outdoor Education), and a post-graduate Comprehensive Certificate from TMI (Culture and Identity Studies.)

Travel, work and field background continue in parts of Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, South Pacific, and Canada’s northern communities. An educator in the areas of literature, wilderness/ outdoor pursuits, adult learning programs, international and multi-cultural studies for decades, a “redirection” of interests after 60 resulted in his becoming engaged in the performing arts: acting, directing, producing and writing. He is presently associated with Quebec Drama Federation (QDF), Black Theatre Workshop (BTW), Advisory Board of Pointe Claire Library, English Language Arts Network (ELAN), Quebec Writers’ Federation (QDF), Playwrights’ Guild of Canada (PGC), and Alliance of Canadian Cinéma Télévision & Radio Artists (ACTRA).

Born, bred and residing in and around Montreal (his favourite city next to New York, Prague, Budapest, and Dawson City, Yukon), he and his wife have three sons who have provided almost “free entertainment” with six grandsons and two “bonus” granddaughters from six to twenty-six years of age. He hopes to maintain sharing his wondering and wandering from his previous book, Raindrops Glimpses Moments: An Unconventional Memoir of an Unplanned Journey, to the present Shivers and Signposts: The Journey Continues, and beyond.

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Richman shifts back into his introspective lens to pull together the latter thoughts of where Raindrops Glimpses Moments left off by giving a summation of how his influences were directly reflective of the living history backdrop of his formative years. It’s the decades those of us bourne in the latter half of the 20th Century learnt the most about in school, as they were the most riveting of our recent age to find cause and change out of turbulence and angst. The Sixties and Seventies as a whole were a re-shaping of the modern concept of not only North America (as clearly Canada was experiencing a lot of the cultural uprisings and re-inventions as America had been) but of the world. These were the decades where music, art, culture and self-identity were challenged or re-invented. A whole generation re-directed their passions and interests whilst undertaking a personal evocative freedom that had not yet been seen. People were challenging what they were accepting as truth and were making their own minds up about what they knew and what they trusted to understand. It was an interesting block of twenty years as it carried with it incredible growth and a lot of devastating heartache.

As we enter this chapter of Richman’s life, we are re-peering through this lens of where history and the author collided together to walk towards their respective futures. As he was sorting out career life and keeping his relationship with this children and wife balanced against his obligations, so too, was he trying to assert his understanding of his time and place in the world. He was thinking about the larger proportional ideals and the undercurrent of a questioning tide of what was sparking the world to change and how people were fusing their newfound love of individual freedom against the backtide of what once was the norm.

Part of his discourse of re-examination in this volume was to turn retrospective on his own views and findings of where his personal thoughts may or  may not have alighted with his peers. He writes his memoirs as a throwback against his living hours as a methodology to engage in a bigger conversation about sitting out for a pausing of reflection where you level a pensive eye against your own living account of history.

Opening honest about his progression of accepting he was entering into a mid-life crisis and his ability to supersede it’s effects by turning inward towards going through a process of cross-examining the legacies of writers before him, Richman found solitude and solace in a pursuit of a truer meaning of what life can afford him whilst mindful of his mortality. It truly does hit a nerve about how mindfulness of our presence on earth can be a bit self-defeating if we allow ourselves to wallow in the knowledge for each year lived, there is one less year to be known at the other end. Yet, truly what Richman came to recognise as most eventually do, it’s not the number of years in your life that matter most, it’s how you use the hours your given and accept the route you choose to take whilst your living that is most important. Your path can alternate right in the middle of your life or you can boldly choose to switch it several times over, seeking what ultimately is your life’s passion and/or the joy you feel the most by what your doing. All of life is a process of self-learning and self-acknowledging what is beneficial to your own well being, thereby making the choices you undertake personally unique unto your own path.

In the same mode of disclosure for his thoughts, Richman includes a lot quotations and re-directs towards others collective thoughts towards keying into what he is conveying and expressing. This isn’t a light read nor was it’s predecessor Raindrops Glimpses Moments as it takes time to pause whilst your reading his memoirs to first process how he’s relating his own story to you, secondly to contemplate how your life may or may not relate back to the subject(s) at hand, and thirdly, to juxtaposition the whole of the context against where we are as a society and as a living current of knowledge.

Although this can be read independent of the former volume, I do recommend picking up a copy of Raindrops Glimpses Moments as there are references to what was contained inside the first volume inasmuch as this is the next layer of Richman’s internal murmurings of how he championed against the rising tide of aging with a thread of anxiety, letting himself free his own inclinations towards this by a respite of courage to continue to seek out what inspired him to accomplish (something new) each time he found himself at a crossroads. We all must be the champion of our hours and to consciously choose to remain invested in the living here and now, where curiosity is one of the propellers of engaging us directly into the present moment of our lives.

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Previously I read Raindrops Glimpses Moments on behalf of this blog tour.

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I look forward to reading your thoughts & commentary! Especially if you read the book or were thinking you might be inclined to read it. I appreciate hearing different points of view especially amongst bloggers who picked up the same story to read.

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{SOURCES: Cover art of “Shivers & Signposts: The Journey Continues”, book synopsis, author photograph of Len Richman, author biography, and iRead banner were all provided by iRead Book Tours and used with permission. Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin. Comment Box Banner made by Jorie in Canva. Post dividers and My Thoughts badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination.}

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Wednesday, 24 February, 2016 by jorielov in 21st Century, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host, Indie Author, iRead Book Tours, Journal, Memoir, Modern Day, Non-Fiction, Self-Published Author, The Writers Life, Vignettes of Real Life

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