Tuesday, December 22, 2015
Keep Moving by Dick Van Dyke
Keep Moving: And Other Tips and Truths About Aging
by Dick Van Dyke and Todd Gold
264 pages/5 hours, 20 minutes
A legend of TV and film, Dick Van Dyke celebrated his 90th birthday recently. With his new book Keep Moving he’s become the poster boy for living a happy fruitful life regardless of age. On the surface this book looks like a self-help book on aging and this might deter younger readers. However the book is part-memoir part-guide to living a good life. We learn just as much about Dick Van Dyke’s life as we do about improving our own.
The chapters break up the content into themes. In one Van Dyke looks over the major events in the 90 years and grades them like a report card. In another he details how he met and courted his current wife Arlene. There is even a chapter dedicated to his friendship with Carl Reiner and includes an extensive conversation they had about working together and what it means to be living at such an advanced age. Van Dyke loves Reiner’s joke about waking up every morning, checking the obituaries and if he’s not in them he has breakfast. They have a serious conversation about death. What it is to lose a spouse and how we should think about impending death.
Van Dyke shares stories about his famous brother Jerry Van Dyke, his previous wife Margie, his partner Michelle and his current wife Arlene, experiences he’s had during his career and how much he has enjoyed this late stage in life. His recommendations for enjoying old age include dancing, exercising, eating what you want in moderation (Van Dyke eats two big scoops of ice cream with Hershey’s syrup every night), enjoying your hobbies, continually improving yourself and not sweating the small stuff.
While this book is written with the help of another author you never get the sense that the narration belongs to anyone other than Dick Van Dyke himself. Dyke has a refreshing outlook on life and a lively spirit and it rubs off on you. It can't be helped. The text can get repetitive with points revisited a few times throughout the book. There isn’t much structure but the themed chapters make the book read more like a collection of essays than a continuous narrative.
I listened to this book on audio, read by Dick Van Dyke which was a special treat. He's quite the charmer. I love audio books and there is something magical about hearing a famous person tell you their story. Van
I purchased this book on Audible. There are quite a few celebrity memoirs there and I encourage you to give them a chance. Keep Moving is 5-1/2 hours long and I enjoyed listening to it on my commute to work.
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