I’m Old, So Why Aren’t I Wise?

Snarky Senior in the Sunshine State

(Fredonia Communications, 2018)

If, like Erica Manfred, you’ve sworn not to repeat your parents’ version of “the golden years” as you age, you should read this insightful and witty book. Manfred’s irreverent essays show that you can be a rebel no matter how old you are — even if you do live in a Florida retirement community.

I’m Old, So Why Aren’t I Wise? is the mostly true story of how a hip native New Yorker gets stuck in artsy Woodstock, a place she should have loved but actually hates, and in her 70s reinvents her life in a place she should have hated but winds up loving — the cultural and architectural wasteland of South Florida. Manfred proves that it’s possible to flourish in Florida without playing canasta or bridge or mahjong, or even Scrabble. A veteran essayist and journalist who’s contributed to The New York Times, Village Voice, Salon and Cosmopolitan among others, Manfred is now happily ensconced deep in the enemy territory of her parents’ old retirement community, Century Village. Part memoir, part cultural observation, I’m Old, So Why Aren’t I Wise? will make you rethink aging in the Sunshine State.


Demon of Brownsville Road

(Berkeley, 2014)

The most most terrifying, well-documented, and absolutely true story of paranormal activity and demonic infestation ever written.

Army intelligence officer and prominent politician, Bob Cranmer, tells the story of his family—including himself, his wife Lesa, their four children, and even the family dog, Sandy—who find themselves doing battle against demons after moving into their Victorian dream home nestled in the quiet community of Brentwood, Pennsylvania, in 1988. With the help of Catholic priests, the Cranmers eventually weaken and then banish the demon. In the process, they uncover horrible crimes that loosed the demonic energy that lay in wait for a vulnerable family.


Interview with a Jewish Vampire

(Fredonia Communications, 2011)

The last thing zaftig, middle-aged journalist, Rhoda Ginsburg expected when she signed up for JDate was to fall in love with a vampire.

But when she meets Sheldon, a drop-dead gorgeous Hasidic vampire, she falls, and hard. She rationalizes that he may not be alive, but at least he’s Jewish. At the same time Rhoda discovers that her beloved mother, Fanny, who lives in Century Village in Florida, is terminally ill. Desperate to save Fanny’s life, Rhoda talks Sheldon into changing her and her little old Jewish lady friends into vampires who then “go rogue” and prey on the young.

Interview With a Jewish Vampire turns vampire lore on its head, proving that not all vampires are young and beautiful and it IS possible to be undead and kosher.


He’s History; You’re Not

(Globe Pequot Press, 2009)

He’s History was inspired by my own experience of being dumped in my 50s for a younger woman after 18 years of marriage.

I was lucky enough to have a recently divorced girlfriend to scrape me off the floor, drag me out to get my hair colored, and teach me the basics of Divorce 101. Now I have become the savvy girlfriend who survived the divorce from hell and has become an expert on what older women need to know about divorce.

In this book I share what I’ve learned plus information gleaned from interviews with many top experts in the field.


The Doctor’s Guide to Weight Loss Surgery

(Random House, 2003)

Whether you’re already planning to have weight-loss surgery or are still trying to decide, here is what you need to know about the operation that could save your life.

Expert bariatric surgeon Flancbaum (St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hosp., New York, and Columbia Univ.) has written an excellent and reassuring guide for those considering the surgery. He clearly outlines the surgical options, explaining each type along with its risks and possible complications, as well as expected outcomes. He also explains what to expect before, during, and after surgery, discussing selection of a surgeon, insurance coverage, the surgery itself, pain control, diet, and (rarely) reoperation. Resources and recipes are appended.