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Zizi is an ailing but feisty 83-year-old Italian matriarch, widowed and living alone in Yonkers, N.Y. Honeyboy is her nickname for her nephew, author Celente, a divorced analyst who directs the Trends Research Institute. Here, Celente shares about 20 conversations that the two had in 1999 over home-cooked meals and Scrabble games at Zizi's kitchen table. (Recipes for Zizi's breaded chicken cutlets and anise cookies are included.) In the spirit of Mitch Albom's Tuesdays with Morrie, this is a book in which a wise, spiritual older person offers heartfelt advice to an overworked baby boomer. However, while Albom freely shared his emotions, Celente generally responds with facts and figures. For example, when Celente complains about Zizi's lifelong cigarette habit, she jokingly asks if marijuana would be preferable. Celente curtly says that he used to smoke pot but doesn't anymore. Before Zizi can respond in what could have been a lively debate, Celente compares and contrasts the effects of smoking marijuana vs. tobacco, launching into a long, statistic-laden monologue. The book also contains a fair amount of politically incorrect observations made, ironically, by Celente and not Zizi (e.g., when Celente speaks of some of his acquaintances who won't hire a black acupuncturist, he says, "these guys aren't racists, that's just the way it is.") Not surprisingly, the book is at its strongest when Zizi talks and Celente listens. Her recollection of a near-death experience involving the entertainer Danny Thomas is both poignant and hilarious. This is a sweet if at times frustrating inspirational tome. B&w photos.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Celente, a top trends analyst featured in newspapers and on TV, was going through a painful divorce. Zizi, his 80-year-old aunt, had just lost her husband. They had already been close, but now they were spending much more time together and forming a special bond. Zizi's endearing, homespun wisdom has been all but lost. Working through painful phlebitis in her legs, she continues to serve up huge Italian meals for Gerald and impart her thoughts on the sorry state of affairs of fractured families, the displaced and abandoned elderly, and the corrupt government that says it cares but does little. "Look at all these pills they want me to take," she says. "What are they, crazy? If I took every one of them I'd either be a drug addict or I'd be dead." As she looks back on missed opportunities, she tells Gerald, "Don't save all your money for a rainy day, because you may end up spending it all on rain. Spend some on sunshine. Enjoy your life." Zizi's wisdom is good medicine for Gerald and can help anyone through tough times. David Siegfried
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I really liked this book and reminded me a lot of my younger years. I am glad I grew up in a nicer world than today. "good stock"Published 8 months ago by mary m.
The author of this book is the founder of the 'Trends Institute’ which is currently run out of several beautiful and historic properties in downtown Kingston, NY. Read morePublished 9 months ago by HappyDaze11
I really admire Gerald and this book is a great example of the brick and mortar our countries foundation was built from. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Flubadub
I LIKE MR. CELENTE BUT NOT HIS SENTIMENTAL SIDE - AS TOUGH AS THIS LITTLE MAN IS, I WAS CONFUSED BY HIS CLOSENESS WITH HIS MOTHER TO THE POINT OF WRITING THIS BOOK. Read morePublished 18 months ago by solarspins
Enjoyable reading.about his delightful aunt. Many great insights and commentary on what has happened to this country in this century.Published 18 months ago by Amazon Customer
I could not put this book down! It is warm and sensitive, written by a man who appreciates his roots and the wisdom of his elders. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Mary T. Lennox
Awesome especially for those of Italian heritage. It brought back fond memories of growing up with a loving Italian family.Published 20 months ago by catherine haggerty