The book 'Astonishment' was released in February of 2009 and has already met with success and acclaim. The author, Jan Slepian, and the illustrator, Laura Schreiber, have toured retirement communities throughout NJ doing readings from the book and signing copies eagerly snatched up by the residents who so enjoyed the material. They were asked to make a recording to share with people who for one reason or another could not read the book. Noted electronic classical keyboardist Don Slepian, the author's son, recorded Jan Slepian reading her essays and set each essay to music. The result is a series of musically accompanied spoken word portraits of 'Life in the Slow Lane', ranging from happy to sad, from humorous to poignant, with sensitive musical underscore ranging from jazz to blues to New Age. From the reviews of the book version of 'Astonishment': I got this wonderful book of essays on life at the age of 88 by Jan Slepian, a noted children's book writer, for my friend in a retirement community, and loved it so much I ordered one for me and more for friends. Finally, a straight forward, witty, and downright funny take on aging, everything that comes with it, and life in a retirement community. Slepian's tongue in cheek style along with the humorous illustrations provide a poignant look at the ups and downs of aging gracefully, with something meaningful for everyone at any age. Give it to a parent, a grandparent and yourself. Give it to anyone who needs a good laugh and a smile! I just wish there were more essays! Jan Slepian's books have always been very life affirming, with a healthy dollop of humor to spice things up. And this latest work certainly did not disappoint. The book is actually a collection of 20 short vignettes Ms. Slepian wrote for her community newsletter. In the title essay, 'Astonishment,' Ms. Slepian looks back with wonder - the miracle of being able to witness so much in life, both sad and happy but all good. Other themes cover friendship, grief, optimism, and the challenges posed by trying to open a bag of pretzels. Jan Slepian is able to laugh through it all, giving both senior citizens and those of us who are approaching that stage much reason for hope. It also helps one see life through the perspective of a senior citizen. And, as always, her writing is clear and beautifully composed, accompanied by light-hearted illustrations by Laura Schreiber. I loved the book and will treasure my copy. And I will read it when I am a senior citizen and can look back on a life well lived. With astonishment.