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Ocean Pines resident releases audio version of self published book

Ocean Pines resident Margit Novack’s self-published book, “Squint: Re-visioning the Second Half of Life,” is now available as an audiobook.


The cover of Ocean Pines resident Margit Novak’s book “Squint,” is pictured.
Submitted photo

By Tara Fischer, Staff Writer 

Ocean Pines resident Margit Novack’s self-published book, Squint: Re-visioning the Second Half of Life, paints themes of caregiving, forgiveness, estrangement, and downsizing through personal and memorable stories, is now available as an audiobook. 

Novack is a pioneer in the senior move management industry who spent 25 years helping older adults relocate to retirement communities and downsized properties. She also started her own company, Moving Solutions, in 1996. 

According to Novack, she is the founding president of the National Association of Senior and Specialty Move Managers, chaired the NASMM Ethics Commission, and developed industry training. Her website adds that NASMM created the Margit Novack Award for Excellence in Senior Move Management for her commitment and service to the industry. 

The author grew up in Philadelphia before moving to Worcester County. She attended the Philadelphia High School for Girls and obtained graduate and undergraduate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. 

In 2020, the current Ocean Pines resident transitioned from her professional work to the author and speaker space. 

Squint, which Novack began writing during the COVID-19 pandemic and finished in roughly a year, explores how people find meaning after retirement through a plethora of personal and recounted stories. 

“The book is for people wondering, ‘How do I find purpose and interest?’” the author said. “’ How do I go about the second half of life?’” 

Novack’s profound storytelling secured Squint as a finalist for the American Legacy Book Awards. 

One story from the self-published work recounts two sisters sorting through their parents’ belongings after their passing. Novack explained that the women both wanted a ring and a silver vase. The siblings compromised by each taking an item, and every January 1, they would meet up and switch. Whoever had the container would return it with white roses, their mother’s favorite flower. 

The author highlighted the narrative to showcase the importance of preserving bonds as humans age. “What an incredible legacy you have left your children,” Novack said of the anecdote. “You have shown them that relationship is more important than ownership.”

The artist’s trick of squinting inspired the book’s title and how this connects to the idea of shifting perspectives. 

“Squinting is an artist ploy where they sometimes change the shape of their eye and look at a work of art because it puts things out of focus but allows you to see other aspects more closely,” Novack said. “A group squint is when artists take multiple pieces and squint to see common themes and techniques. In my book, I took these stories, focused on specific things, and could see the themes with a clearer vision because of my perspective as an older adult…Some gifts come with aging, like our ability to let things go and look at behavior and see it differently.” 

The author speaks to senior living communities and highlights her favorite stories from the book. Often, she chooses narratives that, while different, share a common thread of downsizing and belongings. 

Novack said the stories are memorable and short and are repeated by those who attend. “That’s what happens when people hear a story.” 

A physical copy of Squint can be purchased on Amazon, at the Greyhound Bookstore in Berlin, one of Novack’s earliest supporters, or Browseabout Books in Rehoboth, Delaware. The audiobook is available on Amazon and Audible and is narrated by Cecily Laidman, a retirement community marketing director. 

This story appears in the June 6, 2024, print edition of the Bayside Gazette.