Looking for good books to help me age (> 65).
December 27, 2009 2:25 PM   Subscribe

Any good books on old-aging?

I'm looking for outstanding books that will help me get through the last 25 years or so of my life. I'm 65. I'm thinking more thoughtful-philosophical than health-medical. Not religious (specifically, although I don't mind some religion/spirituality mixed in). Practical, yes - although not interested in too much detail. Really don't want sentimental/feel good ("Live life to the fullest," "Count your blessings," "Accept your limitations," etc.); not that this is wrong, it's just that I already know it.

I'm particularly interested in hearing from the over-60 crowd, or from people who know of titles that real-live older people have found useful. Are there any books out there along the lines of "Things I know at 85 that I wish I had known at 65," or "Life begins at 65," or "What to do when you're 65 if you haven't already done it," or maybe even "Yeah, old age sucks, but . . . ."? Or a light-hearted look at preparing for death?

I own and enjoy very much Roger Rosenblatt's Rules for Aging.
posted by feelinggood to Human Relations (6 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
MFK Fisher's "Sister Age".
posted by Allee Katze at 2:50 PM on December 27, 2009

The book that Timothy Leary wrote at the end of his life, Design For Dying, is a really fascinating text about taking control over the way we understand and experience death. Some of it is profoundly nutty and some of it is deeply insightful, and most of it is amazingly ahead of its time -- just about what you'd expect from such a polarizing (and long-living) figure. Also, more coherent than most of his other books, which makes me want to find out who his editor was and send that person a bouquet and a bottle of scotch.
posted by hermitosis at 4:23 PM on December 27, 2009

Diana Athill's memoir Somewhere Towards the End is just magnificent. She's a retired English editor who's now in her early 90s, and her writing is full of grace.

William Cooper's very autobiographical novel, Scenes from Death and Life, is also amazing. It's hard to find, for reasons I can't quite understand, because it's astonishing.

Coming into the End Zone by Doris Grumbach, and May Sarton's journals, especially After the Stroke, Recovering, and At Seventy are worth a look.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:20 PM on December 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

Man's Search for Meaning
posted by neuron at 8:41 PM on December 27, 2009

Here is a great Time magazine article to get you started. I believe it's an excerpt from a book.
posted by chrisch at 11:20 PM on December 27, 2009

Enjoy old age by b f skinner is worth a look I think.
posted by wittgenstein at 1:40 PM on December 28, 2009

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