SELF-HELP

Eightysomethings: A Practical Guide to Letting Go, Aging Well, and Finding Unexpected Happiness

Skyhorse. Sept. 2019. 240p. ISBN 9781510743120. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781510743199. aging/personal growth
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Both of these books posit that people can thrive during late life. In Eightysomethings, social psychologist Esty interviews 120 seniors leading fulfilling lives, classifying them as deniers, complainers, worriers, stoics, and realists—demarcations that, she explains, are helpful for families wishing to build relationships with their elders. The author further provides engaging conversation starters for families at the end of each chapter. Getting Good at Getting Older, from Siegel (The Jewish Catalog) and rabbi Geller, offers a “how to” on aging, using the “best practices” from Eightysomethings to generalize aspects of aging common to all. In addition to discussing the more positive benefits of gaining gratitude, the authors address giving up one’s driver’s license and having the last word in funeral planning, while supplying a wealth of tools and resources for everything from coping with illness to leaving a legacy.
VERDICT Both titles are recommended for filling a gap in the aging literature, with Eightysomethings catering to a definite niche audience, and Getting Good for anyone over 60.
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