Happiness Is A Choice You Make

Happiness Is A Choice You Make

Lessons From A Year Among the Oldest Old

Book - 2018
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A New York Times Best Seller!

An extraordinary look at what it means to grow old and a heartening guide to well-being, Happiness Is a Choice You Make weaves together the stories and wisdom of six New Yorkers who number among the "oldest old"-- those eighty-five and up.

In 2015, when the award-winning journalist John Leland set out on behalf of The New York Times to meet members of America's fastest-growing age group, he anticipated learning of challenges, of loneliness, and of the deterioration of body, mind, and quality of life. But the elders he met took him in an entirely different direction. Despite disparate backgrounds and circumstances, they each lived with a surprising lightness and contentment. The reality Leland encountered upended contemporary notions of aging, revealing the late stages of life as unexpectedly rich and the elderly as incomparably wise.

Happiness Is a Choice You Make is an enduring collection of lessons that emphasizes, above all, the extraordinary influence we wield over the quality of our lives. With humility, heart, and wit, Leland has crafted a sophisticated and necessary reflection on how to "live better"--informed by those who have mastered the art.

Publisher: New York : Sarah Crichton Books, 2018.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780374168186
Branch Call Number: 305.26097471 LEL
Characteristics: 242 pages : illustrations


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IndyPL_EllenF Oct 24, 2018

When I was only a few pages in, I told myself that John Leland gets it. He gets what it means to be the child of someone in their nineties, and he does something that few people do when talking to people of any age--he listens. With ads telling us that "70 is the new 50" and if we just take one more pill we'll live perfect lives forever, it's refreshing to hear from our elders, in their own voices, of the pain, the challenges, and the rewards of living to an advanced age.

Sep 27, 2018

Great idea for a story, but very poorly organized and written. I know a few people who are as old or older than his subjects, I find them much more interesting than his book.

Jun 01, 2018

Truth be known, I am only half in to this book, but at 90 years of age, I am impressed that an author would spend a year in this study is a treasure beyond measure. This is a worthy interest in to the wisdom, and survival abilities we hold sacred. It embraces a reality and acknowledgement how elders deal with the challenges of a lifelong education in regard to relationships and what really matters. Winnowing what was, and what is, to accept and adjust to live remaining years gracefully and gratefully. Mid-life readers would benefit from a perspective of navigating what is to come.

I'll have to wait 30 years to see if this becomes true for me.

Mar 20, 2018

John Leland is a skilled journalist and is open with his own failings and feelings about life and his family, and in particular, his mother. I love these types of books: honest and heartfelt, and about real-life conundrums, such as how to deal with our own old-age and impending death. I'm not sure it will help me as I age, but I hope it does.

Jan 25, 2018

I heard the author being interviewed on NPR and put a hold on the book. I hope to get a glimpse of what the future may hold for me. Will comment again when I have read the book.

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