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staff picks winter2

Never Too Old

My staff picks this month are in response to Ezekiel Emanuel’s article Why I Hope to Die at 75 in the October 2014 Atlantic magazine. Emanuel believes anyone who lives beyond the age of 75 is no longer a productive member of society. I have chosen 6 titles that show just a few examples of how people over the age of 75 enrich our lives. Wisdom, humor, perseverance and character are just some of the qualities I hope to acquire if I am lucky enough to live beyond 75.

The 100-year-old Man Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson ; translated from the Swedish by Rod Bradbury Alan lives in a nursing home and on his 100th birthday, he decides to escape. What happens next is only half the story. As his adventure unfolds, you learn the impact he made on world history throughout his life.

Character is Destiny by John McCain and Mark Salter This is a collection of true stories of men and women who have lived truthfully, many of whom have done their best after the age of 75. This book will prepare us for the hard work of choosing our destiny.

Don’t Ever Get Old by Daniel Friedman Curmudgeon Buck Schatz is a retired Memphis cop who solves a murder and gets his revenge on an old WWII POW internee at the age of 87, in spite of memory loss and a host of physical ailments.

Have A Little Faith: A True Story by Mitch Albom Mitch Albom talks about two remarkable elderly men who change his life forever. One is a beloved rabbi on his deathbed, the other a pastor who cares for the homeless.

Notes From the Midnight Driver by Jordan Sonnenblick Alex has to perform community service at a nursing home where he meets Sol, who starts out crotchety but turns out to be much wiser. Both realize how much they have in common with each other and Alex realizes that elderly doesn’t mean worthless.

A Walk on the Beach: Tales of Wisdom From an Unconventional Woman by Joan Anderson The author describes her relationship with friend and confidante Joan Erikson, whose struggles with widowhood and her own impending death, inspired Anderson to accept life changes. Despite her grim prospects and advancing age, Erikson is full of life and energy. Joan Anderson was lucky enough to find an incredible mentor to show the way, demonstrating how “elderly” friends are essential to our growth.


Valerie Marino is a library assistant at Sawyer Free Library.