Older Americans Month
by Rhonna Hargett, Associate Director of Learning and Information Services
May is Older Americans Month! As the Administration for Community Living states “Older adults play vital, positive roles in our communities – as family members, friends, mentors, volunteers, civic leaders, members of the workforce, and more. Just as every person is unique, so too is how they age and how they choose to do it – and there is no “right” way.” We have some reading suggestions to help celebrate this important part of our community.
You might remember the author Mary Pipher from her 1994 New York Times Best Seller on adolescent girls entitled “Reviving Ophelia.” In “Women Rowing North: Navigating Life’s Currents and Flourishing as We Age,” she explores the lives of women in their 60s and beyond, discussing the challenges and joys of being a woman in this age group. She covers the changes in roles, relationships, physical well-being, and mental well-being that many face, and shares her expertise on how to best navigate all of them. Reading this book is like having coffee with a friend who also happens to be an expert on human development. The tone is relaxed, full of anecdotes and personal stories, but her knowledge in the field shines through. Snippets from several interviews are included to add breadth to her perspective. “Women Rowing North” is an enjoyable, empowering, and informative book.
Practicing neurosurgeon, member of the National Academy of Medicine, and chief medical correspondent for CNN, Dr. Sanjay Gupta explores brain health in his book “Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age.” According to Dr. Gupta, dementia is not an inevitable condition of aging. He shares what can be done to prevent dementia and concrete advice for moving forward if it has already been diagnosed. The book includes a twelve-week program of nutrition, exercise, and other activities to set readers on the right track. His advice isn’t particularly new, but his optimism and ability to write about the topic in an engaging style make “Keep Sharp” a valuable contribution to the subject.
We have two brand new titles that I haven’t had a chance to read yet. “The Inside Story: The Surprising Pleasures of Living in an Aging Body” by psychologist Susan Sands discusses how common cultural beliefs can give us negative perceptions of our bodies that aren’t necessarily accurate, and shares advice for developing positive relationships with our bodies. In “From Strength to Strength: Finding Success, Happiness, and Deep Purpose in the Second Half of Life,” behavioral social scientist and Harvard Professor Arthur C. Brooks helps those who identify strongly with their working lives navigate the challenges of aging.
“The Thursday Murder Club” by Richard Osman is the first in a series that takes place in Coopers Chase, a retirement village in Kent. The club started when former member Penny shared unsolved murder cases from her previous position as a police inspector. A group starts gathering in the jigsaw room to investigate and hopefully solve each case. When a Coopers Chase employee is murdered, they team up with an underappreciated police officer to solve the case. Osman’s novel is a humorous and intricately plotted mystery that is an absolute delight to read, while he also shows us a glimpse of the complex lives of the characters. While the world has discounted them, they are noticing the things that others don’t, building fast friendships, and navigating the complications of their lives. This is a fun read that also gives insight into the later years in life.
All of the included books are available in print, and some are available digitally as ebooks or audiobooks. For these titles and more, visit our website at www.mhklibrary.org, or come see us at 629 Poyntz Ave.