Older woman smiling and holding a black dog with white on his chest

Still Life at Eighty: the Next Interesting Thing

By Helen Hokanson
Star Rating

Rated by Helen H.
Jul 12, 2023

Who could possibly make describing the contents of her ottoman compelling reading? Who besides Abigail Thomas, anyway? 

In Still Life at Eighty Abigail Thomas, my favorite memoirist, reflects on aging . . . memory; death and dying; her past, present, and future. Of writing she says, “what was once a pleasure is now hard work, and the results are discouraging. Does this happen to all of us?”

In not quite chapters, not quite diary entries, Thomas grapples with isolation not only born of decreasing mobility and motivation, but pandemic social distancing. When the last of her original dog pack

Love and Trouble

By Claire Dederer
Star Rating

Rated by Michelle H.
May 24, 2018

As a raggedy child of the 1970s in the liberal northwest, author Claire Dederer found herself steering life by way of drifting, a method using random hazard and profound reflection as the tools for guidance. In Love and Trouble she writes about her life at middle age and compares it with herself as a young woman with the repeated observation that she is reverting back to the craptastic – her word – girl she was. She had a few vices, and she wants them back.

Her writing is clear and precise, and she’s candid and funny. Most remarkably, she avoids sugar coating age. If you’re looking for a

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

By Atul Gawande

Rated by Library Staff (not verified)
Apr 8, 2015

In short, this book is about dying. Yes it is sad, but also eye opening in showing how doctors are poorly equipped to deal effectively with the natural process of dying and the limits of medicine. Dr. Gawande is a surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital who also teaches at Harvard Medical School. In this insightful and worthwhile book, Dr. Gawande wonderfully tackles the question of whether the objective of medicine should be pure survival at any cost, including more pain and suffering, or about the quality of life and what it means to die with dignity and control. Gawande examines the

May 13, 2010

Looking for something uplifting to add to my daily meditation readings, I happily came upon Victoria Moran's Younger by the Day. Her book is so inspiring, that I save it to relish as my last reading each day so that I head out for the world renewed and positive. Moran writes in her typical elegant, yet practical and profound manner. This is a real find. I even purchased extra copies to give as gifts for friends and family!

The Girls by Helen Yglesias

Rated by Library Staff (not verified)
May 7, 2010

The Girls by Helen Yglesias Set in Miami, Florida, The Girls is a black comedy about four elderly Jewish sisters - Eva, ninety-five, Naomi, ninety, Flora, eighty-five and Jenny who is eighty. As the novel opens, Jenny, who lives in Maine, is traveling to Miami to tend to Naomi, who is undergoing surgery for cancer and to visit with her other two sisters. Miami Beach is as much a main character in this story as the four sisters. It's decline from the way it was years ago parallels the physical decline of the sisters. Much happens during Jenny's visit - Eva celebrates her 95th birthday, Flora performs her one-woman show