How to Live

How to Live

A Search for Wisdom From Old People (while They Are Still on This Earth)

Book - 2009
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Part family memoir, part Studs Terkel, How To Live considers some unusual sources--deathbed confessions, late-in-life journals--as well as offering a rich compilation of interviews with the over-70 set to deliver a highly optimistic look at our dying days
Publisher: New York : Twelve, 2009
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780446196031
Characteristics: 262 p. ; 24 cm


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dgr May 18, 2013

I enjoyed this book and had a few laughs in the process. It had some interesting elements and showed that wisdom doesn't always result in "normal" behavior (if it ever does) and that old folks can make mistakes and play games like anyone else. Alford was clever and insightful and I enjoyed some of his "famous deathbed quotes" and the story of his cat and the hurricane survivor. Given that he wasn't interested in turning his interviewees into paragons, I was suprised about his interview with the woman on the cruise ship. When she observed an older man advertising for a younger female companion, she referred to it as "sexism" (or as I prefer, "genderism") but really it was age-ism. Especially since there are plenty of older women who are interested in younger men and that's not genderist or age-ist as long as the woman is picking up the check. I would have loved it if he'd picked her up on her tendency to go with the easy, knee-jerk complaint choice. Altogether, a very enjoyable book.

hgeng63 Apr 13, 2013

One of Alford's better bks about his upper class family. Hilarious bits about Eugene Loh, senior freegan.

LMcShaneCLE Nov 13, 2012

Worth having on the bedside. Can be read out of sequence. Alford's relationship with his mother as she confronts aging is worth the analysis here. Dynamics of his family is intriguing and the bonds we try to salvage and those we discard.

Jun 24, 2012

Funny and touching. Interviews with an eclectic selection of "old folks".


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