Happiness Is a Choice You Make: Lessons from a Year Among the Oldest Old

Happiness Is a Choice You Make: Lessons from a Year Among the Oldest Old

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-grow An extraordinary look at what it means to grow old and a heartening guide to well-being, Happiness Is a Choice You Ma...

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Title:Happiness Is a Choice You Make: Lessons from a Year Among the Oldest Old
Author:John Leland
Rating:
Genres:Nonfiction
ISBN:0374168180
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:256 pages pages

Happiness Is a Choice You Make: Lessons from a Year Among the Oldest Old Reviews

  • Jane
    Feb 09, 2018
    Being in the moment, enjoying what I have, and not lamenting what I don't are all lessons I can get behind. I don't gain anything by wishing circumstances were different. ...
  • Holly
    Mar 08, 2018
    When New York Times journalist John Leland set out to interview six economically and racially diverse octo- and nonagenarians over the course of a year, he thought he would leave the meetings anxious and depressed by their physical and emotional challenges. And at times he came away co...
  • Karen
    Apr 21, 2018
    Leland spends a year with six older adults in and around NYC. They are all 85 or older at the time, and they each find ways to find happiness despite some of the losses of advanced age. Fred is a well-dressed ladies man who is grateful for waking up to a new day. He has some proble...
  • Terri
    Apr 19, 2018
    This book deserves a better title. It's an insightful look at a year in the lives of a half dozen elderly folks. How they cope with diminished capabilities, their attitudes towards dying and living. It's easy for us to forget that older people are unique and have their own views. Lela...
  • Julie Barrett
    Apr 14, 2018
    Solid 3 stars. I wanted to love this book but honestly, it wasn't anything too eye opening. Still enjoyable to read. Basically, what the author learned in a year of hanging out with 6 old people is carpe diem. In the words of Ram Dass, "be here now". Of course, that is easier said than...
  • Lesa
    Feb 26, 2018
    At the beginning of 2015, John Leland, a journalist for the New York Times, embarked on a year-long project. He met with seniors to come up with six people to follow to learn from them about being old, and what it means today. The result was a series in the newspaper and the book, Happ...
  • Brian
    Mar 04, 2018
    The title pretty much sums it up. I checked this out after hearing a really good interview with the author on Fresh Air. A quick, enjoyable book but never really goes deeper than the premise that "life is what you make of it". Part author memoir and part "mini-bio" of 6 individuals he ...
  • Ericka Clouther
    Feb 07, 2018
    This is an interesting, thought-provoking book about old age and how to get the most quality of life. There is some science in it, but it's not a science-based book. Instead, it's based on a small number of long-term interviews. To a lesser extent, it's about facing the inevitability o...
  • Angie Boyter
    Apr 02, 2018
    3- verging on 2. I was disappointed in the book. It makes some interesting points based on observations of the 6 older people he followed closely for a year (peppered with observations about the author's mother and some other older people) but does not follow any of them up in enough ...
  • Lynne Spreen
    Feb 04, 2018
    Happiness is a Choice You Make is the account of a yearlong conversation between a New York Times journalist and six people who are among the ?oldest old? in America. The journalist, John Leland, was 57 as of the the time of this writing, and going through his own challenges. He wa...
  • Maggie
    Feb 28, 2018
    My non-fiction favorite book of 2018. I don't think it's #1 spot will be challenged. An uplifting, perspective-shaking & beautiful examination of the lives of 6 people over the age of 85. I would like to read this every year of my life, to make sure the wisdom in it continues to si...
  • Terri Suda
    Mar 07, 2018
    Borrowed it from my public library, purchasing it for my permanent shelf as a reference and reminder to what's essential, important and true about living life well and in the moment. Loved every word and every lesson. Essential reading. ...
  • Kristine
    Feb 07, 2018
    Happiness is a Choice You Make by John Leland is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late January. Words of wisdom from 6 elders as part of Leland's 85 and Up series. Their stories are neither fully feast or famine (complete ability or disability) and, quite frankly, it's so much ...
  • Maria
    Feb 02, 2018
    This is a poignant, life-affirming, and inspiring little book with a huge message. Absolutely required reading for everyone who hopes to live a good, long life. ...
  • Patricia
    Mar 05, 2018
    I appreciated the stories and the wisdom. This book gave me a lot to think about. ...
  • Sharon May
    Jan 21, 2018
    Thanks so much to NetGalley, Sarah Crichton Books, and John Leland for the opportunity to read and review this book - should be a must read! John Leland, a journalist for the New York Times, spent a year with a select group of "elders" - those oldest of the old in our society to see...
  • Steve Middendorf
    Mar 31, 2018
    This book changed my views on aging. I'm still intent on managing my own end, but less concerned about establishing a specific date. Some pearls: "Severe memory loss is a horrible thing, and we rightly fear it, but selective forgetting can be the better part of wisdom. When you?r...
  • Deb Andrade
    Mar 23, 2018
    The author is a journalist who turned a study of the elderly into a self-help book. The format is pretty straightforward. He followed six economically and socially diverse old people for a one year period to gain insight into how they felt about their lives past and present, their feel...
  • Writemoves
    Mar 17, 2018
    No offense to the author but I only skimmed through the book as I did not like it. I found the stories from his six elderly New Yorkers just as depressing as my current real life experiences with a 93-year-old mother in the throes of late stage dementia. Also at age 65, I am starting ...
  • Deborah Hebblewhite
    Mar 05, 2018
    Wonderful meditation on life and how we find meaning. Made me realize there are lessons to learn from people who have lived much longer than I have. Interesting quote from the book . . . But what is old age? To a great extent we?ve made it a verdict, something that happens to peo...
  • Leah Berkowitz
    Mar 05, 2018
    This is one of those pieces of long form journalism that was probably a really interesting series in the paper. However, as a book, it was somewhat repetitive and simplistic. The message is great: older people are happier than we?d expect them to be, because they focus on what matter...
  • John Kaufmann
    Mar 27, 2018
    Solid. Leland wrote about life lessons from six "extraordinary" elders he has met over the years. There are some good insights, and it is an interesting read. I thought about giving it four stars to distinguish it from several similar books about aging to which I gave only three stars ...
  • Dawn
    Mar 19, 2018
    Wisdom Unfolds Wonderful lessons. Interesting and well written. Personable. I enjoyed how he wrote the lesson from each individual and then shared with readers how he related that lesson to his own life. ...
  • Kathy
    Feb 01, 2018
    I am as surprised as John Leland was at the lessons learned when he undertook (as a New York Times journalist) spending a year visiting and interviewing six elderly people. The people chosen were a very diverse group; married, single, several ethnicities, some with health and/or money ...
  • Marie
    Mar 26, 2018
    I have recommended this book to more people than any other I have read recently! Being middle aged, and having parents in in-laws getting older, and friends retiring, I think this book is full of wisdom on how to process that last part of life. Not as something to dread, but the life t...
  • Terry Mensching
    Mar 04, 2018
    my mother once said; "who wants to live to 90?" answer; "an 89 year old." What I got out of this book is; If you live a long time, you know how to do it regardless of your circumstances Loved it.. ...
  • Serena
    Apr 16, 2018
    This was a sweet book about what it means to live well in your oldest years. It's written by a reporter who spent a year visiting a few octo- and nonagenarians who were living in and around NYC. The biggest idea that has stuck with me from this book is that the value of a life should b...
  • diane diener
    Apr 08, 2018
    Everyone should read this book. Well written and we'll worth the time Everyone should read this book. Well written and well worth the time. A subject we all are intimately involved with ...
  • Rachel Blakeman
    Mar 11, 2018
    I'm not sure why I bothered finishing this book. Would have been a great long form article but as a book it dragged on and felt like the lessons got lost along the way. Also didn't feel like I got much new insight about the wisdom of oldest of the old. It did however remind to apprecia...
  • BOOKLOVER10
    Jan 23, 2018
    John Leland wrote a well-received newspaper series about "the oldest old," people who are eight-five and up. "Happiness is a Choice You Make" originated from his year-long interaction with six individuals in their eighties and nineties. Some are ill, while others are relatively healthy...