The following is a list of books related to aging which we've found inspiring, educational, truth-telling or resonant and which have left us, ultimately, feeling grateful. The list is a work in progress. Please feel free to make recommendations.
Wise Aging (2015)
by Rabbi Rachel Cowan and Dr. Linda Thal
In Wise Aging: Living with Joy, Resilience, & Spirit, Rabbi Rachel Cowan and Dr. Linda Thal give us the tools we need to navigate the challenges of aging as we find joy and meaning in our lives. With the same warmth, humor, and wisdom that draws thousands to their innovative workshops on aging, they deliver practical, real world suggestions: journaling exercises, meditations, and activities that dig deep and lead us to a better understanding of how to age well.
Buy on Amazon.com
The Gift of Years: Growing Older Gracefully (2008)
by Joan Chittister
Chittister ponders topics such as fear, mystery, forgiveness and legacy as we grow older. As we face the deterioration of our physical condition, we can also enjoy the possibilities of the “eternity of the spirit.”
Buy on Amazon.com
Healthy Aging: A Lifelong Guide to Your Well-Being (2007)
by Andrew Weil M.D.
America’s best-known complementary care physician offers a convincing portrait of aging as a natural part of life that can be active, productive and satisfying.
Still Here: Embracing Aging, Changing, and Dying (2001)
by Ram Dass
A debilitating stroke gave Ram Dass a new perspective on how to live gratefully despite the aches, pains, and limitations of age.
What Color Is Your Parachute? For Retirement: Planning a Prosperous, Healthy, and Happy Future (2010)
by John E. Nelson and Richard N. Bolles
Today’s economic realities have reset our expectations of what retirement is, yet there’s still the promise for what it can be: a life stage filled with more freedom and potential than ever before.
Claiming Your Place at the Fire: Living the Second Half of Your Life on Purpose (2010)
by Richard Leider
This guide to creating a purposeful later life is for people “who never stop reinventing themselves.”
My Mother, Your Mother: Embracing “Slow Medicine,” the Compassionate Approach to Caring for Your Aging Loved Ones (2009)
by Dennis McCullough
Thanks to advances in science and medicine, our parents are living longer than ever before. But our health-care system doesn’t perform as well when decline eventually sets in. We want to do our best as our loved ones face new complications—more diseases and disabilities—demanding further need for support and careful judgment, but the choices we have to make can seem overwhelming.
Life Gets Better: The Unexpected Pleasures of Growing Older (2011)
by Wendy Lustbader
The acclaimed author of What’s Worth Knowing reveals the truth about aging: Old age often offers a richer, better, and more self-assured life than youth.
Second Wind: Navigating the Passage to a Slower, Deeper, and More Connected Life (2015)
by Dr. Bill Thomas
Life can and should be reimagined. New ways of living and working are waiting to be discovered on the far side of adulthood. Dr. Thomas treats the Baby Boom generation as he would one of his patients, sympathetically exploring its history before recommending a path toward a life rich with developmental opportunities.
Embracing Life: Toward a Psychology of Interdependence (2013)
by David Lucky Goff, Ph. D.
A reviewer writes: “A life-affirming, important book defining a new psychological model based on current scientific discoveries of timeless, universally accepted and experienced phenomena, with implications for sustaining LIFE on the planet. This is LIFE speaking through a human to humans for the purpose of the continuity (sustainability) of LIFE itself. The author creates an opening in which the reader is drawn into deep reflection; a radical shift in the perception of reality, and our capacity for co-creation is made possible.”
Age of Actualization: A Handbook for Growing Elder Culture (2014)
by David Lucky Goff, Ph.D. & Alexandra Hart
The Age of Actualization points to social practices that create community at any age and especially addresses what is beautiful and poignant about growing older. Isolation is broken, and elders can awaken to a host of fulfilling experiences in a community of peers. Long life experience, overcoming and surviving hardships, being utterly unique and comfortable in oneself: these are ingredients of true wisdom. It turns out that old people thrive when they get together. Discovering themselves through one another uncovers secrets our culture has lost.
The Wonder of Aging: A New Approach to Embracing Life After Fifty (2013)
by Michael Gurian
This book opens much-needed discussion on aging and dying…and will give readers the means to approach these topics with their families and friends. Gurian has an optimistic, energizing, and sympathetic voice that will inspire readers as they seek guidance on their journeys through life.
Travels with Epicurus: A Journey to a Greek Island in Search of a Fulfilled Life (2014)
by Daniel Klein
A travel book, a witty and accessible meditation, and an optimistic guide to living well, Travels with Epicurus is a delightful jaunt to the Aegean and through the terrain of old age that only a free spirit like Klein could lead.
The Second Half of Life: Opening the Eight Gates of Wisdom (2007)
by Angeles Arrien
When you find the courage to change at midlife,” Angeles Arrien teaches, a miracle happens. Your character is opened, deepened, strengthened, softened. You return to your soul’s highest values. You are now prepared to create your legacy: an imprint of your dream for our world-a dream that can fully come true in The Second Half of Life.
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A personal, surprising, and heart-warming book wherein two spiritual masters of our time advance the central questions of life and faith…
The Way of Silence embraces paradox: absence versus presence in silence. Dynamic tranquility. The all-oneness of aloneness. Humbly, trusting in God, you’ll practice emptying your mind in order to receive wisdom, insight, and understanding.
This site (which is in essence a digital book) was created for those who struggle internally. Author Kent Hoffman writes that a shift can occur from: “I think I’m alone in this pain,” to “Others feel this way,” to “My suffering makes sense and I have new options I didn’t quite recognize before.”
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