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Learning to Love Our Autumn Years

Posted about 2 weeks ago by Laura Price
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“Grow old with me! The best is yet to be, the last of life, for which the first was made…”

            Robert Browning

The official start of autumn, also known as the fall equinox, occurred on September 22nd. It kicked off what many folks consider a generally pleasant time of year. There’s lots to love about autumn: cooler temps, changing leaves, a gentler light….

However, when the term is applied to human aging, the autumn of life conjures images of declining health and faculties, the loss of loved ones, and isolation. Today’s seniors show that this does not have to be. With Americans living longer, more active, and healthier lives, our autumn years need not be melancholy. The trend of positive aging has emerged as a way to embrace growing older. It has inspired spin-off services such as creative ways to age at home, end-of-life doulas, and green burials.

Therefore, in thinking about our autumn years as “the best is yet to be”, here are some selections from RPL’s collection that promote the golden age of life.

Picture Books

  • Miss Tizzy by Libba Moore Gray; illustrated by Jada Rowland. (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1993)
  • A Morning with Grandpa by Sylvia Liu; illustrated by Christina Forshay. (New York: Lee & Low Books, 2016)
  • Mr. George Baker by Amy Hest; illustrated by John Muth. (Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press, 2004)
  • The Old Woman Who Named Things by Cynthia Rylant; illustrated by Kathryn Brown. (San Diego: Harcourt Brace, 1996)
  • How to Babysit a Grandpa/Grandma by Jean Reagan; illustrated by Lee Wildish. (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2012/2014)
  • When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree and When Grandpa Gives You a Toolbox by Jamie L. B. Deenihan; illustrated by Lorraine Rocha. (New York: Sterling Children’s Books, 2019/2020)
  • drawn together by Minh Lê; illustrated by Dan Santat. (Los Angeles: Disney Hyperion, 2018)
  • Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox; illustrated by Julie Vivas. (Brooklyn: Kane/Miller, 1985)
  • The Hello, Goodbye Window by Norman Juster; illustrated by Chris Raschka. (Michael diCapua Books, 2005)
  • Grandfather’s Journey, written and illustrated by Allen Say. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1993)
  • The Truth About Grandparents, written and illustrated by Elina Ellis. (Boston: Little, Brown Books, 2019)

Adult Non-Fiction

  • The Power Age: a Blueprint for Maturing with Style by Kelly Doust. (Ingram Publishing Services, 2020)
  • A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety by Jimmy Carter. (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2015)
  • Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice. (Boston: Beacon Press, 2003)
  • Successful Aging : a Neuroscientist Explores the Power and Potential of Our Lives by Daniel J. Levitin. (New York: Dutton, 2020)
  • Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age by Sanjay Gupta, MD. (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2021)
  • The New Long Life: a Framework for Flourishing in a Changing World by Andrew J. Scott. (London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2020)
  • This Chair Rocks: a Manifesto Against Ageism by Ashton Applewhite. (New York: Celadon Books, 2019)

Adult Fiction

  • It’s Not All Downhill from Here by Terry McMillan. (New York: Ballantine Books, 2020)
  • The Great Unexpected by Dan Mooney. (Toronto: Park Row Books, 2019)
  • Henry, Himself by Stewart O’Nan. (New York: Viking, 2019)
  • Late City by Robert Olen Butler. (New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2021)
  • A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. (New York: Atria Book, 2014)
  • The Sowing Season by Katie Powner. (Bloomington, MN: Bethany House, 2020)
  • The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey by Walter Mosley. (New York: Riverhead Books, 2010)

These lists are just a sample of the many titles on aging and senior living. Please visit rvalibrary.org to find additional items. Or stop by your local library and our staff will be happy to assist!

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