5 books that reflect on ageing with hope and humour

By July 15, 2019Literature, News

Ageing happens to us all if we are fortunate, and what better to guide you through some difficult feelings than a novel!

There are so many books out there that deal with ‘coming-of-age’ stories, and tales about young people navigating adolescence, but fewer about ageing as an adult. Getting old shouldn’t be considered as taboo subject as it happens to us all (with any luck), and just as with your teenage years, becoming older comes with its challenges and perks.

Let’s explore some titles we think may support you on your journey to being that fabulous and fierce silver fox you always knew you could be!

No! I Don’t Want To Join A Bookclub

By Virginia Ironside

“Too young to get whisked away by a Stannah Stairlift, or to enjoy the luxury of a walk-in bath (but not so much that she doesn’t enjoy comfortable shoes), Marie is all the same getting on in years – and she’s thrilled about it. She’s a bit preoccupied about whether to give up sex – Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! – but there are compensations, like falling in love with her baby grandson, and maybe falling in love with someone else too?

Curmudgeonly, acute, touching and funny, this diary is what happens when grumpy old women meet Bridget Jones.”

I Remember Nothing

By Nora Ephron

“A collection of essays filled with wit and wisdom from Nora Ephron, Academy Award-winning screenwriter and film director (When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail) and bestselling author (Heartburn, I Feel Bad About My Neck).

No one actually likes to admit they’re old. The most they will cop to is that they’re older. Or oldish. I have been forgetting things for years―at least since I was in my thirties. I know this because I wrote something about it at the time. I have proof. Of course, I can’t remember exactly where I wrote about it, or when, but I could probably hunt it up if I had to.”

Somewhere Towards The End

By Diana Athill

“What is it like to be old? Diana Athill made her reputation as a writer with the candour of her memoirs – her commitment, in her words, ‘to understand, to be aware, to touch the truth’. Now in her nineties, and freed from any inhibitions that even she may once have had, she reflects frankly on the losses and occasionally the gains that old age brings, and on the wisdom and fortitude required to face death. This is a lively narrative of events, lovers and friendships: the people and experiences that have taught her to regret very little, to resist despondency and to question the beliefs and customs of her own generation.”

Staying On

By Paul Scott

“Tusker and Lily Smalley stayed on in India. Given the chance to return ‘home’ when Tusker, once a Colonel in the British Army, retired, they chose instead to remain in the small hill town of Pangkot, with its eccentric inhabitants and archaic rituals left over from the days of the Empire. Only the tyranny of their landlady, the imposing Mrs Bhoolabhoy, threatens to upset the quiet rhythm of their days.

Both funny and deeply moving, Staying On is a unique, engrossing portrait of the end of an empire and of a forty-year love affair.”

Rabbit Angstrom Series

By John Updike

“Updike’s four Rabbit novels chronicle the history of a man and a nation from the 1950s to the 1980s. Harry ‘Rabbit’ Angstrom, athlete, is Mr Middle America. Dazzling in style, tender in feeling, often erotic in description and coruscating with realistic details which recreate a world in each novel, these books give a complete picture of their age.”

Which authors would you recommend to someone in need of some support in their golden years? Were there any books that helped you understand the human ageing process?

Let us know in the comments or on social media!

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