Review written by Brenda Needham
Did you know that Home Hospice North Lanark has special sections in our local public libraries that hold a curated collection of books that deal with serious illness, death and dying, grief and bereavement, and other relevant subjects? Each month we feature a review to assist in choosing titles. All the reviews can be found here: https://hhnl.ca/public-education-events.
You’re Looking Very Well: The Surprising Nature of Getting Old
by Lewis Wolpert
We all choose a book for various reasons and for me it was both the title and the cover picture of this one that sparked my interest. The picture is of four octogenarian friends stretched out on chaise lounges, sunglasses on, drink in hand, obviously enjoying a shared amusement and hidden by a high hedge. It appears they might be naughty and probably fun. I was hooked. The book however is more serious in its content. Wolpert succinctly covers all aspects of aging using well-researched data, statistics and percentages. Keeping in mind this book was published in 2011, I felt some information has changed over time. An example would be that he quoted a relatively low number of seniors using the Internet and I feel that number would be much higher today. He covers every aspect of aging with sound research, never dwelling on any particular topic ad nauseam so it moves along quickly. He covers health, fitness, sex, the dementias, loneliness, treating and mistreating, just to mention a few. It would be an ideal resource for someone presenting on the topic of aging. It is smattered with marvellous quotes and short poems, which is always fun.
Wolpert is a distinguished developmental biologist and is Emeritus Professor of Biology as applied to Medicine at University College, London. He is author of, among others, The Unnatural Nature of Science and Malignant Sadness: the Anatomy of Depression, a study of depression inspired by his own experience of the illness. His most recent book, How We Live and Why We Die, was called “clear, authoritative and readable” in the Financial Times.
You’re Looking Very Well is not a must-read but definitely very informative. I learned a lot — always a good thing.
Brenda Needham is a retired Registered Nurse with a background in oncology nursing. She has volunteered to help HHNL by baking for the Farmers Market booth, and now providing this book report. Brenda is an avid reader and enjoys book club discussions.