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Showing 1-10 of 31 reviews(5 star). Show all reviews
HALL OF FAMEon March 5, 2007
This book is according to Sherwin Nuland written primarily for those in their fifties and sixties. Nuland hopes to instruct them on how to wisely age. Physical exercise, maintaining a network of close personal relationships, and being 'creative' ( In the broadest sense of the term) is at the heart of his prescription. Nuland is upbeat about the prospect that we can by focusing on what we are really good at, what gives us real pleasure improve the quality of our lives in Old Age. Nuland gives examples of people who do function remarkably well in advanced old age, such as the legendary surgeon Michael deBakey who was still operating at the age of ninety- seven.

Some of the reviewers of the book I have seen including the outstanding Joseph Epstein have said that Nuland at points is platitudinous, and preachy. They say he at certain points ceases being the sharp, perceptive first - rate observer he was in his earlier award- winning book, "The Way We Die"

But in my understanding Nuland is balanced, humane and realistic throughout this work. For instance, in one interesting section he counters the proposal of a scientist working to eliminate death. Nuland makes a strong argument that the death of the individual serves the well- being of the species, and its survival.

It seems to me to anyone interested in growing old in the best way possible would do well to read this book..
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on May 6, 2007
I just turned 65 and had this book brought to my attention. There are few instruction books to follow at this age. Each change that takes place in your body and your mind is often scary and occasionally misunderstood. Dr. Nuland compassionately decribes a variety of both "Superoldfolks" and normal old folks. He puts their lives into perspective through science and "beliefs". He proposes what the future may bring to the aging process. For this reader, he took much of the fear I have in regard the future and replaced it with hope and direction.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who has reached 65 and doesn't fully understand what to expect will happen to them from now until their passing.
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on March 31, 2007
Dr. Nuland has authored an excellent guide to extending ones life. At first glance, I thought this book would offer substantial how to guidance on nutrition, exercise, and other physical life extending practices. I was pleased to discover that Dr. Nuland explores a wide array of discoveries concerned with the social practices that truly make one "alive".

Chief among these life giving/extending practices, are the intrinsic rewards offered to those who, in some way, live for the benefit of others. My heart resonated with the stories of people who by serving others have found purpose and therefore life. This book makes a great birthday gift for anyone who is on or is beginning his or her later life journey. It causes one to reflect on the fascinating adventures that could be in store for those who ponder the possibilities of an extraordinary purpose filled life.
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on March 29, 2007
Dr. Nuland has provided persuasive evidence for his thesis that aging is developmental and not a disease. Therefore, the process is responsive to management by continuing vigorous physical exercise, creative effort, and nurturing of intimate friendships. Extension of a high quality of life, even in the event of serious illness or other limiting medical problems, is possible for those of us who will make the effort. I recommend this book to all readers who are willing to keep an open mind about the possibility of changing, even into great age.
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on March 30, 2007
Excellent book! A step above many others of it's ilk. philosophy and ideas rather than just how to. Nuland is a wise man.
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VINE VOICEon April 29, 2008
Physician author Sherwin Nuland offers case studies of successful aging in this insightful and well-written book. Nuland has a gift for language and is as skillful with the words as he is with a scalpel. We see vignettes of aging individuals who have made accommodations to father time. The chapter on Dr. Michael Debakey is fascinating and alone worth the time investment.

Nuland avoids any preachiness and he does not offer a cranky view of the aging process. What he suggests - exercise, diet, sound habits, deep relationships, meaningful work - are not exactly things we haven't heard before but they are presented persuasively here.

Those facing middle age and older will find practicality within these pages and an outline of strategies that might not make you live any longer, but will certainly help you squeeze more life out of the time that is left us!
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I was able to download this book from the public library and it exceeded all my expectations. I was expecting only the physical components but was pleasantly surprised that Doctor Nuland covered all aspects of our personhood. Body, mind and spirit.

The vignettes that he so carefully shared with us were full of knowledge and wisdom. Many of his interviews touched the core of one's being.

Escpecially potent were Ruby's letters to Doctor Nuland over a period of almost 20 years. Doctor Nuland gave of his essence and received it in return a hundred fold. One of his quotes from Mark Twain says it all: "Wisdom is discovered in listening, when one wants to talk".

Doctor Nuland carefully and dilgently passes us through the stages of life. He encourages us to begin during our younger years to prepare ourselves to live a more meaningful life during our later years. Another quote from his book: "Know thyself. To what end do you do this?" and "An unexamined life is not worth living".

His conclusions are that one should not only become a better person for oneself but to be for others. He quotes from Abraham Heschel: "Be content with who one is; not what one has."

Shalom, Doctor Nuland and thank you for your wisdom.

Other books for your consideration:

The Dance of Life: Weaving Sorrows And Blessings into One Joyful Step by Henri Nouwen

Reaching: The Journey to Fulfillment by Morton Kelsey

Anatomy of the Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing by Caroline Myss
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on September 3, 2011
Like he did in How We Die, Sherwin Nuland brings not only his experience and expertise to The Art of Aging, he brings his wisdom and insight. Nuland's writing style is also extraordinary and some passages are almost like meditations. The one I like best starts on page 9 and ends at the top of page 11. If you are one of us "of a certain age", you owe it to yourself to read this book.
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on April 26, 2010
I first encountered this book as an audio book through my local library. I was so intrigued with parts of it after listening that I purchased a used copy through Amazon. Perhaps it is a little wordy at times, as other reviewers have noted, but you get the sense of man with a great vocabulary, a brilliant mind, and a certain style of writing that shines with a genuine caring for people.

In my opinion, chapter six alone is worth the price of the book. Through a series of letters written to an older widow, the author addresses the topic of depression and aging in a way that is tender, thoughtful and incredibly respectful of this woman's point of view. If you are a person facing the changes associated with aging yourself, or know of a friend or family member who may be having difficulty with some of the issues we will all face sooner or later, I highly recommend this book as a guide in shaping a realistic, yet positive outlook on the aging process.
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on February 16, 2015
As I have aged, there were times when I wondered, "Is this normal? Or is something wrong?" You can't get a straight answer from a doctor. If you know enough old people, you can do an informal survey to come to your own conclusion. Or you can read this book. I found the book refreshing, informative, and yes, even reassuring. It talks about How We Age -- what, why, and how the process happens to all of us who live long enough.
But that is only the beginning, as there are excellent chapters about making choices, and for lack of a better description, how to age gracefully and get the most out of life. The latter is discussed with a view toward living an active life, followed by a short period of decline before death. There is so much useful information that, a year after reading this book, I am about to read it again just to refresh my memory. This should be required reading for anyone on the high side of 50, or for anyone who loves someone on the high side of 50.
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