A meditation on aging for those who see the final years as an opportunity for personal development and joy.

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Awakening to Aging

GLIMPSING THE GIFTS OF AGING, SECOND EDITION

Death isn’t the enemy in this carefully curated collection of essays, which paints the aging process as an opportunity for self-discovery, acceptance, and growth.

Although the 19 authors here acknowledge the physical and sometimes mental decline faced by seniors, the purpose of this volume is to share strategies for making the aging process—despite those challenges—“as pleasant and fulfilling as possible.” Contributors include a yoga instructor, hospice chaplain, attorney, and several therapists and psychologists. Their essays feature personal stories about picking a retirement home, crafting an ethical will, and navigating the health care system. Despite the varied topics, one refrain echoes throughout the book: seniors and their caregivers can’t control many aspects of the aging process, but they can choose the attitude with which they’ll approach their final years. In the words of one essayist: “aging people work with changes or are conquered by changes.” Although advice is offered, the book (first published in 2009, with a second edition released in 2015) eschews the simple directives found in many senior-living manuals. There are no checklists, no tips or tricks related to advance directives or medication management. Instead, the collection invites seniors to reflect on the days ahead and ponder avenues for purposeful living after retirement. “Aging can afford us time to explore the deeper values that have guided us in our lives,” writes one author. “Time to re-new, re-tool or re-fine our values and perhaps pass them along to others who follow.” Several of the writers cite Buddhist tenets in their pieces, yet adherence to that (or any) faith is not necessary to appreciate this common-sense approach to aging. A couple of the essays tiptoe dangerously close to navel-gazing territory, but the collection as a whole remains upbeat and accessible. Essays sprinkled with intimate anecdotes bring a long-deserved dose of humanity to a topic that’s all too often avoided or ignored.

A meditation on aging for those who see the final years as an opportunity for personal development and joy.

Pub Date: May 7, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-9894525-1-9

Page Count: 210

Publisher: Tonglen Press

Review Posted Online: July 29, 2015

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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