Happiness Is a Choice You Make: Lessons from a Year Among the Oldest Old

Happiness Is a Choice You Make: Lessons from a Year Among the Oldest Old Review

An extraordinary look at what it means to grow old and a heartening guide to well-being, Happiness Is a Choice You Make weaves together the stories and wisdom of six New Yorkers who number among the "oldest old"-- those eighty-five and up.

In 2015, when the award-winning journalist John Leland set out on behalf of The New York Times to meet members of America's fastest-growing age group, he anticipated learning of challenges, of loneliness, and of the deterioration of body, mind, and quality of life. But the elders he met took him in an entirely different direction. Despite disparate backgrounds and circumstances, they each lived with a surprising lightness and contentment. The reality Leland encountered upended contemporary notions of aging, revealing the late stages of life as unexpectedly rich and the elderly as incomparably wise.

Happiness Is a Choice You Make is an enduring collection of lessons that emphasizes, above all, the extraordinary influence we wield over the quality of our lives. With humility, heart, and wit, Leland has crafted a sophisticated and necessary reflection on how to "live better"--informed by those who have mastered the art.

Title:Happiness Is a Choice You Make: Lessons from a Year Among the Oldest Old

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    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Maggie

    My non-fiction favorite book of 2018. I don't think it's #1 spot will be challenged. An uplifting, perspective-shaking & beautiful examination of the lives of 6 people over the age of 85. I would like...

  • Rachel Blakeman

    I'm not sure why I bothered finishing this book. Would have been a great long form article but as a book it dragged on and felt like the lessons got lost along the way. Also didn't feel like I got muc...

  • Lesa

    At the beginning of 2015, John Leland, a journalist for the New York Times, embarked on a year-long project. He met with seniors to come up with six people to follow to learn from them about being old...

  • Lynne Spreen

    Happiness is a Choice You Make is the account of a yearlong conversation between a New York Times journalist and six people who are among the “oldest old” in America. The journalist, John Leland, ...

  • Ericka Clouther

    This is an interesting, thought-provoking book about old age and how to get the most quality of life. There is some science in it, but it's not a science-based book. Instead, it's based on a small num...

  • Terry Mensching

    my mother once said; "who wants to live to 90?" answer; "an 89 year old." What I got out of this book is; If you live a long time, you know how to do it regardless of your circumstancesLoved it.....

  • Terri Suda

    Borrowed it from my public library, purchasing it for my permanent shelf as a reference and reminder to what's essential, important and true about living life well and in the moment. Loved every word ...

  • Julie Barrett

    Solid 3 stars. I wanted to love this book but honestly, it wasn't anything too eye opening. Still enjoyable to read. Basically, what the author learned in a year of hanging out with 6 old people is ca...

  • Rachel

    An enjoyable, contemplative look at what makes life worth living through the eyes of the oldest among us. Leland spent a year interviewing six elderly men and women, including his own aging mother. It...

  • Holly

    When New York Times journalist John Leland set out to interview six economically and racially diverse octo- and nonagenarians over the course of a year, he thought he would leave the meetings anxious ...