If I Live to Be 100

If I Live to Be 100

Lessons From the Centenarians

Book - 2002
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If I Live to Be 100 isa remarkable book, beautifully written and elegantly wise, that takes us inside the world of the very old and invites us to learn from them firsthand the art of living well for an exceptionally long period of time. Neenah Ellis always wanted to live to 100, and her fascination led her to interview centenarians from all over the country about what life was like at the very beginning of the century, and how things have changed over time. Ellis, a producer for National Public Radio, spent an unforgettable year traveling with her tape recorder and listening to the stories of America's oldest men and women. She met a couple who courted by horse and sleigh in Vermont during the winter of 1918, and she spent a week with the oldest living black lesbian in America. She visited a nationally known expert on dyslexia who published a book at 96 and whose great-great-grandfather was a colonel in Washington's army; and she met Anna Wilmot, the row-boating centenarian from New England who captured the hearts of thousands of NPR listeners with her confession that she swims in the buff only "when it's foggy and there's no fisherman around." Originally conceived as an American history project, Ellis's year of interviews became much more, a personal journey of growth and transformation. After two decades of acting as the reporter and inquisitor, Ellis finally shifted gears and was able in the process of these conversations to start really listening. Once she had put away the exigencies of her cusp-of-the-millennium life--her deadlines, the intense focus on current events, the endless e-mail and ringing phones --she began to learn the kinds of things that we do from much older people. She started to connect in her conversations with them, and to see the virtue of looking forward, as the centenarians did, not backward. They reminded her that the moment--this very moment that we're in right now--is precious and fine. And that the true richness of life is to be found in each other--in our marriages and friendships, in the intellectual life that we share with each other, and in the ways that we become connected. Their stories add up to a course in living well, with lessons and inspiration for all of us.
Publisher: New York : Crown Publishers, 2002.
ISBN: 9780609608425
0609608428
Call Number: 305.26 ELLIS
Characteristics: p. ; cm.
Subjects: Centenarians -- United States -- Interviews.
Alternative Title: If I live to be one hundred

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jvences
May 10, 2018

This is an easy book to read. The author describes the emotions she experienced while conducting her interviews with centenarian people. 19 interviews in total. Some were interviewed twice.

She also shares how this idea resulted in a great challenge, even though she is an experienced reporter. Interviewing 100 + year old people comes with a lot of unconsidered aspects. Like not counting with difficulties to hear, tiredness, and even deep depression in these long lived persons.

All happens in the US. All of the stories are worth to read and stimulates thinking and wondering for our own lives.

Concept of "limbic resonance" is provided (psychology field) by Dr. Thomas Lewis in page 184. Actually, he is the 14th interviewed and not 100 years old.

For me, the message of centenarians is: have company to share life with and try to enjoy it.

What motivated me to read this book is that we don't know if we will live up to be 100. Potentially most of us are, but one never knows.

Spoiler alert: most of the centenarian pass away.

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j
jvences
May 10, 2018

jvences thinks this title is suitable for 30 years and over

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j
jvences
May 10, 2018

This is an easy book to read. The author describes the emotions she experienced while conducting her interviews with centenarian people. 19 interviews in total. Some were interviewed twice.

She also shares how this idea resulted in a great challenge, even though she is an experienced reporter. Interviewing 100 + year old people comes with a lot of unconsidered aspects. Like not counting with difficulties to hear, tiredness, and even deep depression in these long lived persons.

All happens in the US. All of the stories are worth to read and stimulates thinking and wondering for our own lives.

Concept of "limbic resonance" is provided (psychology field) by Dr. Thomas Lewis in page 184. Actually, he is the 14th interviewed and not 100 years old.

For me, the message of centenarians is: have company to share life with and try to enjoy it.

What motivated me to read this book is that we don't know if we will live up to be 100. Potentially most of us are, but one never knows.

Spoiler alert: most of the centenarian pass away.

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