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How to Live - A Search for Wisdom from Old People (while they are still on this earth) by Henry Alford Books in Review
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How to Live - A Search for Wisdom from Old People (while they are still on this earth)
by Henry Alford
ISBN 978-0-446-19603-1
Published January 2009 - Hardcover - 265 pages - $23.99

Author Henry Alford's mission with this book is to see if we really do get wiser the older we get, and "to deliver a highly optimistic look at our dying days."  The latter, in my case, is immaterial.  During my dying days I'm sure (I'm wise enough to know now) that I'll not be optimistic about much.  However, I do believe some of us are wise now, before we age, and that many don't acquire wisdom at all - stupid is stupid.  Period.  And there are so many really stupid people out there.  Oh, senility is another thing - it usually doesn't let your wisdom shine through.  Alford chats to a variety of older citizens (over 70) and relays not only their thoughts on aging, how they cope, and what they're doing, but delivers his findings with a huge dollop of humor.  And that to me, is what keeps us young and smart - a sense of humor.  His interviews include chats with Phyllis Diller, Granny D, Sylvia Miles, Edward Albee, and others.  He also references Confucious, Buddha, Shakespeare, and a few more.  Maybe it's just me, but I didn't get a lot of what Alford's written about - the "wisdom" of the well-known.  I've always found much of it very pretentious.  To me, wisdom is knowing right from wrong and doing the right thing.  But then, I'm only 51 - what do I know?  I enjoyed the personal aspect of his book, namely the family side - they're so funny, especially Mama.  If nothing else, please do read chapter 16.  It takes all types.
Visit Alford's website.
Conclusion - Beautifully written, enlightening, and humorous.

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