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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

May is Older Americans Month

            Here are some new non-fiction books to keep you current with the latest medical and financial advances for seniors.

            The Age Fix: a Leading Plastic Surgeon Reveals how to Really Look Ten Years Younger is written by Anthony Youn. This board-certified plastic surgeon outlines skin-care and dietary strategies for enabling youthful wrinkle-free skin without surgery or invasive treatments.

            The Age of Longevity: Reimagining Tomorrow for Our New Long Lives is written by Rosalind C. Barnett, a senior scientist at the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis University. She conjectures that since life spans are lengthening, adult vigor can be extended well into the nineties. How will this affect us as individuals and as a society? She offers recommendations on changing our institutions and attitudes for our longer life spans.

            Ageproof: Living Longer without Running out of Money or Breaking a Hip is written by Jean Chatzky, a financial expert and Michael F. Roizen, MD, an anesthesiologist and internist at the Cleveland Clinic. They explain the vital link between health and wealth, outlining science-driven ways for maximizing life quality, longevity, and retirement savings.

            Bio-Young: Get Younger at a Cellular and Hormonal Level is written by Roxy Dillon, a nutritionist and scientist. Here she offers a practical, natural approach to fighting the effects of aging by using exercise, skin care and nutrition to get cellular and hormonal functions back under control, resulting in both looking and feeling years younger.

            Disrupt Aging: a Bold New Path to Living Your Best Life at Every Age is written by Jo Ann Jenkins, the CEO of AARP. She explains how people over fifty can all be active, financially unburdened, and happy as they get older, in a book that covers everything from caregiving and mindful living to building age-friendly communities and attaining financial freedom.

            Relax into Yoga for Seniors: a Six-Week Program for Strength, Balance, Flexibility, and Pain Relief is written by Kimberly Carson and is based on the Yoga for Seniors program at the Duke Integrative Medicine and Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. This book teaches seniors the twelve principles of practice, step by step, in a six-week program.

            Younger: a Breakthrough Program to Reset Your Genes, Reverse Aging, and Turn Back the Clock 10 Years is written by Sara Gottfried, MD. She presents this seven-week program that aims to slow down and reverse the aging process through lifestyle changes, including environmental modifications, improved diet, and enhanced exercise.


Friday, May 19, 2017

Nora Webster: a Novel

            A story about the recently widowed Nora Webster, set in a small town in Ireland during the late 1960s and early ‘70s, shows us how Nora and her family adjust to life without Maurice, her husband and their father. The book is written by Colm Toibin (pronounced Cullum Toe-bean), who also wrote the novel Brooklyn.

            Nora lost the love of her life when Maurice passed away after a short illness. Wanting to hide away to mourn privately, and irritable because of the number of condolence calls paid to her, Nora tries to find the will to continue on. But her children and other relatives also miss Maurice and Nora is forced to cope with this too. Eventually, she is able to open up to renewing and expanding on her relationships with family and forms friendships within the community. Nora returns to work, becomes an active participant in political discussions, joins a music listening club, and begins singing lessons. Although Nora’s recovery is not quick nor painless, after three years we see that she has embraced her new skills and relishes her new freedoms, ending the novel on a positive note.

Friday, May 12, 2017

New Fiction Featuring Mothers

             Some recently published novels feature mothers as the main characters. Of course, these mothers aren’t picture-perfect and problem-free. See what makes them tick!

            Dear Thing, written by Julie Cohen, is about single mother Romily who decides to become a surrogate mother for her friends Ben and Claire. But as her pregnancy advances, Romily is overwhelmed by her emotions, endangering the couple’s marriage and her friendship with them.

            The Trophy Child is written by Paula Daly. Here, “tiger mother” Karen pushes her daughter to the academic limit yet is highly critical of her son and stepdaughter and henpecks her husband. Rebellion and damage to the family’s foundation ensue.

            Grace: a Novel, written by Natasha Deon, tells the dual stories of a mother, who is a runaway plantation slave, and the child she never knew, against the backdrop of mid-19th century historic events, including the Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation, and beyond.

            I Liked My Life is written by Abby Fabiaschi. Maddy, a devoted wife and mother commits suicide, leaving her husband and teenage daughter behind and helpless with grief. From the beyond, Maddy begins to coordinate events in an attempt to ameliorate her family’s lives, even by selecting a new wife and mother for them.

            Rabbit Cake, written by Annie Hartnett, tells the story of 12-year-old Elvis Babbitt whose mother accidentally drowns during a sleepwalking incident. Elvis, her father, and sister are forced to cope with their loss and adapt to their new lives.

            The Mother’s Promise is written by Sally Hepworth. Here, a dying single mother reaches out to her oncology nurse and social worker for help protecting her troubled teenage daughter, forging a unit that bonds the four women together and challenges them to confront their sharpest fears and secrets.

            Before this Is Over is written by Amanda Hickie. When a deadly virus arrives on Hannah’s doorstep, she goes to great lengths to keep her family safe, but she quickly learns that she cannot keep the entire world at bay, with one threat after another looming outside her suburban doorstep.

            The Book that Matters Most, written by Ann Hood, is about Ava who has joined a reading group while attempting to cope with her failed marriage. She rediscovers a book from her past that had helped her with problems before. We also witness the problems of Ava’s daughter Maggie, who is descending into a destructive relationship with a man in Paris.

            Edgar and Lucy, written by Victor Lodato, tells the story of eight-year-old Edgar Fini, who had been cared for by his late grandmother during his mother Lucy’s dysfunctional episodes. As he grows older, and Lucy is inattentive to him, Edgar falls under the influence of an inappropriate adult.

            113 Minutes is written by James Patterson and Max DiLallo. It is about Molly Rourke, who takes the law into her own hands following the murder of her son.

            The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane is written by Lisa See. It explores the lives of a Chinese mother and her daughter, who has been adopted by an American couple, tracing the very different cultural factors that compel them to consume a rare native tea that has shaped their family’s destiny for generations.

            The Girl in the Garden, written by Melanie Wallace, is the story of a young woman with an infant son who is abandoned in a New England seaside motel. Offered shelter in the home of the manager’s friend, the woman is integrated into the lives of the locals and starts over amid revelations of loves and crimes from the past.