Happiness Is a Choice You Make by John Leland

Happiness Is a Choice You Make

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...


Details Happiness Is a Choice You Make

TitleHappiness Is a Choice You Make
ISBN9780374168186
Author
Release DateJan 23rd, 2018
PublisherFarrar Straus and Giroux
GenreNonfiction, Self Help, Psychology, Health, Death
Rating

Reviews Happiness Is a Choice You Make

  • Maggie
    1970-01-01
    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 to read this every year of my life, to make sure the wisdom in it continues to sink in and stay with me. No book has made me feel more grateful for everything in life, and just life in general, no matter what I'm stressing about, and actually in spi...
  • Rachel Blakeman
    1970-01-01
    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 much new insight about the wisdom of oldest of the old. It did however remind to appreciate my time with both my own grandmothers, with one living until 91 and the other until 101. I miss them but they live on our families' memories.
  • Lesa
    1970-01-01
    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, and what it means today. The result was a series in the newspaper and the book, Happiness is a Choice You Make: Lessons from a Year among the Oldest Old.One of the fastest growing groups in the United States is those over the age of eighty-five. Th...
  • Lynne Spreen
    1970-01-01
    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, was 57 as of the the time of this writing, and going through his own challenges. He was hoping to learn from these elders, and to share his findings with us. He did both brilliantly. Leland writes with compassion, humor, and incisiveness. I knew I wa...
  • Ericka Clouther
    1970-01-01
    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 number of long-term interviews. To a lesser extent, it's about facing the inevitability of death, but the focus here is on how to confront life now in order to be prepared for whatever form death takes. There are some valuable thoughts worth considering...
  • Terri Suda
    1970-01-01
    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 and every lesson. Essential reading.
  • Maria
    1970-01-01
    This is a poignant, life-affirming, and inspiring little book with a huge message. Absolutely required reading for everyone who hopes to live a good, long life.
  • David
    1970-01-01
    i'm usually not a fan of authors' making it all [or a lot] about them, but in this case I found it a charming touch that the author, in his early middle years [or at any rate that's how i think of being in mid-50s] with an elderly Mom and in the wake of a recent divorce, focuses quite a bit on what HE can get out of becoming closely acquainted with six NYC-residing oldest-old [85+] people. They make an appealing, seemingly realistic group with a ...
  • George
    1970-01-01
    KINDA DEPRESSING.“Old age was the gift that kept on taking.” (p. 25)I’ve been a self-help, happiness junkie for as long as I can remember; so the title of John Leland’s recently released non-fiction: Happiness Is a Choice You Make set all sorts of Pavlovian bells ringing for me. I had to read this book.Leland did an admirable job of hitting all the right ‘happiness’ chords—attitude, gratitude, purpose, usefulness, camaraderie, and h...
  • Julie Barrett
    1970-01-01
    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 carpe diem. In the words of Ram Dass, "be here now". Of course, that is easier said than done for many people, myself and the author included.One of the 6 people Leland follows does basically that when younger - always living in the moment - and he pay...
  • Caitlin
    1970-01-01
    I hope that people don't dismiss Happiness Is a Choice You Make as another bit of platitudinous fluff based on the title. It is by far the best non-fiction book I've read this year. If you can get a paper copy as well as the audiobook, I highly recommend it. I started out reading a library copy, and loved seeing pictures of "the elders," but life got in the way of my having enough time to sit and make much progress with it, so I downloaded it on ...
  • diane diener
    1970-01-01
    Everyone should read this book. Well written and we'll worth the timeEveryone should read this book. Well written and well worth the time. A subject we all are intimately involved with
  • Rachel
    1970-01-01
    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’s powerful considering what keeps us going and what we can learn from the elderly.
  • Holly
    1970-01-01
    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 and depressed by their physical and emotional challenges. And at times he came away concerned for their safety and wellbeing. But he quickly discovered that the elderly themselves are hopeful. Without the worries of career, family, and relationships,...
  • Terri
    1970-01-01
    This book deserves a better title. It's an insightful look at a year in the lives of a half dozen elderly folks. How they cope with diminished capabilities, their attitudes towards dying and living. It's easy for us to forget that older people are unique and have their own views. Leland celebrates them all.
  • Kristine
    1970-01-01
    Happiness is a Choice You Make by John Leland is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late January.Words of wisdom from 6 elders as part of Leland's 85 and Up series. Their stories are neither fully feast or famine (complete ability or disability) and, quite frankly, it's so much better that way. Each emphasize the necessity to keep busy with the hobbies and interests that they love, to readjusting goals and daily activities to their personal, p...
  • Dawn
    1970-01-01
    Wisdom UnfoldsWonderful lessons. Interesting and well written. Personable. I enjoyed how he wrote the lesson from each individual and then shared with readers how he related that lesson to his own life.
  • Deborah Hebblewhite
    1970-01-01
    Wonderful meditation on life and how we find meaning. Made me realize there are lessons to learn from people who have lived much longer than I have.Interesting quote from the book . . .But what is old age? To a great extent we’ve made it a verdict, something that happens to people who didn’t have the good sense to take up yoga before it was too late, meaning roughly their twenties. Which is to say, old age is a concept largely defined by the ...
  • Jenn
    1970-01-01
    This was a sweet story of a journalist trying to work out his own issues around aging for himself and his mother through developing relationships with a handful of elders. Their stories are all so different and their responses to aging vary. Several of them are ready to die - not suicidal -and grateful of the lives they've lead and all the good that has come their way. Some of them live in the past -- reliving pleasant memories through pictures, ...
  • Jane
    1970-01-01
    Being in the moment, enjoying what I have, and not lamenting what I don't are all lessons I can get behind. I don't gain anything by wishing circumstances were different.
  • Patricia
    1970-01-01
    I appreciated the stories and the wisdom. This book gave me a lot to think about.
  • Karen
    1970-01-01
    Leland spends a year with six older adults in and around NYC. They are all 85 or older at the time, and they each find ways to find happiness despite some of the losses of advanced age. Fred is a well-dressed ladies man who is grateful for waking up to a new day. He has some problems with mobility, but he's full of gratitude and enjoys life's simple pleasures. Ping enjoys playing mah-johng and socializes with several other Chinese-Americans. She ...
  • Gina
    1970-01-01
    "Happiness is a Choice You Make" is sometimes painful to read. It reminds us that if we are destined to live for many decades, we may be in for some challenging times, medically and psychologically. Still, it is enlightening to learn from people who have been around long enough to see the big picture. The most successful among the elders engage in pleasurable activities, maintain a certain amount of optimism, and stick with those relationships th...
  • Ellyn Lem
    1970-01-01
    This book might not seem like it would be a "fun read," but I thought it was fantastic--how one middle-aged NY Times reporter going through some life crises spent a year with six senior citizens who taught him how to make the most of one's life. The six individuals he focused on had different enough stories that Leland could bring out different lessons from his interactions with him, which he laces with current sociological and medical research. ...
  • Maria
    1970-01-01
    Leland, a reporter for The New York Times spent a year interviewing 6 seniors over the age of 85 about living and growing old. Over repeated visits and interviews, he learned about living in the present, being happy and accepting yourself and your weaknesses.Why I started this book: I checked out the book on the title alone...Why I finished it: The audio was a little repetitive... which bothered me until I remembered how many times my Grandmother...
  • Kate
    1970-01-01
    This book comes from Leland’s series on living past 85 for the NYT. Better than average, but not mind blowing lessons about living in the moment and finding little joys etc. Good reminders that the people who have the best experience in old age are those who believe that old age is a good phase - this mental attitude adds more to your health than quitting smoking or taking up yoga. I’m always a proponent in the reverse planning theory as well...
  • John Kaufmann
    1970-01-01
    Solid. Leland wrote about life lessons from six "extraordinary" elders he has met over the years. There are some good insights, and it is an interesting read. I thought about giving it four stars to distinguish it from several similar books about aging to which I gave only three stars - but I'm not sure it quite rises to four stars. Nonetheless, it has some good insights.
  • Andrea McGinnis
    1970-01-01
    An excellent read. I only had 2 days to read this book as a number of books had become available from holds all at once. Very captivating stories of 6 folks approaching the last few years of their lives. So many life lessons.....
  • Brandi Quanrud
    1970-01-01
    This book was a wonderful uplifting read. It challenges what getting old really means. I love the advice from the Elders on how to live in the now and really enjoy the life you’re currently living no matter your age.