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


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.

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

  • 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, ...

  • 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...

  • Kristine

    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 ...

  • 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...

  • 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 ...

  • Deborah Hebblewhite

    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...

  • 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 ...

  • Patricia

    I appreciated the stories and the wisdom. This book gave me a lot to think about....

  • Jane

    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....