Reader’s Guide
Book Club Discussion Questions

1. What do you think the author’s overall attitude is toward being “halfway to dead”?  Positive or negative?

2. What was your favorite essay in the book?

3. Did the author touch upon any aspects of being in the second half of life that you hadn’t actively thought about but then recognized when you read about it?

4. In “Feeling Young, but Being Perceived as Old”  and in “I Have a Problem with the Zeitgeist,”  the author mentions how young people sometimes don’t understand her or that she doesn’t understand them.   Do you think this is due to her reluctance to accept them on their own terms?

5. In “Inventions for Our Future,” the author mentions several products she hopes will be developed by the time she needs them.    What types of things that aren’t common or even in existence yet do you think would make your old age more comfortable?   Or have you not started thinking about that yet?

6. In “I’m Sorry.  What Did You Say?”  the author says that her minor hearing loss is “a perfect position in which to waddle”  because she can blame it on her hearing when she wasn’t paying attention.    What other advantages are there to being on the young side of old and the old side of young?

7. In  both “Kicking Your Kids Out of the Home While Putting Your Parents into One” and in “Overstuffed,”  the author talks about our inclination to save enormous amounts of stuff, despite the fact that we live in a throw-away culture.    Why do you think we save stuff?   What do you save?   Have you started cleaning out your stuff?

8. In “First Times, Last Times” and in “One Day You Notice,” the author speaks of moments that were timeline signposts in her journey through life.   What small but significant events in your own life made you realize that you were getting older?

9. There are thirty essays in the book.   Did you feel some were too short…..or too long?

10. In “Botox Blues,” the author proposes two future scenarios for cosmetic surgery for wrinkles.   In the first, she speculates that the current obsessively wrinkle-free look is merely a fad in the same way that painted-on eyebrows were back in the forties and fifties, and thus will be a dated look to future generations.   Her other premise is that perhaps wrinkle-removal procedures will become the norm, like braces have become.   Which scenario do you think is more likely to occur?

11. The author delved into many aspects of being in the second half of life beyond the obvious physical changes.   Are there any other changes that you thought she could write about?