The Next Thing on My List
After a Weight Watchers meeting, narrator June Parker offers a ride home to 24-year-old Marissa, but a nasty car accident leaves June’s passenger dead—and June overcome with guilt, especially after she finds a list the dead girl’s been keeping of 25 things she wanted to accomplish by her 25th birthday. To assuage her guilt, 34-year-old June decides she will do everything on the list—running a 5K, going braless, kissing a stranger, speaking up for herself at work—and finds that the tasks she accomplishes reshape her life in the process.
I Feel Bad About My Neck
These hysterical musings on aging from the writer behind Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail are not to be missed. You’ll be nodding along as Ephron waxes poetic about female maintenance (relentless regiments of Botox and hair dye), the enslavement of carrying a purse, the underrated reality of an empty nest and the nirvana achieved when sinking into a good book. Ephron’s brutally honest voice and dry humor are what we miss most about her, but reading these makes us feel like we’re cozied up with a wise, older friend.
This 1973 British novel about two old women and three old men living out the rest of their days at a retirement home in the English countryside called Tuppeny-happeny Cottage is a darkly comedic look at our last days. These hard-drinking septuagenarians are cranky and complaining when they aren’t busy pulling practical jokes on one another or shouting in senility. These misanthropes reveal the humanity deeply embedded in each of them—and in us.
I See You Made an Effort
Actress and humorist Annabelle Gurwitch is like a blend of Amy Sedaris, Lucille Ball and yes, Nora Ephron. These self-deprecating essays look at turning 50 in the age of the Apple Genius Bar, Prozac, and meditative practices and prove to be more satisfying than birthday cake. Gurwitch is a tremendous guide through the hills and valleys of middle age (downsizing, dating after divorce, dressing your age) and once you’re done reading, you feel as if you’d follow her anywhere—just to keep the laughter coming.
It happens to the best of us. Every day, we get a little bit older and in most cases—though not all—a little bit wiser. Here at Read It Forward, we think the best way of dealing with it is with a little bit of humor. These authors all address maturation with a sly wit and expansive heart—the perfect accompaniment to your next birthday.
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