I was in my twenties when I first read Margaret Laurence’s The Stone Angel. It made an enormous impression on me. This is one of those must read books for women, told through Hagar Shipley’s ninety-year-old eyes. Throughout the book, small nostalgic events trigger flashbacks that reveal the story of her life and her strong and often irrational personality. I remember a scene where she imagines herself as a beautiful young woman, swirling, laughing and dancing with her husband. Then, in real life, she finds herself falling down the stairs in her 65-year-old son’s home.
After taking a 13 year break from writing novels, and following the amazing international success of her memoir “Eat Pray Love,” Elizabeth Gilbert has returned to fiction with “The Signature of All Things: A Novel.”
The book is set in the 18th and 19th centuries and tells the rags to riches story of the Whittaker family led by the creative and resourceful Henry Whittaker. After conquering extreme poverty and facing personal challenges, he becomes the richest man in Philadelphia. His strong willed and adventurous daughter Alma eventually inherits all of her father’s money and
Philomena: A Mother, Her Son, and a Fifty-Year Search, by Martin Sixsmith, is a true story about what happens when a young unmarried Irish girl gets pregnant in the 1950s.
Philomena is sent to a Catholic nunnery in Tipperary to have her baby and, since she is unable to pay money for her release, has to work in the kitchens and gardens for 3 years with her son. Eventually she is forced to give up her child, who is sold for adoption to an American family. He disappears from her life. Philomena then spends 50 years looking for him, unaware that he is looking for her as well.
Part of my inspiration for starting Sixty and Me was the feeling that too many media outlets do not devote enough attention to women over 60. I feel that we are too often invisible on magazine covers and on TV shows, and our voices too often are not being heard. I wanted to create my own community of wonderful women over 60 to share our stories, learn from each other, and help women over 60 lead more financially independent, personally fulfilling, healthy and connected lives.
Sometimes reading a good book is the best way to get some good insights and perspectives on the emotional, personal, financial and spiritual journey that we women are embarking on past the age of 60. It’s fun and enriching to hear the words of authors who are sharing this same experience with us. Here is a selection of 10 inspiring books for women over 60.
Since I started my professional career working in a bookstore, I have always had a passion for books. As a kid I was a voracious reader and often bumped into things as I walked along the street trying to read the last few pages of an intriguing chapter. My parents knew that a book was always a safe gift for me. But, as I got older and my life became more complicated, I found that I had less and less time for reading.
There is a great quote by T.S. Eliot about living life in a circle – and after time, always coming back to the place we started. I remember as a little girl listening to the radio with my Mum – she seemed to have it on all the time, while cooking, washing, cleaning the house. It wasn’t until the late 50‘s when we got our first TV, so, for a lot of my childhood, it was the BBC World Service that lulled me to sleep. Then, as I grew older, books became my main source of knowledge.