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How to Age (School of Life) [Paperback]

Anne Karpf , The School of Life
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
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Book Description

2 Jan 2014 School of Life

Society has a deep fear of ageing. Old age is increasingly viewed as a biomedical problem, something to be avoided at all costs and then vanished away by medicine. Anne Karpf urges us to change our narrative. Exploring how our outlook on ageing is historically determined and culturally defined, she draws upon case studies, old and new, to suggest how ageing can be an actively enriching time of immense growth. She argues that if we can recognize growing older as an inevitable part of the human condition, then the great challenge of ageing turns out to be none other than the challenge of living.

One in the new series of books from The School of Life, launched January 2014:

How to Age by Anne Karpf

How to Develop Emotional Health by Oliver James

How to Be Alone by Sara Maitland

How to Deal with Adversity by Christopher Hamilton

How to Think About Exercise by Damon Young

How to Connect with Nature by Tristan Gooley

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Frequently Bought Together

How to Age (School of Life) + How to Develop Emotional Health (School of Life) + How to Deal with Adversity (School of Life)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan (2 Jan 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230767753
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230767751
  • Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 12.8 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 91,371 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


This new series of The School of Life's self-help books build on the strengths of the first, tackling some of the hardest issues of our lives in a way that is genuinely informative, helpful and consoling. Here are books that prove that the term "self-help" doesn't have to be either shallow or naive (Alain de Botton, Founder of The School of Life)

About the Author

Anne Karpf is a writer, medical sociologist and award-winning journalist. She has been a contributing editor to Cosmopolitan, and wrote a weekly column for the family pages of the Guardian, to which she now contributes columns on social, political and cultural issues. She also writes for the Independent on Sunday and other publications. A regular broadcaster, she writes and presents for BBC Radio 4, and is the author of three books, including The Human Voice (Bloomsbury, 2007). She is Reader in Writing and Cultural Inquiry at London Metropolitan University.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smart, stimulating, short! 26 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A rich and ultimately inspiring, consideration of ageing. Anne Karpf writes engagingly and plants very interesting ideas which - for me at least - keep on growing after the book is done. Fun to read, brief and to the point, but followed with suggestions for further reading ('Homework'). I'd recommend this to anyone from late teens on who is interested in thinking about their life and development.

Style-wise, the book has rounded corners (in the manner of a moleskine notebook) and lots of photos, printed in black and white alongside the text on the matt pages. Clearly shooting at an intellectualism of look, rather than risk drowning among the oceans of self-help, this book lives up to its intellectual promise - but you'll get some help for yourself as a bonus.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hard going to find six good pages 20 Jan 2014
By MrT
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There are half a dozen good pages in this book, unfortunately they are buried amongst the remaining pages which are hard going. Hard going because they are depressing and the material is presented as if it was a study resource book with quotes from numerous studies which add little but bulk. I would rather recommend Penelope Lively, Armonites and Leaping Fish which, by contrast, is written from the actual perspective of an old person and is determinedly optimistic, especially the first sixty pages which are superb.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars against a negative view of the aging process 19 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In this short book Anne Karpf challenges the ageism of contemporary society and looks at more positive ways of looking at the aging process (aging being something she notes that happens from the moment we are born). Also considering notions of how gender is a factor in how older men and women are perceived and how age might come less to dominate our interactions with others, our ideally having relationships with people at all stages of the life span. inspirational
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful 12 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An interesting read with a good reference section for further research. I wasn't that interested in historical views of ageing over the centuries although they undoubtedly still have an impact on our perception of older people today. It seems a little unrealistic that we should welcome and embrace changes in appearance due to ageing and it is hard to shift a longing that we should not be considered old. I always find it strange and a bit of a shock when I'm in a group of what I perceive to be 'older people' and then realise that I am one of them. It is hard to reconcile how one feels inside with how one looks outside but the book does extol some of the virtues of healthy ageing. It is a fate we have to resign ourselves to (its better than the alternative!) and maybe this book helps a little along the way.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Everyone both young and old should read this book. It is true that we become more individual the older we are.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Should be compulsory reading for everyone 12 Jun 2014
By Anitab
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great book. A really thoughtful and honest look at how we deal with ageing and how we can change our attitudes. It was a very positive read and afterwards I felt uplifted.
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