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on 10 March 2011
This is a hugely uplifting read - I bought it for my mum, but started flicking through it myself, and quickly found myself drawn in. It's full of wisdom and common sense advice about staying positive and curious and open to the world, which is actually applicable for people of any age, not just those over 60. I have now relinquished it to my mother, who is really enjoying it - and I think she's already more cheerful! Definitely a recommended read!
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on 10 March 2011
I really liked this book. It's an inspiring read on embracing growing older. The author's writing is clear and to the point, and I've gone back to various sections now as they really struck a chord. She touches on topics that range from everyday financial decisions to grappling with depression and loneliness, and runs a positive, encouraging message throughout.
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on 10 March 2011
In a society where getting old is seen as a negative thing and people go to ridiculous lengths to stay young, this book is a breath of fresh air and a well needed addition to just about anyone's library. I heartily recommend it; it will make you appreciate time passing the way you truly should.
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on 10 March 2011
I bought this because of the beautiful cover and the title, but I have also been delighted by what's inside. Marie de Hennezel is an esteemed psychologist in France, and her expertise is evident in her book. This isn't a mumbo jumbo self help book, but an intelligent and realistic look at ageing and its impact on the individual, and what can be done to make that process easier.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 15 April 2011
An intelligent and thoughtful work, the author, a psychologist makes a valuable contribution to the understanding of the concepts of ageing. With more of a philosophical than scientific feel, it avoids descending into sentimentalism or offering glib consolation. Nor does it offer any definitive answers being more of an exploration of how to approach advancing age encompassing enlightened thoughts and beliefs from across the globe.

Primarily of benefit to those around 50 or 60 on how to look forward to becoming older, the book will also be of interest to those already into later life on how to think outside the norm and younger people since it raises questions about how our current society treats the old and the ageing.

Most importantly of all, I found it inspirational and uplifting since it explores spirituality, so often hijacked by religion, in a way not dependent upon faith in a deity. Recommended reading.
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on 10 March 2011
I really enjoyed this book, which offers smart, useful, and concrete advice on facing growing old. As a reader facing middle age and what's to come, I appreciated the insight and overall found it very uplifting. Originally I was afraid it might be too obvious or out of touch with reality, but in fact the author provides some great tid-bits about dealing with growing old, and her psychology background makes for a valuable approach. I've gotten this as a gift now for my older sister and aunt, and would definitely recommend it.
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on 25 May 2011
The Warmth of the Heart Marie de Hennezel

I bought this book thinking it would be a light hearted book about ageing in a happy way. This was the most depressing picture of growing old I have ever read.I am 75 and I would never envisage the things she writes about,homes for the elderly-what a depressing picture she paints about this and several other aspects which I wont go into here. I love my life ,I have several friends in their 80's and none of them are anything like what she describes. I kept reading this book thinking it has to get "lighter "perhaps the next chapter - but no. I would not recommend it any of my friends, because if getting old is anything like she describes I would just "jump in the lake "now Sorry.!! I will be very interested to hear what other readers feel when they read it Julia
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on 29 May 2011
I admit I only got to page 50 before I became too depressed to carry on reading - but I hadn't even seen a glimmer of the "keys for a happy, free and spirited old age" La Croix, or "the lesson that will inspire anyone who wants to age without becoming old" Le Figaro. Even dipping into the book after page 50 all I could see was paragraph after paragraph detailing the possible/probable mental and physical breakdown of the ageing person with the mention that it need not/should not be like this - but I gave up looking for the key to the life-enhancing alternative promised by the blurb and the critics.

This may be an insightful treatise for academics or students studying current society's attitude to old people but if you're looking for inspiration, hope and a guide to looking on the bright side as the tell-tale signs of your body beginning to rust start to show - look elsewhere - or tune into the Comedy Channel. I would donate my copy to the local medical training centre for geriatric nurses, but I fear the outcome. The fact that she has written nine books about the end of life should give you a good idea of her frame of mind - and the one you could end up in if you read this book.
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on 27 April 2011
This is a magnificent book,written from the heart by a 60 year old psychotherapist who has a unique perspectve on ageing.She has written several reports on the state of old age care for the French government.What I enjoyed was her subtle mixing of personal stories,interviews with old people and some creative ideas for growing old rather than ageing.
She achieves a difficult balance between being realistic and pessimistic and seeing the opportunities inherent in old age.This is definitely not some facile"let's all keep dying our hair and taking vitamins" approach.There are ideas to act upon for governments,for people to create their own communities and for individuals to live well ,right into very late old age.One of the keys seems to be to focus on relationships rather than on one's own pains and limitations plus being able to notice and enjoy life in the here and now instead of having to earn a living and bring up a family.She tackles the increasing apartheid of old people being literally removed from sight into old people's ghettos,breaking their natural links with younger generations and leaving them marginalised.
Although most of the interviewees who model a resilient old age are intelligent,affluent and unusual,the expert testimonies cover all groups of people.As an extra input,the author includes her own fears about ageing as she turns 60 and looks toward an uncertain future.
I highly recommend this to any caring,thinking person.
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on 19 May 2011
The Warmth of the Heart Prevents Your Body from Rusting: a clever book title - taken from a Chinese saying - which caught the eye and grabbed attention. Got undeserved publicity as a result for what turned out to be a rather scarey book - not reassuring but not necessarily realistic either. Too many unknown French sourcese quoted too. Early chapters painted a worst-case scenario after which I couldn't bring myself to proceed further.
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