Positively Ninety: Interviews with Lively Nonagenarians
Connie Springer. Blurb (www.blurb.com), $37.50 trade paper (110p) ISBN 978-0-9712744-2-6
In this uniformly upbeat volume, Springer%E2%80%94discouraged by her mother's decline in mental health%E2%80%94interviews and photographs 28 nonagenarians who are leading happy, vibrant lives. Among those profiled are Janet Kalven, a 94-year-old feminist with a 30-year mortgage; Dot Grannen, who, at 90, fulfills her lifelong ambition to tackle an Olympic bobsled run; Neil Keto, who, at 98 and with only one eye, is still a voracious reader; and swimmer Russ White, who has amassed hundreds of medals at the National Senior Olympics. Though most of her subjects have outlived their spouses, siblings, and, in some cases, children, they still lead fulfilling lives, full of social events and activities. However, Springer wisely avoids Pollyannaism, detailing the health conditions of her subjects as well as some of their disappointments. If there's a recurring theme, it's the importance of staying focused, staying positive, and never giving up. And the claim that happiness and contentment are often a choice is encouraging and inspiring.
Reviewed on: 03/28/2011