If I Live to Be 100

While staying in a hotel last night, I came across a massive shelf of books that guests had left behind. I love seeing what books people read while traveling—there were a lot of mysteries and thrillers (but also, strangely, a copy of the reference book The Best in Children’s Books, 1985-1990 –left behind by a librarian?) I took it back to my room with about ten other books, trying to decide which one to read. I read parts of all of them until I settled on If I Live to Be 100, a collection of centenarians’ stories that was originally an NPR series. I’d never heard of this book before, and I’m so glad I found it. One of my favorite stories in it is by Anna Wilmot, who at 103 lives alone, happily, by a lake. Every day she reads romance novels and mysteries, and she has such joy in daily life. She loves to skinny-dip—“But only if it’s foggy and there’s no fishermen around!”

You can listen to Anna’s story, and others from the series, here.

I love this book also because Neenah Ellis talks about what it’s like to be an interviewer, that strange and mysterious interaction between interviewer and subject, and the intense connection that’s sometimes made when you look into someone’s eyes and hear their stories. . .
A few links:

Laurel Snyder has an essay on Jewish children’s literature in Nextbook. It’s a great essay! Don’t miss it.

Two beautiful poems by Major Jackson in failbetter: “Leave It All Up to Me” and “Lorca in Eden.”

My friend sent me the link to this blog that posts writers’ daily routines. I forget who said it, but I once read a quote that said when writers ask each other what their writing routines are like, what we’re really asking is, “Are you as crazy as I am?”

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