November 29, 2022

Suddenly 60 [and other shocks of later life]

Nonfiction - poetry
2000 Simon & Schuster
Finished on November 21, 2022
Rating: 3/5 (Good)

The New Alphabet

A's for arthritis. 
B's for bad back. 
C is for chest pain. Corned beef? Cardiac?
D if for dental decay and decline. 
E is for eyesight--can’t read that top line....

Publisher's Blurb:

From the bestselling author of Forever Fifty comes a new collection of poems that tickle, console, and offer the pleasure of instant recognition -- the perfect book for any woman anywhere in the vicinity of sixty. Judith Viorst's "decade" books of verse -- including It's Hard to Be Hip Over Thirty, How Did I Get to Be Forty, and Forever Fifty -- have delighted millions of readers worldwide who relish her wit, warmth, and wisdom. Now here she is with Suddenly Sixty, a funny and touching book that speaks directly to the sixty-ish woman, inviting her to laugh about, sigh over, and come to hopeful terms with the complex issues of this decade of life.

Among the poems in this charmingly illustrated collection are those exploring the joys -- and strains -- of children and grandchildren, and the intimacy of old friends who've "known each other so long/We knew each other back when we were virgins." There are poems that tip their hat to mortality, wrestle with a husband's retirement -- "He's coming with me when I shop at the supermarket/So I won't have to shop alone. I like alone." -- and acknowledge the fact that at this stage of life we'd "give up a night of wild rapture with Denzel Washington for a nice report on my next bone density test." Offering plenty of laughs, a few tears, and cover-to-cover truths, these are poems for everyone who would "rather say never say die than enough is enough." Every woman who has reached this decade will -- rueful and smiling -- find herself in the pages of this book.

I received Suddenly 60 last year for my birthday (when I turned 60), and I read it over the course of the year, finishing it a few weeks ahead of my 61st birthday. I identified with some of the poems, but others are dated and their humor lost on me.


  1. Holy cow, that gave me a good laugh this morning!!

    1. It's pretty funny isn't it, Tina? :)

  2. I have wondered about books that focus on a seminal event such as turning 60 (or any other milestone age) and if they are too forced. I am glad this one was mostly good.

    1. Yeah, it was mostly good, Helen. I think I've read a couple of the other milestone books by Viorst and they're a mixed bag.


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