This multimedia tool will help you age well, like a good wine. In fact, aging is not always synonymous with decline…
With the aim of spreading the word about the positive effects of humour as we age, Blue Metropolis is now offering an online library that includes novels, films and videos, by anglophone Quebecers and others. Through humour, these books and films tackle topics such as the loss of autonomy, living far from one’s children, illness, and more.
Explore our “Longevity Library”, with its wide range of literary works for all ages and tastes! This collection offers a way to face the challenges of aging while promoting one’s mental well-being. It’s also a way to bring together people of all ages and from different horizons, to explore ways of aging gracefully and well.
What I Wish I’d Known People have only one way to be. Buy, don’t rent. Never marry a man you wouldn’t want to be divorced from. Don’t cover a couch with anything that isn’t more orless beige. Don’t buy anything that is 100 percent wool even if itseems to be very soft and not particularly itchy when you try it on in the store. You can’t be friends with people who call after 11 p.m. Block everyone on your instant mail. The world’s greatest babysitter burns out after two and a half years. You never know. The last four years of psychoanalysis are a waste of money. The plane is not going to crash. Anything you think is wrong with your body at the age of thirty-five you will be nostalgic for at the age of forty-five. At the age of fifty-five you will get a saggy roll justabove your waist even if you are painfully thin. This saggy roll just above your waist will be especially visible from the back and will force you to reevaluate half the clothes in your closet, especially the whiteshirts. Write everything down. Keep a journal. Take more pictures. The empty nest is underrated. You can order more than one dessert. You can’t own too many black turtleneck sweaters. If the shoe doesn’t fit in the shoe store, it’s never going to fit. When your children are teenagers, it’s important to have a dog so that someone in the house is happy to see you. Back up your files. Overinsure everything. Whenever someone says the words “Our friendship is more important than this,” watch out, because it almost never is. There’s no point in making pie crust from scratch. The reason you’re waking up in the middle of the nightis the second glass of wine. The minute you decide to get divorced, go see a lawyer and file the papers. Overtip. Never let them know. If only one third of your clothes are mistakes, you’reahead of the game. If friends ask you to be their child’s guardian in casethey die in a plane crash, you can say no. There are no secrets.
Facing a bleak Christmas following the sudden death of his friend Patrick, Geoffry Chadwick is cheered to discover a kindred spirit in the recently widowed Elinor Richardson. Amid the sinister forces of consumerism, eggnog, his sister Mildred and social obligations, Geoffry is also having to deal with a voice from the past that threatens to make this Chrismas his last.
What is it like to be old? Diana Athill made her reputation as a writer with the candour of her memoirs - her commitment, in her words, 'to understand, to be aware, to touch the truth'. Now in her nineties, and freed from any inhibitions that even she may once have had, she reflects frankly on the losses and occasionally the gains that old age brings, and on the wisdom and fortitude required to face death. This is a lively narrative of events, lovers and friendships: the people and experiences that have taught her to regret very little, to resist despondency and to question the beliefs and customs of her own generation.
Unforgettably astounding and a joy to read, Memento Mori is considered by many to be the greatest novel by the wizardly Dame Muriel Spark. In late 1950s London, something uncanny besets a group of elderly friends: an insinuating voice on the telephone informs each, "Remember you must die." Their geriatric feathers are soon thoroughly ruffled by these seemingly supernatural phone calls, and in the resulting flurry many old secrets are dusted off. Beneath the once decorous surface of their lives, unsavories like blackmail and adultery are now to be glimpsed. As spooky as it is witty, poignant and wickedly hilarious, Memento Mori may ostensibly concern death, but it is a book which leaves one relishing life all the more.
At the age of seventy, Geoffry Chadwick’s life is ready to begin again. To commemorate his wife Elinor’s death, seventy-year-old retiree Geoffry Chadwick plans to hold a grand party in lieu of a memorial service. His decision indirectly triggers a chain of surprising events: aman named Harold visits from Toronto, claiming to be his son from a youthful fling. Also visiting is his childhood friend Larry, accompanied by a new lover, Desmond, who Geoffry immediately takes a liking to. As the day of the party approaches, events take a turn for the worse. Geoffry’s alcoholic elderly mother dies. Larry is ordered to abandon his own alcoholism. Harold vanishes after borrowing a large sum of money to pay off a gambling debt. Thankfully, Geoffry is not left alone to cope. His overbearing sister begins to mellow, and Desmond makes a surprise appearance at the party. With a characteristic wisecrack always at the ready, Geoffry comes to terms with his present situation and prepares to live out the rest of his life. The latest in the award-winning Sunday series of novels by Edward O. Phillips, A Month of Sundays is a wry and human take on coming to terms with grief and old age.
Old age isn’t for wimps, nor is it for those without a sense of humor. The Big Book of Senior Moments is chock full of those small blunders, momentary lapses, and misplaced keys that happen to all of us. Humor might not help you remember your cat’s name, but it will certainly make you feel less alone! Did you know that Albert Einstein once searched frantically for his misplaced train ticket because he couldn’t remember where he was going? Or that Marilyn Monroe forgot the same line through 52 takes during the filming of Some Like it Hot? Can you believe that Marlon Brando had to have his lines written on another actor’s forehead so he could get through a scene? If you have done something like this, don’t despair, for you are among other greats like Lincoln, Beethoven, Newton, Toscanini, and a whole assortment of presidents, poets, philosophers, popes, and Nobel Prize–winners. The Big Book of Senior Moments will be sure to bring a smile to friends and family alike.
There's only one antidote to our speed-crazed, tech-obsessed, gluten-sensitive, password-plagued, financially-jittery, fitness-phobic, fatness-fearing world--and that's laughter.He Who Laughs, Laststakes the hassles and headaches of everyday life and converts them by alchemy into humor. This is the latest hilarious collection from Josh Freed, winner of the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour--and twice named Canada's best newspaper columnist. Studies show laughter adds several years to your life, Freed recommends that readers take two pages of this book each morning--and live longer. Recommended by pharmacists!
In Nearing Ninety, bestselling author Judith Viorst candidly shares the complicated joys and everyday tribulations that await us at the age of ninety, all with a large dose of humor and an understanding that nothing—well, almost nothing—in life should be taken too seriously. While she struggles to make it to midnight on New Year's Eve, while she’s starting to hear more eulogies than symphonies, while she’ll forever be disheartened by what she weighs (and forever unable to stop weighing herself), there is plenty to cherish at ninety: hanging out with the people she loves. Playing a relentless game of Scrabble. And still sleeping tush-to-tush with the same man to whom she’s been married for sixty years. Accompanied by Laura Gibson’s whimsical illustrations, Nearing Ninety’s amusing and touching reflections make this collection relatable to readers of all ages. With the wisdom and spunk of someone who’s seen it all, Viorst gently reminds us that everybody gets old, and that the best medicine at any age is laughter.
What does it mean to be eighty? In her wise and playful poems, Judith Viorst discusses love, friendship, grand parenthood, and all the particular marvels—and otherwise—of this extraordinary decade. She describes the wonder of seeing the world with new eyes—not because of revelation but because of a successful cataract operation. She promises not to gently fade away, and not to drive after daylight’s faded away either. She explains how she’s gotten to be a “three-desserts” grandmother (“Just don’t tell your mom!”), shares how memory failure can keep you married, and enumerates her hopes for the afterlife (which she doesn’t believe in, but if it does exist, her sister-in-law better not be there with her). As Viorst gleefully attests, eighty is not too old to dream, to flirt, to drink, and to dance. It’s also not too late to give up being cheap or to take up with a younger man of seventy-eight. Zesty, hopeful, and full of the pleasures of living, Viorst’s poems speak to her legions of readers, who recognize themselves in her knowing observations, in her touching reflections, and in her joyful affirmations. Funny, moving, inspirational, and true—the newest in Judith Viorst’s beloved “decades” series extols the virtues, victories, frustrations, and joys of life.
Viorst explores, among the many other issues of this stage of life, the state of our sex lives and teeth, how we can stay married though thermostatically incompatible, and the joys of grandparenthood and shopping. Readers will nod with rueful recognition when she asks, “Am I required to think of myself as a basically shallow woman because I feel better when my hair looks good?,” when she presses a few helpful suggestions on her kids because “they may be middle aged, but they’re still my children,” and when she graciously—but not too graciously—selects her husband’s next mate in a poem deliciously subtitled “If I Should Die Before I Wake, Here’s the Wife You Next Should Take.” Though Viorst acknowledges she is definitely not a good sport about the fact that she is mortal, her poems are full of the pleasures of life right now, helping us come to terms with the passage of time, encouraging us to keep trying to fix the world, and inviting us to consider “drinking wine, making love, laughing hard, caring hard, and learning a new trick or two as part of our job description at seventy.” I'm Too Young to Be Seventy is a joy to read and makes a heartwarming gift for anyone who has reached or is soon to reach that—it’s not so bad after all—seventh decade.
With his unmistakable rhymes and signature illustration style, Dr. Seuss creates a classic picture-book ode to aging in You're Only Old Once! On a visit to "the Golden Years Clinic on Century Square for Spleen Readjustment and Muffler Repair," readers will laugh with familiar horror at the poking and prodding and testing and ogling that go hand in hand with the dreaded appellation of "senior citizen." Though Dr. Seuss is known for his peerless work in books for children, this comical look at what it's like to get older is ideal for Seuss fans of advanced years. In his own words, this is "a book for obsolete children." A perfect gift for retirement, birthdays, and holidays!
Daunted by the prospect of old age? Fearful of becoming a silly old fool? 'No need,' says Christopher Matthew. He has just hit eighty. He plays golf; walks the dog; has all his own hair; doesn't need a hearing aid, and no one ever stands up for him on crowded buses and tubes. By his own lights a late middle ager who intends to remain so. No one likes the idea of getting old, but in this wry, thoughtful and very funny guide to life in the last lane, the author of the million-selling Now We Are Sixty will surely persuade all late middle agers that they have a lot more to look forward to than they might imagine.
"This is the thing, you see: I am on my way to being an old man. But at 60, I am still the youngest of old men." As Ian Brown's 60th birthday loomed, every moment seemed to present a choice: confront or deny the biological fact that the end was now closer than the beginning. True, he was beginning to notice memory lapses, creaking knees, and a certain social invisibility - and yet it troubled him that many people think of 60 as "old", because he rarely felt older than he had at 40. An award-winning writer, Brown instead chose to notice every moment, try to understand it,
Here is Nora Ephron at her funniest, wisest, and best, taking a hilarious look at the past and bemoaning the vicissitudes of modern life. In these pages she takes us from her first job in the mailroom at Newsweek to the six stages of email, from memories of her parents’ whirlwind dinner parties to her own life now full of Senior Moments (or, as she calls them, Google moments), from her greatest career flops to her most treasured joys. Filled with insights and observations that instantly ring true, I Remember Nothing is a delightful, poignant gift from one of our finest writers.
Watch and listen to stories and interviews recorded by authors, journalists, actors and other Blue Met contributors. Take advantage of this opportunity to enjoy the Simply Hilarious project in its onstage incarnation, guaranteed to make you smile…
Our online collection also offers some gems of the silver screen for your viewing pleasure. These films were selected for your enjoyment, to be watched on your own or with friends and family. Choose a film, settle into your couch, and enjoy the moment.
Harry Sanborn (Jack Nicholson) is a perennial bachelor who only dates women under the age of 30. On what was to have been a romantic weekend with his latest infatuation, Marin (Amanda Peet), at her mother's beach house, Harry develops chest pains. Marin's mother, Erica (Diane Keaton), a successful, divorced playwright, reluctantly agrees to help nurse him back to health. Alone together, Harry is surprised to find himself drawn to Erica for all the right reasons. And despite her initial protestations about Harry, Erica finds herself rediscovering love. Romantic complications arise when Erica is pursued by Harry's charming young doctor, Julian Mercer (Keanu Reeves). When Harry's feelings for Erica prove to be life altering, he must undergo a true change of heart if he is to win her back. Something's Gotta Give proves that in matters of the heart, it pays to expect the unexpected!
A satirical look at French society, centering on the fortunes of a disagreeable old woman who plagues her relatives, bullies the people hired to take care of her, and in the end, bosses fellow inmates of a nursing home.
Diane (Diane Keaton) is recently widowed after 40 years of marriage. Vivian (Jane Fonda) enjoys her men with no strings attached. Sharon (Candice Bergen) is still working through a decades-old divorce. Carol’s (Mary Steenburgen) marriage is in a slump after 35 years. Four lifelong friends’ lives are turned upside down to hilarious ends when their book club tackles the infamous Fifty Shades of Grey. From discovering new romance to rekindling old flames, they inspire each other to make their next chapter the best chapter.
In the sensible yet elegant hands of actresses Helen Mirren and Julie Walters, Calendar Girls walks a fine line between sappiness and snickering and ends up both wonderfully funny and gently touching. When her best friend Annie (Walters) loses her husband, Chris (Mirren) cooks up a scheme to commemorate him: they and their friends--all fiftysomething women--will make a nude calendar to raise money for the hospital where he died. The calendar becomes hugely popular, but the success may drive a wedge between the two women's friendship. Based on a true story, Calendar Girls carefully balances the stories of several women as it follows the calendar's media explosion, becoming a surprisingly moving fable of loss, determination and the perils of fame. And let's face it--Helen Mirren is one of the wittiest and sexiest women alive, clothes on or not. --Bret Fetzer
A classic cult film that features one of the screen's most unlikely pairs. It will defy everything you've ever seen or known about screen lovers. Bud Cort is Harold, a young man bored with wealth but interested in death. And Ruth Gordon is Maude, a wonderful old rascal who can see nothing but good intentions in the world. Hal Ashby (Coming Home, Being There) directed from Colin Higgins' (Foul Play) first script. An outrageously funny and affecting film that proves love has no boundaries. Cat Stevens provides an uplifting musical score.
Eight elderly women are left stranded in the wilderness with only their wits, their memories and eventually some roasted frogs' legs to sustain them.
George and Rosemary is a 1987 animated short film (nine minutes) by Alison Snowden and David Fine. It was produced by the National Film Board of Canada. George is a retiree who lives alone with his cat. His life is about as exciting as one might imagine a retiree's life to be. George is madly in love with Rosemary, the old lady who lives across the street. He imagines all sorts of romantic adventures with her but can't work up the nerve to approach her. Finally he does—and he gets a surprise.
Heartwarming comedy follows a dysfunctional family on a frantic road trip across the US in a decrepit Volkswagen van to deliver their youngest to a chld beauty pageant on time. Olive Hoover (Abigail Breslin) is an ordinary little girl, perhaps even on the plain side as far as looks go but she has a dream cast in stone - to win the Little Miss Sunshine child beauty pageant. Her heroin-snorting grandfather (Alan Arkin) coaches her in some rather unorthodox and grown-up techniques - when he's not on the nod. Her mum (Toni Collette) and dad (Greg Kinnear) are at each other's throat because dad has sunk their entire worth into a self-help business that's a total non-starter. Her philosophically-constipated older brother (Paul Dano) has taken a vow of nihilistic silence and her suicidal gay uncle (Steve Carell) has come to stay for a while after yet another failed attempt to cash out early. Has Olive got a chance? No, she hasn't, but it's the journey that matters, not the destination - ultimately the message of this touching comedy.
John Madden directs this British comedy drama starring Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel, Tom Wilkinson and Maggie Smith. The film follows the experiences of a group of elderly Brits who arrive to take up residence in a newly-opened retirement home in Bangalore, India. Despite its glossy publicity campaign, the Marigold turns out to be rather different from the refurbished luxury hotel advertised in the brochures. However, it soon begins to reveal some unexpected charms of its own.
An inclusive Library :
Our online library is also yours! Your opinion matters to us because without your support Blue Metropolis Festival wouldn’t exist. That’s why we want to include your favourite books in this online collection.
In order to expand our online library, we would like to know your opinion about the books you’ve read, and which ones are your favourites. This space belongs to you. Feel free to enter the titles of books that you’ve enjoyed or that have made a strong impression on you. Your suggestions will be taken into consideration by the person who oversees the online library and, if suitable, will be included in the collection.
Share your literary discoveries with us at the following address firstname.lastname@example.org
Last month’s “Pick of the Month”, as suggested by our readers
Thanks to our partners supporting this project
Welcome to this creative space, one that aims to be both entertaining and literary, full of fairy tales, creativity workshops and, above all, fun for the entire family.
Blue Metropolis is always at the ready with suggestions of good books and interesting interviews, as well as events taking place at your local library and bookstore, and other special moments, ways to take a break from the stresses of everyday life. You might choose to attend an event that’s part of the TD-Blue Metropolis children’s programming, which now takes place throughout the year. Or you might opt for something that you can do online, from the comfort of your own home. Whatever it is, we’d be delighted to have you join us.
Let yourself be tempted… And happy reading!