Sixty: A Diary of My Sixty-First Year
By Ian Brown
It took Ian Brown a decade to do what he was thinking of starting when he turned 50: documenting his slide into seniorhood. So the Canadian journalist cuts to the chase in this book, offering insights into how it feels to be old. That is, elderly enough to have serious concerns about decrepitude, but not so past it you can’t fantasise about why a pretty stranger is smiling at you. Aside from expected physical changes (going bald, weight gain, haemorrhoids), he tackles existential angst. He is also agitated that he is in a downward trajectory financially and that he continues to waste precious time when the clock is ticking. Still, he whiles away the hours finding people younger, older or the same age as him (Oprah Winfrey was born in the same year, except that she is “richer than God”). Sixty obviously has a target audience – age- and sex-wise – but Brown’s humour will ensure younger generations read it, too. Navel gazing it may be for those who haven’t even reached the indignity of middle-age. But at least Brown doesn’t pretend, like, he notes, the actor who said, “I’ve never felt better in my life!” then dropped dead.