Happiness Is a Choice You Make: Lessons from a Year Among the Oldest Old (CD-Audio)
"[Narrator Robert Petkoff] is a steady performer whose measured pacing allows each subject's story to unfold naturally against the background of Leland's personal inquiry. A particular highlight comes at the very end, when listeners get a chance to hear the actual voices of some of the men and women who have shared the lessons of their lives." - AudioFile Magazine
This program includes original recordings of interviews from the New York Times series
Based on the popular New York Times series, life-changing wisdom from an unexpected source: America’s oldest old
In 2015, the award-winning New York Times journalist John Leland set out to meet some of the city’s oldest inhabitants for a series on America’s fastest-growing age group: those over eighty-five. Leland was at a crossroads in his own life. His marriage had fallen apart, and at fifty-five, he was alone for the first time. He was also caring for his elderly mother, whose main desire was to die. He understood aging, like many of us do, as nothing more than the relentless deterioration of body, mind, and quality of life. He wondered: Is there a threshold at which life is no longer worth living?
But the six elders Leland interviewed took him in a different direction. Beyond illuminating what it’s like to be old, physically and materially, they provided a life-changing education in resilience and joy. They had lived long enough to master the art of living, and they shared their wisdom generously. Leland did not anticipate all that he would learn, nor did he anticipate the popularity of the series: Its following grew to nearly half a million online views for the finale, plus print readers.
Happiness Is a Choice You Make, based on the series, is a rare, intimate glimpse into the end of life, and the insight that can enhance the years preceding. What he finds is deeply heartening: Even as our faculties decline, we still wield extraordinary influence over the quality of our lives. Happiness is a choice we make.
Learn how to live from those who have mastered the art
About the Author
John Leland is a reporter at The New York Times, where he wrote a yearlong series that became the basis for Happiness Is a Choice You Make, and the author of two previous books, Hip: The History and Why Kerouac Matters: The Lessons of “On the Road” (They’re Not What You Think). Before joining the Times, he was a senior editor at Newsweek, editor in chief of Details, a reporter at Newsday, and a writer and editor at Spin magazine.
Robert Petkoff has won multiple AudioFile Earphones awards for his acclaimed narrations. He was named Best Voice of Fiction & Classics for his reading of The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore by Benjamin Hale. His other narration credits include Oath of Office by Michael Palmer, Gangster Squad by Paul Lieberman, and books by David Foster Wallace.Petkoff has appeared on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and in theaters across America and Europe. He has worked in television and film. His theater credits include Lord Evelyn Oakleigh in the Broadway production of Anything Goes, Perchik as part of the Tony-nomianted cast of Fiddler on the Roof, and Hubert Humphrey in the Tony award-winning play All the Way. He has also had numerous roles in television on shows such as Law and Order and Married with Children.