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February 10 , 2008

What's Worth Knowing


Colorful and enlightening vignettes about life by everyday people in their seventies, eighties, and nineties.
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When social worker Wendy Lustbader was asked to take down the histories of residents in a retirement community, she discovered that "the man with Alzheimer's in room 410" was actually ninety-six-year-old Ole Harlen, a former concert pianist. "The woman who people-watches in the lobby" was really Lila Lane, who eloped to Tijuana with her sweetheart at age sixteen, and who at age seventy-five bemoaned the fact that she could no longer wear high heels.

Lustbader gathered these stories and more into What's Worth Knowing, a compilation of unforgettable first-person testimonials on love, truth, grief, faith, and fulfillment by people in their seventies, eighties, and nineties. Israel Grosskoff, for example, describes learning about trust while hiding from the Nazis during World War II. Giuseppe Maestriami passes on child-rearing lessons he discovered through growing prize-winning tomatoes. And Arsene St. Amand talks about the importance of making time for love-which he found for the first time only six months before his death.

In What's Worth Knowing, readers can spend time with Ole, Lila, Israel, Giuseppe, and Arsene-and a hundred others, whose wisdom matters all the more because of the way they've acquired it.
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