When Meryl Streep says she loves something, I generally take that as a sign that it is almost definitely worth looking into. So when I had the opportunity to get an early book at “You Don’t Look Your Age” by Sheila Nevins, I saw that Meryl Streep had already been singing it’s praises and jumped on the oppportunity.
Now, I don’t know much about the author, Sheila Nevins. I know that she’s most well known for her work on documentaries, and that in the documentary field she’s regarded as one of the best. Beyond that, there weren’t any lightbulbs that went off upon hearing that she had authored this book. After reading it, however, I feel like I have (perhaps too much) greater insight as to who she is and why she decided to step out from behind the camera and put together this collection.
“You Don’t Look Your Age” is a collection of stories that read like personal anecdotes and free-form poetry. If that sounds a bit like an interesting mix – you’d be exactly right It was a bit weird jumping from what reads like a memoir to something more poetic, but it works and eventually you get into a bit of a rhythm in terms of reading and get used to it. It’s easy to breeze through these little stories and tid-bits, seeing as even the longest ones don’t span more than a few pages, making this one of those books that you can read alongside of another, when you only have a few minutes here or there, or all at once.
If you were to ask me how I would describe this book in one word, I’d have to go with “honest.” It’s a raw look at aging and getting older. There are stories of growing up, stories of aging beyond those around you, and stories from the memories of years in between. In terms of audience, this means that there’s something in there for everyone regardless of age or place in life. Don’t worry though, even if you’re on the younger end of the aging spectrum, there’s still a lot of wisdom packed between these covers.
Plus if Meryl says you should read something, you should probably listen.
What did I think?: I’m not sure that this one will be topping my list of books for this year, but it’s definitely one I’m glad I took the time to read through. It’s insightful and entertaining in a sometimes painfully honest way which is a great break from fairy tales and other things that have been crossing my list recently.
Who should read it?: If you’re in the 50+ year age range, this one is going to speak to you especially, and I’d recommend it to you even moreso than I would others my age. That being said, anyone who wants an honest and real look at the things we go through in life should pick this one up. I found myself skimming through some parts that didn’t resonate especially well with where I currently am in life, and still I found that there was a lot to be gained from the parts that I devoured.
This book debuts in May, so pre-order your copy now!