#BookReview : Living to be a hundred by Meera Shashidhara

Nineteen centenarians from different countries and a cross-section of society, share their memoirs, intertwined with the history of their century, as they experienced it. They were ordinary people who lived extraordinary lives. In these pages, they share their values, beliefs, habits, attitudes and lessons learnt from living to be a hundred. Most important of all, they tell us how to harmonize science and soul. They were around from the rustic horse and buggy age to the sequencing of the human genome. They witnessed the Big Bands performing, the railroads being constructed, and Gandhi's non-violent movement against the British. They have had personal experiences of the Great Depression, the World Wars, the Japanese invasion of China, India s freedom struggle, and apartheid. They have lost children to war and poverty. 

So what inspired them and kept them Spirited? What did they learn from history? How did they find the strength and the will to keep going in times of despair? In their diverse narratives, they offer us a common and real hope for health, longevity and a saner world-based on our own humanity.

My Views : Though I do not read many autobiographies / memoirs , I do like them a lot. I believe each one of us has something to offer to the next generation - whether to follow our steps for being right or completely ignore us when we go wrong. Stories of common people specially inspire me a lot. Their words are simple , loaded with their experiences and so heart warming. And what touches me most is the strength they carry within themselves while being vulnerable in front of the world. So open ,caring , helpful and humble .. Do I have it in me to be that today or some day tomorrow ?
With all these thoughts I started reading this book and it was much more satisfying than I expected. As the author says in the introduction , I am not eager to meet death but I am not afraid either. If there is one thing the people mentioned in the book believe in is to be alive all time. To accpet life might be hard , but there is always hope. And then there are friends and family to love and to let them care for you.

These people live with simplicity , indulge themselves in the slow motions of life and have haunting thoughts on everything that any human thinks about. I loved the second part of the book which has such amazing quotes from people whose perception of the world and understanding spans over 100 years. I felt like being under the shade of old trees , so huge and roots so deep that they appear like pillars of timeless beauty and wisdom.

Absolutely amazing journey this book is. I am glad this book came into light and I read it.

Rating : 4/5

Check out the teaser for the book Here


  1. Looks super intriguing, no? Especially the words which come from people who have actually lived to be a hundred years old. :)

    1. totally ! No truer words would have been said like the ones mentioned here :)


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