Read This Book If You Have Older Parents

Women rush to read the bible of all pregnancy books, What To Expect When You’re Expecting, when they become pregnant.

Well, I’ve discovered the bible for the other big life stage.  The one nobody wants to talk about, or think about, much less spend precious free time reading about.  Yep, that’s old age and all the scary things that come with it.

Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, by famed New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast, is marvelous and should be required reading for everyone (in my humble opinion).  She mixes humor with the painful realities that come with caring for older parents.  And, in the process, she makes you feel less alone and less incompetent at a job that comes with no training manual.

And, don’t just take my word for the power of this book.  Last evening I attended a book reading by Roz Chast, which felt more like a revival meeting at times.  I was waiting for the audience — of Baby Boomers and beyond who all had personal experience with the subject — to start chanting amen after hearing one of her wise and witty readings.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this book or if you have any other recommendations.


  1. Claire Bucalos

    Janet, your blog has helped me navigate so many things while I learn about caring for my aging mother. Thank you for all the good advice, I will be buying this book!


    1. Claire: you will love this book. Glad what I share is helpful.


      1. I started reading the book before the Book Passage event. But, after hearing Roz at the event, the book is even funnier, more real and more touching.


  2. Judith


    Wow. That was fast.

    This book is also for anyone who expects to grow old – or not.

    I can’t wait to read it.

    Best, J


  3. Reblogged this on The Memories Project and commented:
    Wanted to share this. I can’t wait to read this book and hope it helps others as well as we make our way through this family caregiving journey.


    1. Thanks for reblogging this post. So many friends have read the book and can’t believe how accurately Roz Chast captures the path to and journey through caregiving. And, because it’s done in cartoon format, it seems more approachable than some other memoirs. Let me know what you think after you read it.


    1. Hi Barbara: Thank you for reblogging this post. You are so right. Potential caregivers think they don’t need to read about caregiving yet. Current caregivers are too busy. And, past caregivers want to put it all in the past. I mentioned to Joy that there’s something with “Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?” being in cartoon format that makes it more accessible and a fast read. Also, thank you for letting me know about your book. The more information available the better. I can’t wait to read it.


      1. Thanks, Janet, for your reply. It’s so good to actually COMMUNICATE, and not feel that comments are falling into the “deep dark hole,” I mentioned in one of my blog posts. If you read the book, I’d love your honest feedback! Barb


      2. Hi Barb: I agree. It’s nice to get feedback. Though at times I am guilty of falling behind in reading everyone’s blog posts. But, I try and comment when I can. Thank you.


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