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Jerry Zezima
"One for the Ageless: How to Stay Young and Immature Even If You're Really Old"
Jerry Zezima, author
“One for the Ageless: How to Stay Young and Immature Even If You’re Really Old” is a merry romp through the golden years, a funny guide to surviving retirement, a heartwarming chronicle of long-overdue family reunions, and a book that will make you feel like a kid again.
Syndicated humor columnist Zezima (Every Day Is Saturday) pokes fun at life as a senior in this playful offering. Styled with self-deprecating humor—Zezima refers to himself as “an out-of-shape geezer who drinks red wine to avoid heart trouble and believes that exercise and health food will kill you”—and highlighting the easy banter between the author and his wife, Sue, this lighthearted read covers (and lobs jokes at) topics from aging health concerns to quality time with grandkids. Zezima shares the unique way he navigated the coronavirus pandemic, including the painful absence of family visits and vaccination challenges in his home state of New York, all through a comedic lens that brings welcome levity to even the most difficult subjects.

Fans of humorous essays about real life will be thoroughly entertained by Zezima’s quips and insights. He states his ninety-seven year old mother is sharper than he is, announcing “this isn’t such a great accomplishment because the same could be said for cucumbers,” and he proudly declares to his personal gym trainer that his overall fitness goal is “to stay alive.” Zezima is a devoted family man, recounting his many outings with grandchildren who challenge him to dance contests and paint his fingernails, and his closeness with Sue is evident throughout as he describes their lively antics, including a police stakeout for Sue’s stolen phone and learning how to handle couples grocery shopping.

Although rich with laughs, Zezima’s writing addresses weightier material along the way: he touches on Sue’s heart attack and recovery as well as how they managed days without electricity during Tropical Storm Isaias. Some of his stories elicit fond memories of the past, particularly his success at creating a prized pasta dish for Paul Newman’s Own and Good Housekeeping Recipe Contest. Readers keen on fun-loving stories sprinkled with substance will enjoy this selection.

Takeaway: A lighthearted take on the ups and downs of growing old, rich with humor and entertaining stories.

Great for fans of: Lawrence G. Doyle’s Adventures in Retirement, Steven Petrow’s Stupid Things I Won’t Do When I Get Old.

Production grades
Cover: B
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A