Being Old Without Children
Preparing for Grandparenthood

A Book Deal For You

I discovered the English writer, Julian Barnes, in 1984 with the publication that year of Flaubert's Parrot, and I haven't stopped reading him since.

In the past decade, Barnes seems to have become almost as consumed with growing old, old age in general and contemplation of death as I am and he has been writing about them in powerful ways so beyond my attempts that I may as well be living on a lesser planet. I recommend them all:

The Lemon Table - short stories about growing old (2004)

Nothing to be Frightened Of - essays about his ancestors, real and imagined, and their contemplation of death (2008)

The Sense of an Ending - novel of a middle-aged man forced to confront his past (2011 – Man Booker Prize)

Pulse - another brilliant short-story collection some of which touch on age and grief (2011)

Last week, I re-read Barnes' 2013 memoir of the grief he has lived following the death of wife of 30 years, literary agent Pat Kavanaugh. You wouldn't think the first two sections of Levels of Life – on 19th century ballooning and on Sarah Bernhardt – would have anything to do with that. You would be wrong.

The book is unforgettable - stunning achievement, beautiful, intense, heartbreaking, eloquent, profound and shattering.

I am telling you this today because as I returned the paperback to the shelf, I discovered a hardback edition. Huh? Blame it on old age memory, I guess. Apparently I bought the soft cover without checking my unread books pile.

So one of you wins today. As we have done in the past, let me know if you are interested in owning Julian Barnes' Levels of Life.

You can do that in the comments below by typing, Yes, I want the book. Or, Count me in. Or, Me, me, me. Or however else you want to indicate your interest.

The winner will be chosen in a random drawing and I'll mail off the book to you. The deadline for comments is 12:01AM Pacific Daylight Time on Friday 29 August I'll announce the winner in this space on Monday 1 September.

At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Clifford Rothband: You Can't Stop a Laugh


I would like the book Please.....

Count me in.

The reviews at Amazon are good. It got a 4 1/2 stars average for 113 reviews.

I would love to add this to my read soon list.

Moi, moi, moi

I would love to own this book! (And I'm going to stop at the library to get the other ones you mentioned.)

Yes, please, I would like the book.

I own many of his books.

I would love the book!

What a lovely 83rd Birthday gift the book will be for me!
AUGUST 31, 2014... Many thanks for all you are and all you do Ronni

I would like it, me, me!

Thanks for the heads-up on Barnes! I went online to see if I could borrow the titles for my kindle, sadly most are audio-books only.

I can only read large print, so save the hard copy for someone that would love the gift, but just wanted to see if anyone else had comments about hard copy vs online borrow (and the ability to enlarge the font) vs audiobooks

I'd love to have it to share with the KSU Gerontology Dep't.

Yes, please!

Sounds like a most interesting writer so please count me in.

no because I listen mainly to books on tape,,,,relic...btw End of your Life book club good book....

I would love the book. I'm always open to read a new author.
Your daily blog has meant so mch to me since I retired. Thanks.
326 W Seminary Ave
Wheaton, IL 60187-5002

I win! I win! Pick me!

But if someone else wins i will reserve at the library. I have read most of his other work. Thanks!

Yes, I would love to read the book and, if I win you don't even have to mail it. A friend who lives in lake Oswego could pick it up and bring it down the next time he comes to Eugene.

Yes, please. Me too.

Feed my obsession. Yes!

Yes, please!

count me in

I facilitate a legacy and memoir writing group at a retirement community. Thanks for writing about aging issues. Having written my own memoir about grief after the death of my husband and youngest son, It's an Ill Wind, Indeed, this latest sounds like something I should add to our library.

I've never read Barnes before and would love to have the book. Count me in!

Add my name as I'm interested and thank you!

Me too, please!

Re: mom cats question concerning on line books vs audio, I love the on line books because I can adjust the font to my needs. Also because of my hands/fingers I do not have the problem of holding the weight of the book or page turning, plus the books do not stack up leaving me more space.
As for the audio, I prefer hearing the voice in my head rather than that of someone else. Hope this helps.

Yes, please. Thanks for all you do to keep your blog on the outstanding end of the blog spectrum.

Yes. I'm interested in being included in the drawing for the book.

And don't feel bad. I've done that exact same thing before. In fact, one book I once bought three times. I kick myself every time.

Just dragging myself out of a depressed, lethargic state as I must do every once in a while. Your timing (new ways of thinking) is perfect !! Whoopee, I'm off to get myself a life, yet again.

How I hope my name is drawn! I would love to win Julian Barnes' memoir! Also I'm going to check him out at the library. Flaubert's Parrot is an enticing book title.
I look forward every day to your blog.

Yes, I'd love the book! I have also done this-several times and I just pass the extra copy on to an interested person!

Interested in the book, Ronni.

I'd love Levels of Life.. I teach Conscious Aging and read everything I can find on the topic..
Thanks for this offer.

Always looking for a good read!

Would love to have the book.
Thanks for such a nice offer

So generous.
I'd LOVE to read this book. Please pick me. Thanks. LORI HILL

Dear Ronnie, for the book please count me in too. I am a regular reader of your blog from Turkey and I use many of your posts (translating them into Turkish and referring to you) in my blog which is '' meaning 'art of aging'. Your blog is a good source for me, I learn a lot from it so I am glad that you do it. Thank you!

With so many wanting the book I am a bit reluctant to diminish the odds for others, but I would like to add my name to the list.

Sure, I'd love to own the Barnes book! Thanks for offering this!

I love a good cry- count me in, please.

I would like to read this book.

Interested in reading that one.....count me in!

Please add my name to this very long list..

I am hoping you pick me to get the book!!

Pick me, pick me!!

It would be wonderful to have a book that once belonged to you, however I would like to improve the odds for the others who would also like to have the book. I understand this book is partly a memoir. Memoirs are my favorites. I have been working on mine for over a year. I will be ordering "Levels of Life" today. Thank you for the information!

Here I am over here in the corner. I'm raising my hand. Yes.

Ronni, send it to your Montreal fan!


I would love to get the book.


Let it be me!

Oh my goodness....just the thing I need to transition/shift my focus from moving/unpacking/dodging the heat (I am now in Florida) to the beautiful prose of Julian Barnes. Thank you for this wonderful offer.

Count me in!

I would dearly love it! I'm a huge fan of his.

I would love to read this book, Ronni - Thanks for the opportunity....

I've read all of Barnes, but plan to reread a few. (It's the memory thing!) I have most of the books so I'll just wish the rest of you the pleasure that awaits

It would be thrilling to get a book from you. I've been reading your blog for awhile now, very interesting. Thanks for the suggestions for Julian Barnes books!

I just reread The Sense of an Ending. I'm looking forward to more of Julian Barnes. (me, me, me!!!!)

thanks for your blog

Count me in! Sounds like a wonderful opportunity to read a wonderful book!

Yes, I want the book. Include me in the raffle please.

count me in, please.

Yes, please. . .

and me.

Pick me - pick me- pick me!!!

Hi random picker--choose me for this award!

Please add me to the drawing for the book and thank you for your wonderful blog. I look forward to reading it every day!

Would never read this memoir otherwise. Choose moi.

I've been longing for a recommendation for a well-written book, from someone who is not a professional reviewer! Would love to read Levels of Life, reviewed by Ronni. Count me in, please.

Yes, count me in.
Otherwise, I will try the library.

Enna, my faithful four legged companion, suggests she and I share the stories. Anything with animals she gets and I get the rest. Right, Enna? Woof!

Would absolutely love to have the book. Thank you for sharing.

This is a topic on which I read a lot too. Would love to have the book. Whether I win it or not, you have given me the name of another author to explore. Thank you for that and for your thoughtful, inspiring, and often funny, posts.

I'm in!

I'll try for a free copy, and if I don't win, I'll get my own copy. I read A Sense of an Ending last year.

Yes, I'd like to read the book.

I love your blog and know I would love the Barnes book.

Thx for all of your good words.

Please enter me in the drawing. Thank you.

Yes, I would appreciate the book.
Thank you for the chance Ronni!

And me too! Thanks in advance!

yessiree, i would like to read this book...thank you for informng us of it!

i'd love to win, so include me in.

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