On Centenarians (and Books)

I saw the link to this interview of Beverly Cleary on Ms. Yingling's blog and a couple of other places as well, and finally watched it tonight.


Lovely! She seems like a lovely person. My own grandmother will be turning 100 this fall, so I can't help but be a little bit interested in centenarians. I wish I could go visit my grandmother, so I hope she lives at least until Christmastime, when we plan to visit Arizona. Her own mother lived to 102, and they say Grandma Carmen is going strong, so I'm optimistic.

Grandma Carmen and me, on my wedding day in 2006
One of the most memorable conversations I've had with Grandma Carmen was just a couple years ago. I called her up on the phone, and we talked about Gone With The Wind, which I was reading for my book club at the time. She, of course, remembers when it came out and the splash that the book and later the movie made. We had a great time talking about it.

Anyway, did you enjoy any of Beverly Cleary's books? I remember loving Dear Mr. Henshaw, The Mouse and the Motorcycle, and the Ramona books -- though I don't know if I read all of them. I particularly remember the scene when Ramona calls Beezus a "pizza face," riffing off of the insult "pie face" and Beezus is reduced to tears because she is sensitive about her new acne. Ramona wasn't thinking of Beezus's complexion at all, but such is the way of sisters.

I haven't read any Beverly Cleary books in years, but I bet I'd love them still! What's your favorite? and do you think you'll live to be 100?

p.s. On the subject of aging, I thought this book was very very well done.


  1. Fifteen is still my favorite Cleary book, and I can only hope I do NOT live to be 100. My mother is 82, and it's horrible. Her mother died at 95, so you can't always trust genetics.

    1. I don't think I've ever read Fifteen! I'll have to try it. My grandma recently told my cousin about how she was staying healthy. She eats low carb, walks every day, etc. Then she said, "What am I doing? I want to be dead!" LOL She's been a widow since 1982. I don't know if I want to live to be 100 or not. I guess I'll have to see how life's going then!

  2. I'm not sure I've read a single one, though of course, I've heard of them. It's strange I know, but I gravitated toward non-fiction even as a young child! I sure hope I don't live to 100 -- I don't have any relatives that I am aware of that lived past 85. And 85 years seems hard enough to cope with :) That said, when I became ill as a teenager, I thought it would be terrible to even live to be 36 and now I would be so sad if I didn't make it here, so it's very possible my feelings about age could change as I continue to age.

    1. I feel almost certain my feelings about age will fluctuate as I age, but in general I'm fairly gung-ho about aging. I look forward to being an old lady. I think having gray hair is going to be pretty cool. (But I don't want to dye my hair gray or anything.) However I did start to notice signs of aging in my face a few years back and, in the moment, I felt very unhappy to be aging!

  3. I think our favorite so far has been "Henry and Beezus." It just has so many wonderful scenes--all the gum in the world! And of course, the gem that came up in conversation for quite awhile after we read it: "There goes the boy that ate the dog food."
    We liked "Ramona the Pest," too.
    I don't know that I've ever wanted to live to be super old. I've volunteered in many nursing homes, and it would be hard to get to that stage. Of course, if you could stay healthy and active, it might be okay.

  4. Ah, I don't remember all the gum in the world OR the boy that ate the dog food! I'm going to have to re-read.


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