Film review

Hello, My Name is Doris: Doris Miller is a 60-something woman who, feeling lonely after the death of her mother, finds herself attracted to a co-worker who is in his 30s. With the advice of a friend’s granddaughter, Doris researches his interests via Facebook and goes to a concert by his favorite band.

Director Michael Showalter manages to successfully solve the problem that plagues so many movies about social “losers.” How can such characters be portrayed without making fun of them or making them impossible to empathize with? Sally Field as Doris delivers a convincing performance, making her quirky, endearing and totally understandable.

We salute this affecting film for its thought-provoking insights into two vulnerabilities common among older people. First, there is the challenge of falling in love, which is rarely what we imagine it to be at any age. Second is chronic loneliness, a problem for more than 40 million people in the U.S., according to AARP. Many struggle with anxiety and depression while others lack the self-esteem and courage to seek out relationships. We need more movies like this one to shine a light on loneliness and open our hearts and minds to those who are affected by it (Roadside Attractions, R—language).

Book reviews

90 at 90
By Kenneth J. Dale

Kenneth J. Dale, an ordained Lutheran minister who was professor of pastoral care and counseling at the Japan Lutheran College and Seminary for 35 years, describes this book as “90 inner adventures on the road to 90.” The author of seven books, he sees writing as a way of deepening and enriching his experience of faith and life. Central to his perspective is reverence for the many mysteries that surround us.

First and foremost for Dale is God as “the inscrutable One.” Jesus is where “mystery and history meet.” Even more mysteries abound as Dale explores the complex geography of the inner life by probing the centripetal and centrifugal forces of life. He shares some of his own mystical encounters with God before moving on to a rounded discussion of the meaning of the mysteries attendant to growing older. Here he takes a look at the symptoms of aging, the burdens of health maintenance, the challenges of retirement, and the rhythms of life through the decades of the 70s, 80s and 90s (Xlibris US,

Over the Hills and Far Away
By Elizabeth Hammill

This outstanding treasury of 150 nursery rhymes has been collected from English-speaking countries, as well as Chinese, Latino, African and other cultures. The selections were made by Elizabeth Hammill, co-founder of Seven Stories, Britain’s National Centre for Children’s Books.

The rhymes are presented on two-page spreads created by 77 artists, many of them award-winning illustrators of children’s books. As you turn the pages, you will marvel at all the different styles. This book provides a multifaceted experience of nursery rhymes for both adults and children.(Candlewick Press).



Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
The Brussats are the authors of Spiritual Literacy: Reading the Sacred in Everyday Life (Scribner, 1996).

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