All of the Elders Circle library resources can be found here.


Articles and Essays


Books: Non-fiction

Books: Fiction



Podcasts and Videos


Contact us to share your favourites. 

Articles and Essays

From time to time, we create or discover relevant thought pieces about eldership, and share them here.




Elder Wisdom in Context [PDF 109 KB]

Rudi Krause

Nov 2016

We Are Only As Old As We Feel [PDF 79 KB]

Patrick Wilke

July 28, 2016

Reflections on Being a Wisdom Elder [PDF 119 KB]

Dr. Carole Christopher

July 2016

German Forest Ranger Finds That Trees Have Social Networks, Too

Sally McGrane, New York Times

Jan 29, 2016

[page top]


We occasionally discover and share blog posts about eldership and elder wisdom.

Please send us your favourites! 




Nov 2016

Reena Lazar and Michelle Pante

Your Mortality is an Opportunity in Disguise

Aug 20, 2015

Ellen Moyer

Bridging the Geezer-Young Person Gap to Drive Climate Change Solutions

[page top]

Books: Non-fiction




Bettleheim, Bruno

The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales

Elders (grandparents) are—among other things—storytellers. Stories about our lives and the lessons we’ve learned can be supplemented by the stories of our culture, most of which originally were meant to be vehicles of wisdom and psychological insight. This book is one of the best introductions to the treasury of fairy tales (before Disney got hold of them).

Bly, Robert

Iron John: A Book About Men

While not specifically about being an elder, these two important books address how gender roles and expectations (of ourselves and one another) are an essential aspect of becoming/being an elder. A Sibling Society deals with both men and women.

Bly, Robert

A Sibling Society

Frankl, Victor E.

Man’s Search for Meaning

Based on Frankl's experiences in a concentration camp, Man’s Search for Meaning addresses the importance of discovery meaning in life.

Hillman, James

The Soul’s Code: In Search of Character and Calling

A Jungian psychologist, Hillman’s books are in-depth studies of character development throughout the stages of life.

Hillman, James

The Force of Character and the Lasting Life

Langer, Ellen J.


Mindfulness unfolds the importance of paying attention to ourselves, to others, and to the world around us.

Moore, Robert

Facing the Dragon: Confronting Personal and Spiritual Grandiosity

A Jungian analysis of our times, this book examines the ongoing task of personal growth in the context of our engagements with the world.

Moore, Robert and Douglas Gilette

King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine

Using Jungian psychology, this book discusses the various ways men can be fulfilled and productive members of their communities.

Moore, Thomas

Care of the Soul: A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life

The subtitle says it all.

Moore, Thomas, Editor

The Education of the Heart

Readings from around the world and through history complement Care of the Soul.

Pipher, Mary

The Green Boat: Reviving Ourselves in Our Capsized Culture

This hopeful, upbeat book addresses today’s issues in a constructive, life-affirming manner.

Pirsig, Robert M.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values

Pirsig shares a remarkable father-son story, coupled with reflections on philosophy and how to live well.

Postman, Neil

The Disappearance of Childhood

Two books by an insightful and articulate culture critic about how we have given up practices of living well through the stages of life, and of relating in healthy and meaningful ways across the generations.

Postman, Neil

Amusing Ourselves to Death

Saul, John Ralston

The Unconscious Civilization

This is a collection of essays on being a conscious and engaged citizen in a society that emphasizes individualism.

Schachter-Shalomi, Zalman

From Age-ing to Sage-ing  

Wisdom-keepers have an ongoing responsibility for maintaining society’s well-being and safeguarding the health of our ailing planet Earth.

Suzuki, David and Peter Knudtson

The Wisdom of the Elders

First published in 1992, this acclaimed collection of the world's wisdom shows that the future of the planet lies in listening to both scientific insight and Native knowledge.

Vaillant, George E.

Triumphs of Experience: The Men of the Harvard Grant Study

George Vaillant follows the men from the longest longitudinal study of human development ever undertaken into their 90s, and shows what aging with grace and vitality looks like.

[page top]

Books: Fiction




Barbery, Muriel

The Elegance of the Hedgehog

In a friendship with a precocious teen, an older person surprises everyone with her wisdom.

(translated from French)

Berry, Wendell

The Memory of Old Jack

Characters in a rural Kentucky community live well through the stages of life, and learn from and honour the elders of the community.

Guterson, David

East of the Mountains

A retired, widowed doctor wants to kill himself in a staged hunting “accident” because he has cancer, but discovers there is still meaning and purpose in life.

Helprin, Mark

A Soldier of the Great War

In this beautifully written novel about a life richly lived, an “elder” reflects on the twists and turns and ups and downs of his life.

Hodgins, Jack

The Master of Happy Endings

A retired, widowed teacher wishes to reconnect with life and finds himself tutoring a teen actor who doesn’t want to be tutored. In re-engaging with people and events outside his immediate circle, the protagonist gains insight about himself and life.

MacLennan, Hugh

Each Man’s Son

This story of love amidst tragedy unfolds within intergenerational relationships.

Mitchell, W. O.

The Kite

A young journalist sets out to interview a man who is one hundred eleven years old, and learns much about himself and life in the process.

Robinson, Marilynne


An retired, aging minister writes a letter to his young son, passing on his story and accumulated wisdom.

This is one of several fine novels by Robinson, all depicting life in intergenerational relationships and community.

Stegner, Wallace


A man reviews his life and discovers rich and meaningful aspects of becoming and being an elder.

Updike, John

My Father’s Tears and other stories

One of Updike’s last publications, here are stories about the stages of life: aging, reminiscing, and “drinking a toast to the visible world”.

[page top]


While all of these titles may not be exactly about “elder wisdom”, they are excellent movies and great conversation starters.



I’m Not Rappaport

Two old men in Central Park, New York, find ways of dealing with old age.


The owner of a smoke shop befriends a troubled writer from the neighbourhood and employs a young man who is looking for his father.

Spitfire Grill

A cranky but feisty older woman who operates a restaurant and needs help takes on a young woman recently released from prison. Others in the community are suspicious, and falsely accuse the young woman of stealing from her employer.

Whale Rider

Set among the Maori in New Zealand, an elder attempts to revive ancient traditions, but must face the truth that faithfulness to tradition must be balanced with openness to new and changing realities. A beautiful, touching, moving film.

[page top]


[coming soon]

Podcasts and Videos

From time to time, we share a podcast or similar piece that illuminates or supports our journey along the path of Elder Wisdom. Enjoy!



CBC Radio One Ideas

Re-Imagining Ecology 

Three experts in urban and environmental conservation discuss an ecological approach to the restoration and preservation of both wilderness and cityscapes. 

Demos and The Century Foundation

Longevity Revolution: Highlights:

Pulitzer Prize-winning author and geriatric specialist Dr. Robert Butler examines the medical, economic and social consequences of an aging population in his book, The Longevity Revolution: The Benefits and Challenges of Living a Long Life.

Grandview-Woodland Community Response Network

Elders Connect

This short film highlights the importance of connection and community for seniors. 

David Suzuki

David Suzuki: An elder's vision for our sustainable future

David Suzuki

Force of Nature

Guy Dixon, Toronto Globe and Mail review, Sept 10, 2012

TEDx Whitehorse

Choosing Conscious Elderhood

Larry Gray shares qualities of conscious eldership and extends an invitation to begin the second journey through life.


Elderhood Rising –The Dawn of a New World Age

Dr. William H. Thomas thinks our adult-run society needs more elder supervision.

TEDx Vancouver

The Defining Moment for a Generation-In-Waiting

Dr. John Izzo calls on the Boomer generation to step forward into elder leadership.

[page top]

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software