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Death: it's a topic that few of us like to broach. But Dr. Sherwin Nuland faced the issue of dying with frankness and honesty in his book How We Die: Reflections on Life's Final Chapter. Dr. Nuland is Clinical Professor of Surgery at the Yale School of Medicine, and How We Die drew upon his many decades as a doctor and educator. He sought to demystify the process by examining the most common ways of dying. The book must have hit home: it spent many weeks on bestseller lists, it won the National Book Award, and it was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize.

And it was his experience with the ways of dying that inspired him to write his most recent book, The Art of Aging: A Doctor's Prescription for Well-Being. Dr. Nuland says that aging is an art and one that will reap many rewards if done well. And while the end result may be inescapable, Nuland has definite opinions about how we get there. "We can choose certain types of physical activity, we can choose to be engaged, we can change bad habits," he says.

"This generation is going to transform this society's image of what aging can be," Nuland says.