National Network of Libraries of Medicine
English Arabic Chinese (Simplified) French Hindi Japanese Korean Persian Portuguese Russian Spanish

Book Selections and Health Resources: Healthy Aging

NNLM Reading Club Book Kit

Do you want to share this book with your reading club? The National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) has made it easy to download the discussion questions, promotional materials, and supporting health information from this page.

However, if you are short on time or resources, apply for the free "program-in-a-box" NNLM Reading Club Book Kit which includes books as well as discussion questions and health topic materials.


Promotion

Join the Discussion for The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen promotion
Facebook or Twitter JPG
Customizable PDF* [8.5 x 11]
* How to edit PDF files


Discussion

Download and print
Discussion Guide for The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 1/4 Years Old

Book

Book cover image of The Secret Diary of Hendrick GroenDelightful and moving, Groen’s novel shares a full year of the eponymous octogenarian’s journal entries, detailing his day-to-day observations, humorous inner monologues, and overall zest for life within a nursing home in Amsterdam. Bored with the daily monotony of life at the center, he decides to keep a journal for a complete year to expose the frustrations, gripes, and groans of his fellow “inmates” and the realities of growing old. Between hilarious quips about life, Hendrik regales readers with the joys of the motor scooter and his decision to relent and wear adult diapers. Hendrik’s good friend Evert—a crotchety old fellow who gets his kicks riling up the other residents—helps stave off the loneliness, but it’s when new resident Eefje arrives that Hendrik feels a spark he hasn’t experienced in a long time. Hendrik, Eefje, and Evert, along with a small group of wily seniors, decide to have a little fun while they still can by organizing the Old-But-Not-Dead Club to plan outings and excursions, including tai chi and cooking classes, and visits to the casino and museums. Engaging and hilarious, Hendrik’s diary gives dignity and respect to the elderly often overlooked in popular culture, providing readers a look into the importance of friendship and the realities of the senior care system in modern society.

The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen has been translated into over twenty languages.​

The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 1/4 Years Old | Hendrik Groen | Grand Central Publishing | Reprint 2018 | 384 pages | ISBN: 978-1455542154

Review

Likely Stories: The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 1/4 Years Old by Hendrick Groen by Jim McKeown, KWBU, April 4, 2019


Author

Hendrik Groen started his pseudonymous diary on the literary website of Torpedo Magazine. He says about his first novel: “There’s not one sentence that’s a lie, but not every word is true.” In the media, there has been a lot of speculation about who Hendrik Groen could be. Is he an actual octogenarian? Is he a famous Dutch writer? A well-known Dutch stand-up comedian? He remains a mystery.