Thursday, April 26, 2012

Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake by Anna Quindlen

Anna Quindlen's books of essays always make me think. Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake celebrates life as a mature woman. It's reflective, thoughtful. I can't relate to all of it because I don't have kids. But, there are so many times she addresses my life and my feelings.I enjoy being in my fifties, and I wouldn't trade it for the chance to be younger. Quindlen points out the joy of maturity in this collection.

Quindlen mentions that a Gallup poll of 340,000 people showed we get more contented as we get older. And each essay in her book illustrates the experience and self-acceptance that only comes with age. I love the chapter, "Stuff," telling how we accumulate so much, and reach a time when we actually use less and less. I could identify with one statement. "I finally know who and how I'm dressing. I'm dressing a person who has eighteen pairs of black pants and eleven pairs of black pumps." I'll admit, I didn't go into my closet and count the pairs of black paints when I read that. I don't have eighteen pairs, but at least ten.

I loved Quindlen's essay about enjoying solitude, needing time to be alone. Her chapters about our mothers and grandmothers was educational and fascinating. Then there was the piece about the near misses in life. What if we had picked a different college, went a different direction? Where would we be now? "Girlfriends" reminded me of my mother and her best friend. I love to hear how they talk on the phone every day, even after just having been together. I may not have a friend I do that with, but I know how important the women in my life were when my husband died. Two were there that morning, another to see me through the evening. And, my mother and one of my sisters were here as soon as they could be. "Girlfriends" is about the women we need in our lives.


Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake celebrates life and choices. For me, Quindlen's wisdom and book can be summed up with, "I wouldn't be twenty-five again on a bet, or even forty...Many of us find ourselves exhilarated, galvanized, at the very least, older and wiser." Thank you, Anna Quindlen for that philosophical truth.

Anna Quindlen's website is www.AnnaQuindlen.net

Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake by Anna Quindlen. Random House. 2012. ISBN 9781400069347 (hardcover), 182p.

*****
FTC Full Disclosure - I asked the publisher for a copy of the book, in order to read it.


13 comments:

bermudaonion said...

I can't wait to read this!

Lesa said...

I'm sure you'll enjoy it, Cathy. It's a book for mature women.

Jill said...

I love her and she's always so "quotable." It sounds like I might not relate to this one as much (but I'm still going to read it), but I've already bought a copy for my mom for Mother's Day (she's a big fan).

Lesa said...

You're right. She is "quotable." There were so many passages I wanted to highlight. Your mother will probably appreciate this more than you do. Perfect Mother's Day gift for the fan!

Bev Stephans said...

I think I'm going to add this to my TBR pile. What the heck, what's one more book! Thanks for a great review!

Lesa said...

You're right, Bev. When you have TBR piles the size of ours, what's one more book? You're welcome!

Rosemary said...

I really like the sound of this Lesa - the only trouble with being in your 50s is that you want them to last, don't you think? I feel it's the perfect age - I no longer worry about diets, clothes, what people think, and at last I am starting to do what I want to do, rather than what other people think I should.

Am going to look for this book right now. Thanks.

Lesa said...

You're right, Rosemary. I think the 50s are the perfect age. I'm afraid I am worrying about diet, though, because I could stand to lose some weight for my health. Other than that, I could care less. So, you'er totally right. I'm really happy with this. And, I am happy with my life, for the most part.

You're welcome!

Karen C said...

I think this will need to go on my TBR list, too - I think I need it.

Lesa said...

Love those TBR piles, Karen. I hope you enjoy the book!

Ingrid King said...

This sounds wonderful. I love Anna Quindlen, and I know I'm going to enjoy this.

Ingrid King said...

This sounds wonderful. I love Anna Quindlen, and I know I'm going to enjoy this.

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