Still Life with Bread Crumbs
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Still Life with Bread Crumbs

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  17,475 ratings  ·  2,187 reviews
A superb love story from Anna Quindlen, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Rise and Shine, Blessings, and A Short Guide to a Happy Life

Still Life with Bread Crumbs begins with an imagined gunshot and ends with a new tin roof. Between the two is a wry and knowing portrait of Rebecca Winter, a photographer whose work made her an unlikely heroine for many women. Her...more
Hardcover, 252 pages
Published January 28th 2014 by Random House (first published January 1st 2014)
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Roy
I admire Anna Quindlen and like her writing a great deal. For that reason, I was anxious to read Bread Crumbs. Sadly, while the book kept me engaged enough to care a bit about the characters and where they ended up, I found the story shallow and trite. Anna's central character (Rebecca Winter) is an intelligent, accomplished and sophisticated professional (photographer), albeit on the downside of a brilliant career and separated from her erudite and egotistical husband. She also has a son and tw...more
Bette BookAddict
Jun 04, 2014 Bette BookAddict rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Bette BookAddict by: me
Shelves: fiction

The entire novel has a beautifully understated feel about it so I will aim to be likewise here.

Sometimes, when you finish a book, you just want to sit and hold it - to keep hold of the feeling the book gave you for just a little longer. This is one of those books.

Something special 5★
Diane S.
First time I am seeing the cover and it is beautiful. Rebecca Winter, aged sixty, a photographer how became very well known with a grouping of pictures that give the book its title. She could be any woman or every woman, never expected to find herself trying to make ends meet, taking a less expensive cottage and renting out her expensive New York apartment. Finding herself ,like so many of us at that age, sandwiched between two generations, that of her sons and her aged parents.

This is a quiet...more
Amy
Love stories can be tricky; they can be too sappy and unbelievable or they can be overdrawn and melodramatic, but now and again they can be life affirming and heartwarming. Anna Quindlen’s latest novel Still Life with Bread Crumbs falls firmly into the latter category. Rebecca Winter is an unlikely protagonist for a love story. A photographer, whose work once defined the feminist movement, is now sixty, divorced, and close to broke. Her aging parents and her son have become somewhat of a financi...more
Bonny
Still Life with Bread Crumbs has been called the literary equivalent of comfort food, but it just made me feel uncomfortable. I really wanted to like this, since it is authored by Anna Quindlen and the premise sounded somewhat interesting; after the story devolved into a vaguely creepy May-December romance lacking Quindlen's usual gifted writing I was sadly disappointed. I had hoped for a book with more than a predictable plot, one-dimensional characters, and rambling writing, but when I came to...more
Jane Stewart
I really enjoyed this. I felt comforted at the end. Also, it was just good writing.

A really nice story about Rebecca an artist (photographer) who has money problems. So she subleases her New York City apartment to another and then pays lower rent to live in a small town in the country two hours away. She becomes friends with some locals. One friendship turns into something more between Rebecca age 60 and Jim who is 44. The story has a womens fiction feel since it deals with her work, her life, h...more
K
Feb 20, 2014 K rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: marysues
Oh, Anna. What a disappointment.

I hope I'm not being overly hard on this book because I expected more from Anna Quindlen. I liked her memoir and remember enjoying One True Thing, and was okay if not thrilled with some of her other fiction. But she lost me with this one.

"Still Life" is definitely a good description of this book. It certainly is still, with not much movement. And it's more a slice of life than an actual story.

There are two types of characters populating this novel. There are peop...more
Larry Hoffer
I'd rate this 4.5 stars.

Lovely. That's the word that kept coming to my mind as I read Anna Quindlen's latest novel, Still Life with Bread Crumbs. It was just a lovely book, emotional, thought provoking, and really enjoyable.

Rebecca Winter used to be something. A once-revered photographer whose iconic works were viewed as feminist statements, her photographs aren't selling well anymore, her agent is becoming increasingly more hostile toward her, and her bank balance keeps declining. At 60 years o...more
Diane Yannick
First I need to get this off my chest: Reviewers, do not say that Rebecca, at 60, is "past her prime". I'm 66 and just zeroing in on my prime. Not acceptable jargon.

OK, my exact rating would be 4.5 as I thought this was a wonderful, beautifully written gift of a story. Rebecca Winters experiences life with the sort of acceptance that opens doors. She takes the time to discover her still photos rather than staging them. She doesn't seek but she finds. She doesn't expect life to be a joyous advent...more
☮Karen
Rebecca Winter is a New Yorker and a photographer. She took some photos of the mess on her kitchen counter after her husband had brought home dinner guests unannounced (!!) and he then went to bed when it was time to clean up. These pictures sort of defined her marriage and later, after making her famous, defined Rebecca. Following her inevitable divorce, she lives on their proceeds, but now at 60 the money is running out and she is trying to continue paying for her mother's nursing home, her fa...more
Signora
First I have to say that I love Anna Quindlen. Maybe it is because we are of a similar generation, maybe it is because we both share Italian heritage and growing up Catholic but whatever the reason, when I read her work I feel like I am reading my own mail!
So I was thrilled to have an opportunity to read an ARC of her new novel, “Still Life with Bread Crumbs.” While this novel does not have the “punch” of some of her other works, it was a very familiar and comfortable read. It is a story of a wo...more
Larry Bassett
The feminine side of me is well represented in my reading choices. How do I manage to select books to read that turn out to be “chick lit”? I usually don’t figure it out until I see that most of the GR reviews are by women and then I sigh and say, “Another one.”

I first read Anna Quindlen when she had an occasional column on the back page of Newsweek. Although I do not normally read regular columns, I looked forward to the issues where she appeared. So when I saw this eBook on my online library,...more
Lucy
I am dismayed at some of the reviews I read of this book that derides it for being a "comfortable" read. When did it become mandatory that novels be torturous and uncomfortable? Sometimes a book can be a rich and satisfying meal instead of a bitter dose of medicine.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. Rebecca, is a 60 year-old photographer who has gained wealth and acclaim from an iconic series of photos. Inflation and the vagaries of the art world have caught up with her and she has to downsize fr...more
Carol Brill
I have been a Anna Quindlin fan since reading the first few sentences of Black and Blue 10 or 15 years ago. I still remember getting chills reading about the abusive husband's butterscotch syrup voice. I was hooked.
One of Anna Quindlin's many talents is creating complex and relatable characters. She's done it again in Still Life With Breadcrumbs with Rebecca and her new friend Jim Nates. Even the dog is worth caring about. This not a fast paced action packed plot driven story. It's interesting...more
Juliana Rose
3.5/5

While this is characterized as a "love story" in its summaries, I would have to argue that this is less a love story than a story of a woman discovering life at 60. She shares less than a handful of conversations with the man she falls in love with throughout the book, making the relationship feel less credible than it should.

My favorite part of the book was the humorous side stories and anecdotes, which gave the story life it otherwise wouldn't have had. These side stories give you a sense...more
Carolyn
Rebecca Winter is a famous photographer but now at nearly 60, her star has faded and she is making less and less from her photography. With her mother's nursing home fees to pay and her father's expenses to help out with, she decides to rent out her luxury New York apartment and rent a run down cottage in a small town in upstate New York. She gradually becomes part of the community, making friends with Sarah who runs the local tearoom, Jim Bates the roofer who comes to fix her roof and Tad, a cl...more
Sally Koslow
Rebecca Winters, the heroine of Anna Quindlen's Still Life with Bread Crumbs, could be the subject of an AARP profile. At 60, Rebecca finds herself at the nexus of escalating expenses and diminishing income. She once enjoyed wide fame and the money it brought. Her photographs hung in galleries and museums, and were reproduced on posters and mugs. But they no longer sell well and her agent is dismissive. Rebecca's parents need assistance: her father is shaky and her mother is worse, suffering fro...more
Eileen Granfors
When Anna Quindlen chooses a topic she is passionate about (One True Thing, for ex), her writing absolutely shines.

This is the case with her new book. STILL LIFE WITH BREAD CRUMBS. It is dazzling and comfortable and wonderful.

Rebecca Winter, a woman of 60, has had fame and fortune in her life. On a whim, she decides to rent out her over-priced New York apartment and live in a country cabin. She feels like an outsider with the few townsfolks she meets until she gets to know them better. Time alon...more
Laura
Some people are just gifted. It's wonderful to see people like that operating within their gift. Anna Quindlen is such a person; she is a gifted writer. She is able to plop a bunch of words down onto a page and to somehow distill truth from them. I believe any woman, but particularly a middle aged woman, would enjoy this book.

I recommend this book for: any woman who has ever been married; anyone who's ever wanted to bag her life and escape to a cabin in the mountains; people who appreciate smal...more
Renee
The only other book I've read by this well known and respected author was "Black and Blue" which I absolutely loved, so I was surprised when I so disliked this book that so many people are raving about.

I listened to Still Life on audio and it read like a made-for-tv Hallmark movie of the week. It was predictable, schmaltzy and above all boring. The sentences went on like meandering country roads; going no where and in need of repair.

Perhaps I would have liked this better had I read and not list...more
Laurie Buchanan
A simple story, really. Yet utterly compelling. I couldn’t help but turn page after page wondering “What happens next?”

A woman taken completely out of her context, not so much by choice, but for financial survival, has none of the amenities she’s used to. But through trial and error, she comes to relish her new — stark — environs. And through the lens of authentic and transparency — no pretension whatsoever — she discovers her true self and allows others to find her as well.
Erin
I liked, but didn't love this book - it was a super easy read (despite the fact that it took me nearly a week to get through it.....my concentration is shot recently). One thing I absolutely loved about it was the focus on Rebecca's finances. I know, I know, sounds boring, but it was so true to life. In so many books if money is discussed it is because the subjects are either incredibly rich or in extreme poverty. Rebecca wasn't yet poverty stricken but still had major money woes throughout the...more
Ricki
I found it so hard to put this book down! A woman of 60, Rebecca Winter is no longer the financially successful photographer she once was, and now worries about providing for not only her aging parents plus herself, in addition to occasional handouts to her grown son. She sublets her New York apartment and heads off to a rented cottage in the woods that she believes is fully furnished and charming. Turns out, it's not exactly what she expected. This new challenge in her life leads to her meeting...more
Beverly Swerling
Okay, late to the party as usual - everyone else in the whole world has already read this. But I loved it and I have to say so. (Incidentally, my excuse for being so tardy with an author I always enjoy is that I'm writing and don't read a lot of other folks' fiction when I'm deep in a new book of my own - end of self-serving teaser.)

Quindlen's quirky and unique voice is absolutely on point in this story of how a 60 year old woman deals with a crisis - both emotional and financial - in the caree...more
Sue
When Anna Quindlen left the New York Times, I was very disappointed because I knew I’d miss her, and I suspected that she’d never be as good at fiction writing as she was as a keen-eyed columnist. From time to time since then, I sniffed that I had been right – that her fiction was just okay and she never should have abandoned her incisive, out-front spot in the universe. I read her books occasionally but did not become a faithful follower.

But I loved “Still Life with Bread Crumbs.” Anna, you are...more
Lesa
Well, it isn't often that I totally disagree with a book's jacket cover, and the plot description. A love story? Sort of, but not really. And, I started out thinking Anna Quindlen's Still Life with Bread Crumbs was another literary novel with little plot. Then I reconsidered. Quindlen's novel reflects her protagonist, photographer Rebecca Winter. Winter's photographs spoke to women, saying their daily lives were important. It's a message Rebecca herself lost for years. The little details of dail...more
Tracy
I found this to be a very thought provoking story. The beginning of the book is pretty slow, but once it gets going it's hard to put down. I found the authors detailed descriptions of the main characters thoughts insightful and profound. During the story when this woman is completely alone and cut off from the world she wrestles with what she has done and wants to do with her life. She is at a cross roads trying to decide how to move forward. There are several interesting characters she interact...more
Carol
I loved this book! I've long been a fan of Anna Quindlen and it was a pleasure to have a new book of hers to read. I love the way she evokes the life of an artist--here a photographer in her early sixties whose career has entered a lull. The narrator sublets her apartment in Manhattan and goes to live in a rustic cabin to save money where she ultimately finds inspiration, community, and love. I'm so grateful to read about a woman who's mature and whose concerns are about work and family, inspira...more
Jane Estes
Anna Quindlen never disappoints. I love her nonfiction writing, as well as her fiction. This book had quirky, compelling characters and a great story, well told. Quindlen uses humor as a thread throughout the book, with a large dose of heartbreak thrown in to make our breaths catch. She uses chapter titles to amusing effect. Bonds are formed between unlikely characters and gives the story layers of meaning to think about for quite a while after you've read the last page.
Barbara Ann
I really enjoyed Rebecca’s story. At age 60, her life is in transition. She’s moved from the hustle and bustle of city life into a modest cottage on the outskirts of a small town. Rebecca has made a name for herself with her photographic collection called the “Kitchen Counter Series,” but years later, her fame is beginning to pass. She now finds herself in a reversal of fortune with less income and more bills and responsibilities piled on. Unlike what others may think, she hasn’t moved to the co...more
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Blue Moon Book Lo...: May 2014 BOTM - "Still Life With Breadcrumbs" by Anna Quindlen 1 6 Apr 24, 2014 07:09PM  
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Anna Quindlen is an American journalist and opinion columnist whose New York Times column, Public and Private, won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1992.

She began her journalism career in 1974 as a reporter with The New York Post. Between 1977 and 1994 she held several posts at the New York Times. She left journalism in 1995 to become a full-time novelist. She currently writes a bi-weekly colu...more
More about Anna Quindlen...
Black and Blue One True Thing Every Last One Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake Blessings

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“A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle, right?” 3 likes
“It's a funny thing, hope. It's not like love, or fear, or hate. It's a feeling you don't really know you had until it's gone.” 3 likes
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