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Between a Rock and a Hot Place: Why Fifty Is Not the New Thirty

3.11  ·  Rating Details ·  189 Ratings  ·  66 Reviews
"Laugh-out-loud funny."
O, the Oprah magazine

"Tracey Jackson confronts the speed bumps of life with wit, brilliant insights, and...common sense....Between a Rock and a Hot Place is more than a good read, it’s good company."
—John Berendt, author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Hollywood screenwriter Tracey Jackson (The Guru, Ashes to Ashes, The Other End of the
Paperback, Large Print, 287 pages
Published February 15th 2011 by HarperLuxe (first published 2010)
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(showing 1-30)
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Jun 20, 2011 Doneen rated it did not like it
Once again, I got suckered in by a clever title. This author was talking out of both sides of her mouth about aging throughout the entire book (and she was only minimally humorous). In the final chapter, she makes the statement: "Though none of us likes the idea of getting older, the alternative is a lousy one, so we must trundle forward with as much dignity and enthusiasm as we can muster." This, from an author whose longest chapter consisted (in excrutiating detail)of all her plastic surgery a ...more
Apr 10, 2011 Rosemaryknits rated it it was ok
It was OK - the author is exceedingly pleased with herself. Parts of the book, I liked. Other parts? Meh. It could have been so much better. This book is not about WOMEN turning 50, it is about TRACEY turning 50. Very self-centered.
May 14, 2012 JudithAnn rated it it was amazing
The subtitle of this book is Why Fifty is the New Fifty. In other words, fifty is not the new thirty as most people seem to think. Jackson does a good job at dispelling any such idea. Fifty most certainly is not the new thirty. And being 50 is not as much fun as being 30, but you can go some way in making something of it.

Tracey Jackson is a comedy writer who explain in a very personal and funny way, how “her” 50 is not that of her grandmother’s but why it isn’t 30 either. I think she does a bril
Mary (BookHounds)

Tracey Jackson writes about what I suspected all along: all of this trying to act, be, look younger is not worth it and fifty is not the new thirty no matter how much "work" you do -- your insides are still a ticking timebomb. She gracefully delves into the aging dilemma that women my age (yes, fifty) are now being bombarded with in the media. Hormone replacement therapy, plastic surgery, keeping fit and eating right are all tackled in this book of essays all linked together b
Sara Strand
Jul 02, 2012 Sara Strand rated it it was amazing
God damn I have never laughed so hard while being in absolute fear of what was to come. Normally people don't laugh when you read about how your body will turn into a horrible, angsty place but you absolutely will in this book.

I remember being a teenager and my mom would wonder when she would go through menopause- all of her friends were doing it, her mom was dead so she had no idea when she did it or what it was like, and no doctor can really tell you. And I remember the exact day when my mom
The Sunday Book Review
The subtitle already had me connected with the book : Why Fifty is Not The New Thirty. While I am not a woman in my 50's, I am a woman. And no matter what age we are at, it always seems like we should be younger. That's what they keep telling us anyway.

Menopause is discussed greatly in this book. It is a book about turning 50 after all. And let me tell you, it is not for the squeemish. Tracey Jackson does not hold anything back. Which is good and oh so bad. She does play with the topic with some
Jul 21, 2011 Joyce rated it it was ok
Book is funny in parts but this author is part of a social group that I can't relate to. I thought her advice about finding work after 50 was generally good advice for people of all ages. She basically said that #1 you shouldn't count on there being a job that you want to do out there waiting for you (all you need to do is find it and apply) but you #2 need to look within yourself and around you at what you have to hand right now and work with that to build your work. The pieces at hand may cont ...more
Dec 23, 2011 Melody rated it liked it
Many parts of this book resonated with me, though some made me snort scornfully. The author, who was a screenwriter in Hollywood for most of her career, places far more value on looking youthful than do I. Reading about all the "work" she has had done of her face was certainly interesting, though. There's a lot of good stuff in this book- Jackson's contention that fifty is fifty and it's never going to be thirty rings true. Some of the chapters seemed relentlessly downbeat, though- when her elde ...more
Kate Woods Walker
Mar 28, 2011 Kate Woods Walker rated it liked it
Not quite an autobiography, not quite a memoir, not quite a book of humorous essays, not quite a self-help book, Between a Rock and Hot Place: Why Fifty is Not the New Thirty by Tracey Jackson was a nice, semi-fluffy read about how to be a better Aging Baby Boomer.

Although Ms. Jackson and I share the same age bracket and an A.M.C. Gremlin-sized container of cultural references, we don't share the same income level or social class; therefore, the lengthy meditations about injectibles, plastic sur
Feb 07, 2011 Diane rated it really liked it
I don't normally don't read 'self-help' books, but since I can see the age of 50 peeking around the corner, Tracey Jackson's Between a Rock and a Hot Place- Why Fifty is Not the New Thirty beckoned to me.

Jackson takes us on her own personal journey to the age of fifty. She takes on menopause and hormone replacement therapy, marriage, sex, online dating, work and cosmetic surgery.

She starts with her grandmother's generation, women who lived through the depression, and therefore turning fifty was
Mar 08, 2012 Julie rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
There's a saying out there in the world today: Fifty is the new thirty. And Tracey Jackson couldn't disagree more. In Between a Rock and a Hot Place, Jackson explains why fifty is not the new thirty. In fact, fifty is the new fifty. It's not our grandmother's fifty and it's not our mother's fifty, but it's our new fifty.

It's hard to review a book like this without giving away some personal details. So I will admit that I hit a big milestone at the beginning of February. I turned 40. I'm a decade
Mar 17, 2011 Tonya rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011-reads
I wish once again I hadn't waited so long to read this book! Less than 24 hours later this book is finished! Tracey Jackson has a way of writing exactly what every woman is thinking, come on you know you are! I won't go into every point but the 4 stages of breasts, totally true!!! The spongebob thing, I had to read it outloud to my husband and had to re-read it because I couldn't stop laughing.

I loved the Virginia Woolf quote, "Arrange whatever pieces come your way." I think that is probably the
McGuffy Morris
Jul 22, 2012 McGuffy Morris rated it really liked it
Much is written on young women, young mothers, and it is wonderful because it didn't used to be that way. Women muddled through it all on their own, afraid to speak of their struggles.

Then it was about turning forty, and "The Change". It was almost a shame or a curse, and again, women carried it on their own.

Now there is a book about and for women 50 and over. Tracey Jackson takes on aging with candid humour. She is both brave and honest in facing the realities of aging.

Tracey shows no fear in d
I'm turning 50 in a few weeks and thought this would be good. It turned out to be more of a humorous memoir than a really look about what it means to be 50 in 2011. I got about halfway through and found some of it humorous, but I mostly had trouble relating to Ms. Jackson's observations about being 50 through the generations. She looks back at her grandmother and her mother at 50 and compares her 50 to theirs. I really couldn't accept these women as models of their generations because my own gra ...more
Jun 24, 2011 Gillian rated it it was ok
This caught my eye from the library shelf. I was hoping for a funny “coming of age” book but it was more of a humor-peppered downer. Neither a memoir nor a self-help book it seemed to smirk just a little at those who don’t have a plastic surgeon in their Rolodex, inject face-fillers, take hormones, or go to the gym for an hour a day. She was obviously trying to do some good (along with getting a paycheck) talking about sex, dating, health, finances all to avoid being poor, sick, and alone in you ...more
May 24, 2016 Donna rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoir-bio
This the author's view on being in her fifties in today's youth-centered world.

Good thing: I found myself nodding at most of the things she says.

Bad thing: She's extremely appearance-driven and while the book is a quick, enjoyable read, it is not as humorous as I had hoped.

This book gave me a heads-up about physical, mental, and emotional changes that will be challenging me soon, but it was more of a memoir about Tracey Jackson's particular trip rather than more generalizable information. I lik
Aug 17, 2011 Scputval rated it it was ok
So-so. Read and skimmed. Some fluff, some insight.
Her discussions of injectables and plastic surgery made
me feel like we were in a different universe, although
there were other common areas. I was shocked at the
end when I turned to the author's photo - her book
characterizes a person of some maturity, but the photo
looks like a 40-year-old trying to look 20.
Apr 12, 2011 Mel rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-as-an-adult
The introduction was very amusing. The rest of the book - not so much. It was like spending three hours with a woman who is determined to tell you every intimate detail of her life both good and bad, and who thinks name-dropping and using the word "ain't" makes her seem witty and urbane when it actually makes her crass and self-absorbed.
Jul 04, 2011 Jaime rated it it was ok
Obviously I'm not the preferred demographic for this book, but I heard it was funny. I guess I'm not old enough to get the jokes, because I thought it was boring.
Mar 11, 2011 Jane rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
Give me the hyper-serious Susan Jacoby any day on this topic.
Ms. Jackson's style is breathless and voluble, and her insights seemed superficial to this reader.
Dec 08, 2016 Lakshmi rated it liked it
Not what I expected based on the title......bearable but uninspiring writing for the most part, totally unbearable at a few other places.
The author is completely full of herself, lacks self-awareness, and isn't nearly as funny as she believes.

All that being said, the book actually isn't that bad, at least not the first 2/3 of it. The last 1/3 is kind of odd since it turns into random self-help chapters and takes on a tone and direction that the prior 2/3 did not have (from a book that already lacks direction, that is quite an impressive feat).

So I had to skim those parts as they often dragged on with mind-numbing examples of so
Feb 05, 2011 cheryl rated it really liked it
As with many of the books that the lovely folks at Harper supply for my perusal, I am probably not in the target market for Between a Rock and a Hot Place: Why Fifty Is Not the New Thirty by Tracey Jackson. In many ways, it is aimed at the menopausal crowd and I'm a bit shy of that. I did, however, thoroughly enjoy the ride and give it a confident 4 of 5 stars.

The book is a series of inter-related essays in which Jackson reflects on the reality of aging. She looks at how advancing age affects ma
Kristin (Kritters Ramblings)
A great read for those who are about to embark on that special birthday that puts them in the second half of their life. Although, I may be a little young to be reading this book, with a mom who has recently entered this new era, I found this book to be informative as to the emotions that she may be dealing with.

A funny account of all the physical and emotional impacts that occur after you hit the hump of the mid life crisis - however it may happen. This book would be a helpful guide to those wh
Jun 19, 2011 Gina rated it really liked it
If you're turning 50 or in your 50's, this book is for you. I wasn't expecting to like this book but boy was I wrong. I loved it. Tracey has such a witty way of describing life at 50 for women, that reading some passages had me rolling with laughter. Tears in my eyes laughter.. Why? Because I related to all of it.

Tracey also offers serious insights too. Lots of things for me to think about. But bottom line what I took away from this book is to live life to its fullest. I highly recommend this b
May 21, 2012 Julie rated it really liked it
In this youth orientated culture, it seems like aging certainly for women is made to be a bit taboo. We hear lots of advice for girls at purberty and childbearing years, but menopause is only to be discussed in daytime shows like Dr Oz or buried in obscure old ladies magazines.

I really liked Traceys book, which is more a memoir peppered with her own advice about the changes in her life as she moved towards and past fifty. Her ideas about HRT, plastic surgery, working, motherhood, sexuality and a
May 12, 2012 Dana rated it really liked it
In this book, Tracey gives a humerous look at what it is like to be fifty years old today. She explains the pitfalls of menopause and the benefits of hormone replacement therapy, and it's effect on everything from your body, to moods, to sex life. She talks about face lifts and botox and her experiences with those. She discusses the problem that fifty-somethings now have in the job market, discusses what dating is like at fifty - including her experiment with an online dating service a bit remin ...more
May 22, 2012 Keri rated it it was ok
The only reason I'm giving this 2 stars instead of 1 is because I did actually laugh at the chapter where the author talks about trying to rev up her sex life by buying new gadgets, but must search through the house naked to find her glasses so she can read the directions. The first 1/3 of the book attempts to try to normalize the changes that are happening to aging women, and to assure us that although we may look younger than our ancestors, there are biological changes that can't be ignored. S ...more
Natashya KitchenPuppies
Feb 27, 2012 Natashya KitchenPuppies rated it really liked it
(My book jacket has a slightly different wording on the subtitle - Why Fifty is the New Fifty)

We've all heard the claims that fifty is the new thirty. (Rarely made by thirty-year-olds, unless they are placating their mothers.)

Veteran screenwriter Tracey Jackson has a bone to pick with that. In her candid and hilarious first book, Between a Rock and a Hot Place, Why Fifty is the New Fifty, she explores and shares her own experience with aging - combating what she could and accepting what needed t
Kristine Copley
Feb 03, 2013 Kristine Copley rated it really liked it
This book alternates between funny, outrageous, serious, and depressing and I LOVED it. Wendy Rich-Coleman gave me this book for my 50th b-day and I've bought and given it away twice now! Some parts are n/a for me but others will like (she's a believer in face lifts), and other things hit me between the eyes (build and savor your relationship with your parents advice.) Bottom line is the 50 is FINE, and get going on realizing your dreams while you still can!
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The first review of the paperback edition of Between a Rock and a Hot Place is in! Read it here:

Tracey Jackson is a screenwriter and author who has written over fifteen feature films and fourteen television pilots--including The Other End of the Line, The Guru and Confessions of a Shopaholic--and her first book, Between a Rock and a Hot Place.

Her recent doc
More about Tracey Jackson...

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“...if we run toward our fears, they lose their power and ultimately disappear"

"I think this is one of the giant lessons in adapting to age without losing your mind: we must let go of what was and begin accepting what is"

"'fate loves the fearless.' There is no better time to be fearless than in your fifties; if you really put your mind and your energy into it, you can make amazing things happen.”
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