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A Glorious Freedom: On Being a Woman, Growing Older, and Living an Extraordinary Life

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  276 ratings  ·  64 reviews
The glory of growing older is the freedom to be more truly ourselves—with age we gain the liberty to pursue bold new endeavors and worry less about what other people think. In this richly illustrated volume, bestselling author and artist Lisa Congdon explores the power of women over the age of forty who are thriving and living life on their own terms. Profiles, interviews, ...more
Hardcover, 152 pages
Published September 26th 2017 by Chronicle Books
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4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  276 ratings  ·  64 reviews


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Rebecca
Lisa Congdon dedicates this to “all the late bloomers.” She herself didn’t take up drawing until age 31, and didn’t publish her first book until she was 44. This new work is a celebration of women’s attainments after age 40: second careers, late-life changes of course, and heartening achievements. It’s a lively mixture of interviews, first-person essays, inspirational quotes, and profiles of famous figures like Vera Wang, Laura Ingalls Wilder and Grandma Moses. The layout is varied, too, with th ...more
El Librero de Valentina
Feb 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Un libro inspirador, empoderador, para todas aquellas mujeres que llegan a los 40 y buscan redescubrirse y tomar las riendas de su vida.
Me hubiera encantado conocer más detalles de la vida de algunas de estas mujeres, fuera de eso un ¡gran libro!
Taryn
Jul 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
“There’s are no points in life when we need to give up things we love.” - Chrissy Loader, writer and filmmaker


Youth is so valued in American culture that it can be easy to forget that there are benefits to aging too. A Glorious Freedom was compiled and illustrated by artist Lisa Congdon. It features interviews, essays, and profiles from extraordinary women over forty who found success during the second half of their lives. The benefit of experience has given these women the wisdom to know what t
...more
Julie
Aug 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A glorious book celebrating women who had the audacity to continue in pursuit of their dreams guided by their curiosity and new sense of freedom!
Rebecca
Nov 13, 2017 marked it as to-read
Society is not kind to late bloomers, especially women, who tend to be valued for youth and beauty above deeds and accomplishments. I've never forgotten the hope I felt when I learned that Julia Child didn't even go to France until she was 37. The author, illustrator Lisa Congdon, didn't start painting until her 30s. It's never too late, and these profiles provide a welcome and much-needed celebration of that fact.
Danielle
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
"You already know what you have, you already know what to do, so speed it up, don't slow it down." Jennifer Hayden

"Take the criticism that you need, discard the other criticism, and don't let the criticism define you. Don't let other people define you. You can define yourself." Della Wells

"...it takes quite a long time to nourish whatever you want to do with your life." Ilona Royce Smithkin

Katherine Baldwin
Dec 08, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a beautiful book but a lot of the stories are quite privileged, not so inspiring to someone in challenging circumstances with finances and health or suchlike.
Natalie Marion
May 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Awesome, beautiful and inspiring book!
Kris Springer
Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Uplifting, charming--I met a lot of inspiring older women and want to get on with the 2nd half of my life. Dream big you awesome women you!
Katie Hanrott
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm turning 40 next month and this was exactly what I needed to read.
Gail Grow
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
As a 70 year old dabbler in the arts this book made me alternately excited and depressed. Am I wasting my life if I don’t follow my muse with a vengeance? Or is living well(by my definition) the goal? Life is so short. I think I’d rather celebrate than strive.
Story Circle Book Reviews
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Author, illustrator and fine artist Lisa Congdon has created a gorgeous book dedicated "to all the late bloomers." Her beautiful full-color illustrations accompany essays, profiles and interviews with women who have become bolder and happier as they age.

The variety of writing forms makes the reading a pleasure. The women featured are over 40 and include artists, writers, athletes, scientists, activists, thinkers, designers and feminists.

The title of the book, A Glorious Freedom, comes from Carol
...more
Tracy D
Jan 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely LOVED the book.

It is all about women who discovered something about themselves, or who wanted to break free, or do something they had always wanted to do, and how they pursued that. There are stories of women in their 40s-90s, and even into their early 100s that just kept living and learning and growing and becoming these incredible people they wanted to be--living their dreams in ways expected and unexpected. Some of these women completely changed career tracks, or started careers
...more
Melissa Hartfiel
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This is another book I started in 2018 and got about 10 pages in and somehow got distracted and never went back to it. But I think now, that maybe that was serendipitous because when I picked it back up again yesterday, it was like the universe knew that this was the book I needed to read right now.
I've been a big fan of Lisa Congdon for years - since she started posting photos of her collections of things online and then of her art and then of her book on being a working artist and now this th
...more
Suzanne
Nov 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Happy to have purchased and read this book. Not a deep read, but I did have more pleasant dreams on the nights that I read it at bedtime. I also think I will find myself referring back to the essays when I need a lift.
KC
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
A lovely collection of stories, interviews, and antidotes of extraordinary women!
Darcysmom
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley for free in exchange for an honest review.
A Glorious Freedom is aptly named. It is Glorious, Inspiring, and Eye-Opening! Sometimes a book finds you exactly when you need it. I needed this book. I needed to read about women reaching for their dreams and exceeding them as they enter their 40s, 50s, 60s, and beyond. The women profiled in this book are diverse and each one has a story worth reading. I especially love that the profiles included women who
...more
Liz
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A book of simple, short snapshots of women over 40 who are killing it in all different ways, most of whom started what they are known for well after the magic 4-0. A great nightstand linger to pick up here & there. A fabulous book for a household of young women who maybe want a discussion prompt or little reminders that “success” is defined by yourself and is never a final destination but rather a journey. A great gift for any friend dreaming of her next act and needing the courage to leap. ...more
Rhonda Lomazow
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A gorgeous book a collection of grown women over forty still adventurous creative brave living life to its fullest.A book that should be shared woman to woman.So much to discuss enjoy strive for .In every sense a beautiful book,
Emma Farley
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I can remember turning 25, admittedly a few years ago now, and being shocked to find that I was no longer classed as a young creative – that label is for the 18-24 bracket. But what if you’re in your 30s, 40s or 50s and still haven’t found your life’s calling or true passion? What if you’ve gone from job to job, trying to make ends meet, raising your children, with no time to explore your creativity?

A Glorious Freedom by Lisa Congdon is a stunning collection of profiles, interviews and essays by
...more
Devin
Aug 25, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A collection of short bios about and essays from living and deceased older women defying cultural expectations by being active in their own lives. The goal of the book is to encourage other older women to take their own risks and reach for their own goals. Since this premise of living throughout your life, despite your age, is already one that I have identified with before I didn’t get very much new insight from this book. If you’re looking for a feel good, easy to read and beautifully put toget ...more
Christy
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The glory of growing older is the freedom to be more truly ourselves—with age we gain the liberty to pursue bold new endeavors and worry less about what other people think. In this richly illustrated volume, bestselling author and artist Lisa Congdon explores the power of women over the age of forty who are thriving and living life on their own terms. Profiles, interviews, and essays from women—including Vera Wang, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Julia Child, Cheryl Strayed, and many more—who've found cre ...more
Shelley Thompson
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
A Glorious Freedom by Lisa Congdon features essays and interviews with 21 extraordinary women over the age of 40. Additionally, there are 17 profiles of women who paved the way and continue to be role models for how women are living today. Even the introduction by the author is inspiring. It's about women who are "embracing the positive aspects of getting older: the wisdom, emotional resilience, work ethic and play ethic, insight, and sense of humor that come with age". These women are taking up ...more
Vanessa Giguere
Mar 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ce livre est arrivé à un moment parfait dans ma vie. Une lecture des plus inspirantes et empowering. C'est comme si lire au sujet de toutes ces femmes qui ont accomplis de grandes choses plus tard (aka passé 40 ans) dans leur vie me donne espoir pour l'avenir, me confirme qu'il y a encore plein de possibilités et de portes à ouvrir. Que même si depuis l'arrivée de mes enfants, j'ai souvent l'impression de mettre mes passions ou projets sur le back-burner, il n'est pas trop tard. Il n'est jamais ...more
Nadine Feldman
Jul 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book as research for a novel I'm writing about a 60-year-old woman who decides to embark on a career as an artist (and of course will find obstacles at every turn!). Not only did this book give me ideas on how to enrich my text, but it inspired me personally as well. These remarkable women have achieved success as artists, writers, athletes, and more. One artist continues to work beyond her 100th birthday!

If you find yourself thinking, "I'd like to do _______ but I am probably too o
...more
Jessica
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can’t recommend this book highly enough. If you are a woman 40+ (or feel like one), it’s an inspiration. Every couple of pages reveals the story of a woman changing her life in middle age, most often switching careers or pursuing a new (or long-buried) passion. Some are moms, some aren’t, some are married, some newly- or long-time single, etc. It’s beautifully illustrated, too, and not too flowery or bullsh*tty, owing to the multiple voices reflected in its pages. I have been reading about a w ...more
Bri
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Picked this off a library shelf with no expectations. I *loved* it. At the writing of this review I'm not quite in my mid-30s, but already feeling the joys of DGAF. It was refreshing to read this book--with my toddler climbing all over me at the time--and see what waits on the other side of middle age. I put down the book feeling impressed, inspired, and comforted. Congdon's illustrations were simple and lovely. I may have to purchase a copy for my personal library.
Sharon
Jan 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm glad our library had this book because I might not have noticed it other wise. It's about women over 4o who are living life to the full. Some are living their dream or accomplishing things they didn't expect to. Some were familiar to me, such as Julia Child, Laura Ingalls Wilder or Grandma Moses, but others I had not heard of, All were interesting and inspiring. Maybe it's not too late for me!
Carie
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful book artistically, and also a book full of inspiring bios about women who have become successful or met amazing goals later in life (some even into their 80's and 90's). A wonderful book for anyone to read, but especially women over say....the age of 40! I have lots of friends who would LOVE this book!
Kandice
May 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
If you are an older woman and feel like the future holds no new possibilities then this book is for you. Stories in this book cover women in their 40’s all the way to women in their 100’s. If this book doesn’t inspire you to keep following your dreams and living your life then I don’t know what will. Read the book then take a chance. You will be glad you did!
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Fine artist and illustrator Lisa Congdon is best known for her colorful abstract paintings, intricate line drawings, pattern design & hand lettering. She works for clients around the world including the MoMA, Harvard University, Martha Stewart Living, Chronicle Books, The Land of Nod, Simon & Schuster, and Cloud9 Fabrics, among many others. She exhibits her work around the country, includi ...more