Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Nanaville: Adventures in Grandparenting” as Want to Read:
Nanaville: Adventures in Grandparenting
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Nanaville: Adventures in Grandparenting

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  2,995 ratings  ·  607 reviews
Mother, mother-in-law, grandmother--the Pulitzer-winning columnist and #1 bestselling author reflects on the roles we play throughout our lives, sharing personal stories and advice on the special joys and complexities of middle age.

It's a little challenging to suss out why exactly it can be so magical. . . . All I know is: The hand. The little hand that takes yours, small
Hardcover, 162 pages
Published April 23rd 2019 by Random House
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Nanaville, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Nanaville

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,995 ratings  ·  607 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Nanaville: Adventures in Grandparenting
Apr 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-reads, netgalley
“Sometimes Arthur sees me and yells “Nana!’ in the same way some people might say “ ice cream!” and others might say “Shoe Sale!” No one else has sounded this happy to see me in many, many years.”

“Mama means Mama, Daddy means Daddy. But Nana might just be a piece of fruit (i.e. banana)”.

Well, if that didn’t put me in my place I don’t know what will, lol.

And this, my friends, is the yin and the yang, and perfectly sums up what it means to be a resident of Nanaville.

I’m a proud Nana. Our son and
Diane S ☔
May 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lor-2019, 5000-2019
As a grandparent of thirteen, I adored this book. Every grandparent will recognize or relate to something in this book. Told in such a natural voice that I felt she was next to me and we were discussing Parenthood and how being a grandparent is even more special. Their is humor, lessons learned, experiences related, and how wonderful and special is the bond between her and her grandson. In fact, many of my favorite episodes in this book is when she is alone taking care of her grandson, or just s ...more
Kasa Cotugno
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Anna Quindlen is one of those writers that makes a reader happy that she is so prolific. As with Dani Shapiro, she is as proficient in memoir as she is in fiction, and this lovely sharing memoir of grandmother-hood is a good example. Having been a prize-winning journalist, she writes in a style I appreciate, in dispensing information in fine language without padding.

Here she discusses the role of the grandmother, how the hardest part of the role is stepping aside as an auxiliary, not performing
Clif Hostetler
This book is a heart warming reflection/rumination about the joys and worries of being a grandparent. In the hands of experienced writer Anna Quindlen the book is also an enjoyable and interesting read. Along the way the author shares lessons learned from her own experience.
Be warned: those who make their opinions sound like the Ten Commandments see their grandchildren only on major holidays and in photographs.

There are really only two commandments of Nanaville: love the grandchildren and hold y
Apr 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs-2019
A thoughtful and funny tale on becoming a grandmother!

Anna entered her own, “Nanaville” with joy and love, thinking, “great, a do over.” (my words.) She was over-the-moon to welcome her eldest son, Quin’s, and daughter-in-law, Lynn’s, first child into the family of waiting relatives. As Anna explains, “First of all, let us acknowledge that, like virtually everything else they’ve done, the baby boomers tend to act as though they’ve invented grandparenting.” My answer to that would be, just as to
Laura Rash
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a sweet, sweet book that’s so spot on about the feelings, trials & joys of being a nana! AQ covers just about every aspect including the swearing nana “I am a nana with a rich vocabulary”. On keeping your opinions to yourself with your grandchild’s parents bc “Did they ask you?”. And the gem “A lucky woman gets to trade her MOM mugs in for a NANA mug.”
Wisdom and wit made this an enjoyable read!
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Here's the start:

"Sunlight spreads across the checkerboard tiles in the kitchen, and so many other things: wooden spoons, a rubber frog, Tupperware, a couple of puzzle pieces, some plastic letters, elements of the obstacle course of the active toddler. Did you know that the wheels on the bus go round and round, all through the town? They do, over and over again, sung by the robotic voice of some plastic magnetic thing on the refrigerator. Oh, and Old MacDonald has a farm. The hokey pokey? That's
Donna Davis
Author Anna Quindlen is queen of all things warm and wise, and so it’s not surprising that her ode to grandmothering hits just the right note. I was lucky and read it free and early, thanks to Random House and Net Galley, but it would have been worth the purchase price had it come down to it. This friendly little book is available to the public now.

Quindlen’s memoir can double as a primer for her peers that are new grandparents also, but that’s not where its greatest strength is found. The most
Celia Buell
Free in exchange for an honest review, via Goodreads Giveaways. Thank you to Random House Readers' Circle for listing.

I think now is the perfect time to read this for the first time. I just graduated high school, and am on my way to college orientation as we speak. That all means I am about to start the next stage of my life, which I hope includes family connection and eventually becoming a mother of my own.

At this stage of my life, I appreciate Quindlen's reflections on how her childhood was d
Carol Storm
Aug 18, 2019 rated it did not like it
It's so sad that legendary New York Times columnist Anna Quindlen has been reduced to this in her old age -- telling cute stories about her grandchildren. It's like dancing for pennies on the street! I can remember when she confronted the most dangerous and controversial issues of her day -- race, crime, violence against women.

Of course America has changed a lot since Anna Quindlen won the Pulitzer prize for her writing. Donald Trump is in the White House now. Mean, bad, racist Donald Trump. Ba
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Anna Quindlen's Nanaville adds to the mounting evidence that, if a book is nonfiction and Anna Quindlen wrote it, I will love it. No wonder. On page after page of her work, I find the uncongealed jello in my mind coherently and cogently presented.

New to grandparenthood, I am urging open-minded grandparents and grandparents-to-be to read Nanaville. Enjoy it, and learn from it. And new parents, get copies for your parents -- unless you think they'll feel insulted. Perhaps I should have ended the
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Toni
Shelves: non-fiction
Essentially the literary equivalent of a grandmother proudly whipping out a wallet full of photos (or, more accurately these days, an IPhone) of her much adored grandson. Prolific author Anna Quindlen pens a love letter to her role as paternal grandma of Arthur, the first child of her son and daughter-in-law. As expected, being a Nana is a title she covets and Arthur a child upon whom she devotes much love and attention. Although this a quick read without any new or profound revelations, even I, ...more
Karen Atwood
Nov 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Very quick enjoyable read.
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a fun book about being a grandparent, but also holds many truths about being a mother, mother-in-law, and grand-parenting.
Judith Siller-Levy
May 06, 2019 rated it liked it
I just finish this book, a fast and easy read. The first thought that comes to my mind is this probably would’ve been best served as a podcast. It was just a random open conversation about how QUINDLEN embraced becoming a grandmother. The second thought that comes to my mind is this:
Had this been written by somebody other than a renowned and prolific author, would this ever have gotten Published? I know that there have been better books by unknown authors that have been rejected.
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Nanaville is another irresistible memoir (especially for new grandmothers) by one of my most favorite and prolific authors, Anna Quindlen. I was thrilled to learn that I had won an Advance Reader's Copy through Goodreads, but waited until we were on our three-week road trip before I started reading. I knew I would enjoy it, but wanted to wait until I had a big chunk of uninterrupted time before beginning. From the opening pages, I was hooked, reaching for my Post-It flags, nodding my head in agr ...more
Mary Blye Kramer
Apr 25, 2020 rated it liked it
A sweet and gentle book I suppose, but I picked it up and put it down a few times and just couldn’t get into it. A little more than halfway through I gave up. Maybe I find my own grandchildren far more interesting and got bored with hers.
Jan 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
"One of the differences between grandchildren and grandparents is that grandchildren think they have all the time in the world, and grandparents only wish they had." ...more
May 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fast read with many heartwarming stories and insights.
Lynne Spreen
I don't think I'm going to finish it. It's just not that interesting. A big reason for that is that Anna Quindlen is opining on this topic of grandparenting when the baby is still just tiny and there's only one. I think if you wanted to write about grandparenting, it might be better to wait until you had more experience at it. Otherwise a lot of it seems like a recital of platitudes.

Here's a quote, for example:

"And then there are the moments that are like lightning striking, like sunrise and su
Melissa (LifeFullyBooked)
Nov 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book, and it was especially poignant since I watched my three-year-old and three-month-old granddaughters last week while my daughter was in the hospital having her gallbladder out. I could really relate to many of the things that Quindlen talks about, and her advice and lessons were absolutely on point. In trying to navigate this world of grandparenting, it's nice to know that there are books like this to help give a bit of advice for how to be involved, yet not too involv ...more
Kathy McC
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I agree with every single sentence! Plus, since I enjoy all of Ms. Quindlen's books, I loved the prose.
Too many highlighted passages to choose only a few.
Sep 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“I am changing his diaper, he is kicking and complaining, his exhausted father has gone to the kitchen for a glass of water, his exhausted mother is prone on the couch. He weighs little more than a large sack of flour and yet he has laid waste to the living room: swaddles on the chair, a nursing pillow on the sofa, a car seat, a stroller. No one cares about order, he is our order, we revolve around him. And as I try to get in the creases of his thighs with a wipe, I look at his, let’s be honest, ...more
Anna Quindlen writes an essay, a novel, or a column in the "New York Times," and I take in every thought and opinion, marveling at her turn of a phrase, nailing down dialogue or nuance. "Nanaville," a collection of essays about becoming a grandmother is at once personal and universal, her story and that of many others. I am, once again, moved by her writing, nodding my head in agreement, shedding a tear, laughing at our folly.

Her descriptions of times with Arthur are lovely because they depict m
“There are really only two commandments of Nanaville: love the grandchildren, and hold your tongue.”

“It's a complicated relationship, being a good grandparent, because it hinges on a series of other relationships... Because being a grandparent is determined by the relationship your child has with you, partly determined by the one a son or daughter has with his or her spouse, partly determined by the relationship you have with the person your child has chosen to have a child with.”

I am grateful t
Kaethe Douglas
Quindlen has long been a favorite. She notices the details and captures them, then ponders what they mean, but without pomposity. She doesn't pretend to have expertise, just some experience. There is humor to her writing, much self-deprecating, although mostly not jokes. Years of writing have gone into creating a natural, casual style that seems like no effort at all.

Here she is waxing wise about grandparenting: how it has changed over time as families have, how to do it well, how to get along w
Sep 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
No truer words could have been written about navigating Nanaville. What is it like to be a grandmother compared to your experience as a mother? Do families differ in their expectations of grandmother's? How do you find out the rules and where you fit? How does it feel when you have more than one grandchild? Can there be enough room in your heart to enjoy the second while not neglecting your first?

I have read several of Quindlen's fiction titles and loved them and this non-fiction title was just
Barbara Nutting
Nov 09, 2020 rated it liked it
I think I missed the grandmother gene! I have never lived anywhere near to my grandsons, so it is hard to establish a close relationship. Sorry Anna, but I did take the whole family to Disney World a few years ago. We all had a great time, but that is about as grandmotherly as I get.

Frankly, I’m very bored by women my age who go on and on about their grandchildren or else their ailments! Guess I didn’t really relate to this Nanaville! Yes, I’m the Grandma Bee in the same jeans and Tee shirts as
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love Anna Quindlen’s writing. I feel I know her even better now, and love her even more. This is a sweet series of reflections on family, and I really enjoyed it. One of my favorite bits in this book is when she remembers giving a speech somewhere, and saying that she always stopped writing for the day an hour before it was time to transition to 100% mom when her kids came home from school. Her adult kids, in the audience, looked at her “incredulously” and she had to recognize she wasn’t as gr ...more
Pam Nichols
Jul 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I rarely rate books because there are so many criteria but as a proud and happy grandmother (my chosen title is "Ama", my husband's, "Big Nic"), I devoured this book in a few hours and ordered a copy to annotate and share with my children, the parents of what I call our grandwonders. I have read everything Anna Quindlen has published and she brings her elegance with words to this wondrous of all roles, grandparenting. It will be a gift for every new grandparent that I love! ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Mt. Lebanon Publi...: Nanaville by Anna Quindlen 1 5 Jun 11, 2019 04:34PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Confession Club (Mason, #3)
  • Redhead by the Side of the Road
  • Olive, Again (Olive Kitteridge, #2)
  • Chances Are...
  • I'll Be Seeing You: A Memoir
  • Women Rowing North: Navigating Life’s Currents and Flourishing As We Age
  • The Dutch House
  • The Guest Book
  • Monogamy
  • Fifty Things That Aren't My Fault: Essays from the Grown-Up Years
  • Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir
  • Mrs. Everything
  • Night of Miracles (Mason, #2)
  • This Tender Land
  • The Book of Lost Friends
  • Summer of '69
  • Right After the Weather
  • The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
See similar books…
Anna Quindlen is a novelist and journalist whose work has appeared on fiction, nonfiction, and self-help bestseller lists. She is the author of eight novels: Object Lessons, One True Thing, Black and Blue, Blessings, Rise and Shine, Every Last One, Still Life with Bread Crumbs, and Miller’s Valley. Her memoir Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake, published in 2012, was a number one New York Times bests ...more

Related Articles

No one can write a creepy domestic suspense thriller quite like Lisa Jewell, the author of Then She Was Gone and I Found You. She's...
52 likes · 37 comments
“It's a complicated relationship, being a good grandparent, because it hinges on a series of other relationships... Because being a grandparent is determined by the relationship your child has with you, partly determined by the one a son or daughter has with his or her spouse, partly determined by the relationship you have with the person your child has chosen to have a child with.” 4 likes
“Because I’m learning that being a grandmother is not about the things you have to do. It’s about the things you want to do. The fact is that motherhood is mainly about requirements.” 3 likes
More quotes…