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Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake
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Archive: Other Books > Lots Of Candles, Plenty Of Cake, by Anna Quindlen--5 stars

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Lisa (spirolim) | 178 comments Synopsis: In this irresistible memoir, Anna Quindlen writes about a woman’s life, from childhood memories to manic motherhood to middle age, using the events of her life to illuminate ours. Considering—and celebrating—everything from marriage, girlfriends, our mothers, parenting, faith, loss, to all the stuff in our closets, and more, Quindlen says for us here what we may wish we could have said ourselves. As she did in her beloved New York Times columns, and in A Short Guide to a Happy Life, Quindlen uses her past, present, and future to explore what matters most to women at different ages. Quindlen talks about

Marriage: “A safety net of small white lies can be the bedrock of a successful marriage. You wouldn’t believe how cheaply I can do a kitchen renovation.”

Girlfriends: “Ask any woman how she makes it through the day, and she may mention her calendar, her to-do lists, her babysitter. But if you push her on how she really makes it through her day, she will mention her girlfriends. ”

Our bodies: “I’ve finally recognized my body for what it is: a personality-delivery system, designed expressly to carry my character from place to place, now and in the years to come.”

Parenting: “Being a parent is not transactional. We do not get what we give. It is the ultimate pay-it-forward endeavor: We are good parents not so they will be loving enough to stay with us but so they will be strong enough to leave us.”

Candid, funny, and moving, Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake is filled with the sharp insights and revealing observations that have long confirmed Quindlen’s status as America’s laureate of real life.

My Thoughts: I don't normally go for memoirs. I prefer fiction, mainly fantasy. But every once in a while, I read a non-fiction as a BOTM (book of the month for a book club), and I get surprised by how much I enjoyed something different from my norm.

Anna Quindlen has a wonderful writing style, something that rambles yet flows. She doesn't talk about her life in a linear way, but rather in a themed way, talking about various aspects that were important to her (children, work, life, world opinions, etc.). She creates a soothing, optimistic tone as she writes about her life experiences, and what's particularly nice is that there's at least one thing she writes about that resonates within you and what's going on with your life. As a 30-year-old reading a memoir from the perspective of a 65-year-old, it is comforting to read that someone has had similar life experiences and worries, and came through all that feeling fairly happy and satisfied with how life turned out.

Overall, I found this to be an excellent read, particularly for women. It echoes within you, even comforts you. This is an author I would love to meet one day. In the meantime, all I can say is that I highly recommend her memoir, and I definitely plan on reading as many of her stories as I can get my hands on.

message 2: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 5639 comments I've really enjoyed the Quindlen books I've read. I have this on my tbr ... thanks for the reminder.

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