Lots Of Candles Plenty Of Cake
This Pulitzer Prize winners universal appeal . . . shines through in Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake . . .
Imagine sitting in a local coffee shop with your best friend, steam rising from two cups of java and nothing but time to examine your life. Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake evokes just such a picture.
In her breezy conversational style, Anna Quindlen expounds on subjects that are sure to touch every reader in some way. From convent school and class reunions to female friends and long-lasting marriages with the right man, she offers her perspective after having experienced them all during her six decades on this earth.
Ms. Quindlens comfortable, familiar, honest, and, at times humorous tone makes the reader want to remain in that virtual coffee shop long after reading the last pageand also do a bit of introspection.
As the title implies, the subject of aging underlies the content in this book. Lately, a variety of such stories have hit the shelves in chain stores and online markets, but in this particular version Ms. Quindlen tackles the subject with her typical fresh and no-nonsense style.
For instance, as she heads to the doctors office for a mammogram, she faces what she calls Mortality Monday. Adhering to this prescribed preventative care dredges up the real possibility of terminal illness for the author. Female readers will never again approach this dreaded examination with the same mindset.
Its Odd When I Think Of The Arc Of My Life From Child To Young Woman To Aging Adult First I Was Who I Was Then I Didnt Know Who I Was Then I Invented Someone And Became Her Then I Began To Like What Id Invented And Finally I Was What I Was Again
I have been a huge fan of Anna Quindlens fiction for decades, but had never read any of her nonfiction until this month, for Nonfiction November 2017. What was I thinking?! Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake is a memoir, but reads more like a fantastic, engaging series of essays, each following the trajectory of her life and all its various stages. It was published in 2012 when she was 60 years old, a point she seems to feel has brought her back to who she was. In the interim, she was hired in the 70s by the New York Times, thanks to a group of women who sued the paper for its lack of female reporters, got married, had three children, and became a writer of NYT bestsellers . An accomplished and action-packed life and yet, Quindlen shares her thoughts on it in a way that leaves women of all ages thinking, She gets me. She is me.
Reviewing a memoir is hard because it can turn into a bland recitation of factswhich I already achieved in the previous paragraph. Try as I might to use my own words, the best way to get a feel for Quindlen as seer into the minds and hearts of everywoman is to share some of my favorite snippets from the book. Her writing, her words are the best endorsement for Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake.
Instead There Is The Over
It is these moments, the bits and pieces on the page, where Quindlen achieves a delicate, almost unheard-of balance. That of best friend/mother/mentor a trifecta Ive never seen achieved in life, much less in writing. It means that in reading Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake, she provides moments of learning, laughing, and feeling truly seen. I dont know what more can be asked of an author.
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Lots Of Candles Plenty Of Cake + Funfetti Cake
June 1, 2017 by Megan
I added Anna Quindlens memoir Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake to my to-read list almost four years ago. I dont remember my reasoning for wanting to read it back then, but I know that I decided to finally rescue it from my too-long list – which currently sits at 436 books – because I wanted to make a cake.
I knew nothing of Quindlen when I began reading, and over the course of her memoir, I cant say I know that much more about her. Really it seemed more like a carryover from her columns in the New York Times as she described them – a collection of her thoughts on life and aging, coupled with bits of advice.
Perhaps I wasnt exactly the target market for this book – I am roughly half her age, really just at the beginning of my career, not yet married and currently without children. Im still figuring a lot of things out, and while in some ways she is too, we are figuring out very different things about life. I was able to glean a few interesting insights from her writing, but ultimately, I think this book is one Id like to try again a couple of decades down the road.
The cake I envisioned when I chose this book was a towering cake ablaze with an unsafe amount of candles. So, I began my recipe search by buying four dozen tall, skinny, colorful candles to cover my imaginary cake. After all, candles do come first in the title – lots of them – and the plenty of cake comes second.
Publishers Weeklymay 28 2012
A bestselling author and winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Anna Quindlen shares her thoughts on aging, family, marriage, and other slice-of-life topics in this reflective memoir. Although there’s nothing startling or groundbreaking here, her wit and thoughtful insights on these universal issues will have listeners recognizing themselves and nodding their heads in agreement. As a narrator, Quindlen’s performance is familiar and intimate: her voice brims over with warmth, wisdom, and self-deprecating humor, and she sound much like a friend who has stopped by for a visit and a cup of coffee. Fans of Quindlen and listeners in general will be more than glad to invite her in to sit for a spell. A Random House hardcover.
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Review: Lots Of Candles Plenty Of Cake
Book by Anna Quindlen
By Cathy GulliMay 17, 2012
In her memoir, the American journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner contemplates her life through a variety of lenses including motherhood, marriage and friendship. But the book is in no way a lament for days gone by. Rather, Quindlen crafts a witty and poignant homage to lessons learned and experiences gainedand even better, she offers a toast to the future.
Quindlen, who for years wrote a popular New York Times column about being a working mom, is a master of clever word twists that contain the wisdom that comes only with age. Petty marital disagreements, she says, are like hothouse tomatoes: They get way bigger than they ought to, and they bear little resemblance to the real thing. Of the pressure to maintain a youthful appearance, Quindlen writes that women were once permitted a mourning period for their faces it was called middle-age. Now . . . we have the science of embalming disguised as grooming.
Quindlen is a devoted learner. For years, she could not do a headstand, was petrified, in fact, to attempt it the way her yoga instructor insisted. One day, she figured out her own method. Upside-down in her bedroom and more than 50 years into her life, Quindlen realized that she had literally learned a new trick. She was, in other words, still alive.
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A Memoir Of A Woman’s Life
serves up generous portions of her wise, commonsensical, irresistibly quotable take on life. . . . What Nora Ephron does for body image and Anne Lamott for spiritual neuroses, Quindlen achieves on the home front.NPRNew York Times A Short Guide to a Happy LifeGirlfriends:Our bodies:ParentingLotsof Candles, Plenty of CakeClassic Quindlen, at times witty, at times wise, and always of her time.The Miami Herald pithy, get-real memoir.BooklistThe Miami Herald BooklistPraise for Anna QuindlenThe Seattle Post-Intelligencer San Francisco ExaminerDetroit Free-PressThe New York TimesAnna QuindlenObject Lessons, One True Thing, Black and Blue, Blessings, Rise and Shine, Every Last OneStill Life with Bread Crumbs, Millers ValleyLots of Candles,Plenty of Cake, New York TimesA Short Guide to a Happy LifeThe New York Times Living Out LoudThinking Out LoudNewsweekLoud and Clear
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Anna Quidlens Lots Of Candles Plenty Of Cake
Even if you havent been taping Anna Quindlens New York Timesand Newsweek columns to your fridge for two or three decades, reading Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake will feel a like a cozy chat with an old friend. In this memoir, Quindlen again offers her keen observations of a well-examined, well-lived life. A Pulitzer Prize winning columnist and prolific writer of fiction with six acclaimed novels and seven non-fiction books to her credit, Quindlen, soon to turn sixty, is at the top of her game. Her insight is razor sharp, but her observations are also kind, both to others and herself. From the introduction: Its odd when I think of the arc of my life, from child to young woman to aging adult. First I was who I was. Then I didnt know who I was. Then I invented someone and became her. Then I began to like what Id invented. And finally I was what I was again.
The aptly titled Lots of Candles pulses with life and all its lucky breaks, inanities, accomplishments, everyday frustrations, and imponderable questions. Quindlen examines our epidemic accumulation of stuff our evolving relationships with adult children a successful marriage and poignantly, the early death of a parent . As she considers the narrowing of lifes possibilities in late middle age, Quindlen writes, we must face the fact that the hand youve been dealt is the entire deck.
Lots Of Candles Plenty Of Cake By Anna Quindlen
|Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake by Anna Quindlen
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|Summary: A witty, insightful and beautifully written look at Quindlen’s life and the light it sheds on our own. Highly recommended.
I first encountered Anna Quindlen when I read Life with Beau: A Tale of a Dog and His Family. I’m a sucker for non-fiction books about dogs but what struck me was that the book could have been trite. Instead, it was elegant, witty and with a real eye for detail and social nuance. It was genuinely about life with Beau and what the family learned from him rather than – as so many such books are – what the family had done for the dog. The book struck a particular chord with me as our older dog was, we knew, on borrowed time and Quindlen helped me to think about what Rosie had given us.
And now she’s done it again. In Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake Quindlen looks at her life, the events and people who have shaped it and acknowledges that she is becoming old, even if she doesn’t wish to embrace the word quite yet. She sums up what the book is about far better than I can:
It’s odd when I think of the arc of my life, from child to young woman to ageing adult. First I was who I was. Then I didn’t know who I was. Then I invented someone and became her. Then I began to like what I’d invented. And finally, I was what I was again.’
It turned out I wasn’t alone in that particular progression’.
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