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Review: Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake, by Anna Quindlen

Pages: 182
Original date of publication: 2012
My edition: 2012 (Random House)
Why I decided to read: it was offered through Amazon Vine
How I acquired my copy: Amazon Vine, February 2012

Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake is a series of essays, really, about being in one’s fifties. She covers topics such as owning “stuff,” having girlfriends, marriage, having grown children, and aging.

Although I couldn’t really relate personally to a lot of what Anna Quindlen talks about, reading Anna Quindlen’s book (and this really goes for all of her books) is kind of like talking to your mother. And there are similarities to my own mom that are eerie! (“I have needlepoint pillows everywhere: camels, chicks, cats, houses, barns, libraries, roses, daisies, pansies. I needlepoint while I watch television. I have a vision of my children, after I’m gone, looking around and saying, ‘What are we going to do with all these pillows?’”).

As I’ve said, there’s not a lot in this book I can actually relate to, since I’m only in my late 20s, but I know that when I give this book to my mom (who loves Anna Quindlen’s books) is going to love this one. Quindlen’s voice is unique and she has a lot of incisive thoughts about what it means to age. Her prose is very honest, although she tends to be a bit smug about her generation (and a little bit disparaging about those who came before and those who come after), and some of her viewpoints are a little contradictory. But overall, I thought that this was enjoyable. Quindlen definitely gave me new insight into a topic that I don’t really think about.


Francis said…
Actually every generation tends to feel smug about itself. Certainly the current crop of 20 somethings are no exception.
It would be tragic if a 20 year old thought like 50 year old, and perhaps even more tragic if a 50 year old thought like a 20 year old.
For those of us who identify with the author it is comforting to know that there is also an audio version of this book. There is a review of this audio book on The Book Report radio show ( soon. It could be a great book to listen to.

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