Customer Reviews for

Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake

Average Rating 4
( 79 )
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5 Star

(44)

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2 Star

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

23 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

This is a delightful memoir that had me crying, laughing, reflec

This is a delightful memoir that had me crying, laughing, reflecting on my own life, and nodding my head along with Quindlen's experiences. I sadly have to admit, this is my first book I've read by Quindlen, but you can bet I will be reading more of her novels. If she...
This is a delightful memoir that had me crying, laughing, reflecting on my own life, and nodding my head along with Quindlen's experiences. I sadly have to admit, this is my first book I've read by Quindlen, but you can bet I will be reading more of her novels. If she can write so eloquently about her own life, I can't imagine how well she can create lives for others.

I had so many pages marked up from this book; things I want to remember with my children, quotes I want to write down, perspectives I want to rethink. I usually pass on my books to the local library after I am done reading them, but this one I will be keeping.

I think my favorite part of the book was the very beginning where Quindlen talks about the things she would tell her 22-year old self about life. I thought for a bit about that myself. What would I tell my 20 year old self as I am turning 40? What do I wish I had known then? That may be a post for later, but it would definitely include taking risks, savoring relationships, and having hope.

My second favorite part of the book includes Quindlen's take on conquering a headstand. How she physically didn't think it was possible, but was determined to build up her strength and finally, flipping her body into a complete headstand. It made me wonder, what is my "headstand"? What am I afraid to accomplish, do, conquer?

If you haven't figured out, I truly enjoyed this memoir, even not being familiar with the author. The book will encourage you to reflect on your own life, whether you are 22, 42, 62, 82, or somewhere in between. I guarantee you will leave with life lessons, wisdom and full-blown honesty.

If you are looking for a quick, enjoyable read, check out this book.

posted by SincerelyStacie on April 29, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

An enjoyable read for those of the baby boomer set. The author i

An enjoyable read for those of the baby boomer set. The author is frank and honest in revealing the pain stemming from her mother's early passing. Her love for and devotion to her family comes through loud and clear as she recounts past days as a newly married young wif...
An enjoyable read for those of the baby boomer set. The author is frank and honest in revealing the pain stemming from her mother's early passing. Her love for and devotion to her family comes through loud and clear as she recounts past days as a newly married young wife raising three children while also working in the journalism field, and later, as an author. For those with children and husband, this may be the common thread that would warrant rating the book 4 stars. For those without either, well, it may just turn you off or bore you.

Later in the book, she acknowledges the divide between women in her mother's generation, her own and her daughter's generation, how women's opportunities for career, family, etc. have changed. We, as women don't typically think on our opportunities or lack thereof in either arena. The author allows us to do that which is a good thing. It makes one think, and be thankful.

When it comes to her thoughts on aging, sadly always a hot topic for aging women, I think those of us middle-aged or older appreciated hearing her thoughts and connected with her feelings on the subject. Her views on religion, having been raised as a Catholic, were surprising, and I appreciated her straightforward, "like it or not, this is how I feel now", declaration. The last few chapters seemed to take on a much more serious, bordering on depressed cast. And, towards the end, I was trying to read as fast as I could; the melancholia and focus on death was difficult to read about, and the author, at only 60, seemed overly focused on it.

posted by 10589264 on May 29, 2012

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  • Posted July 5, 2012

    All female baby boomers will love this book!

    Anna Quindelen speaks to all women of her generation. This book of essays is a must read for all women baby boomers. As one of those women, I could relate to her musings about her life and the trials and tribulations of being the first generation of working women who deeply cared about both their careers and their families. It made me want to celebrate what we have accomplished!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2012

    Loved this book!

    So very "relatable"!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2012

    Lovely!

    This delightful book is billed as a memoir, but I thought it was more of a series of essays, expansive versions of Anna Quindlen's Pulitzer Prize winning columns. It made me want to thank my mother her for her ongoing patience with what will always be my youth, relative to her; thank my girlfriends for spending years talking with me about everything and nothing; thank my husband for loving me at my best and forgiving me at my worst; and thank my children for arriving it in my world and making it better in every way.

    The pieces here are wide-ranging, but are mostly concerned with things related to the experience of being a woman and, in particular, a Baby Boomer woman, as Quindlen is: marriage, motherhood, friendship, working, aging, faith, dying, among others. Although I think a woman born in the Baby Boomer generation might especially enjoy this book because she may have experienced largely the same trajectory as Quindlen, I think the perspective in this book will resonate with younger women as well. Quindlen's years of journalistic training and success shine through; it is well-written and easily read, even as it gives the reader lots of opportunity to pause and reflect, think, and laugh.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2012

    Love, love, love this book!

    Best ever from Anna Quindlen. She has hit aging right on....warts and all...Recommend to anyone over 40. The more years you are past the more you will agree with her...Don't miss!

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  • Posted May 21, 2012

    a joyous celebration of mid-life and beyond

    Anna Quindlen has been a favorite, but this book is a real gem. The PLUS is that I'm reading it at the time when "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" is playing at the cinema ! The two combined are rich in texture, color, and understanding of what being 55 and beyond is REALLY all about. LOVE this read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2012

    Lots of candles,plenty of cake

    This is a wionderful memoir reminding us that life's everyday moments are often more important than the big ones.

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    Posted May 3, 2012

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