Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake by Anna Quindlen

Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake

By Anna Quindlen

  • Release Date: 2012-04-24
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Score: 4
From 317 Ratings
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“[Quindlen] 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.”—NPR
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.
“Classic Quindlen, at times witty, at times wise, and always of her time.”—The Miami Herald
“[A] pithy, get-real memoir.”—Booklist
Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader’s Circle for author chats and more.


  • Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake

    By WainaM
    This is absolutely the best book by Anna yet! In so many instances, I saw myself in that book and could feel what she was writing. Hands down one of the best books I've read in a long time...BRAVO!!
  • Lots of not much

    By MimiThinksThis
    Surprisingly, unlike most of Quindlen's previous work, I didn't get one emotional pang or one new insight from reading this book. It seemed as if she was fulfilling a word quota to get to the end of it. I patiently turned the pages expecting something revelatory or profound and it never came. Not that I wish the woman ill, but Anna has miraculously made it through six decades without much trauma, and it shows. By now many of my friends (and I) have lost husbands, children, houses, jobs, dreams, breasts and/or our health. Anna, God bless her, remains married to the same man, has a city apartment and a country house, and two seemingly bright attentive kids. Again, I am thrilled for her, but this kind of unusually charmed life isn't likely to produce a motherlode of wisdom, comfort and/or hope. The platitudes were major, the impact was minor.
  • Sample but no book

    By TMommas
    Ibought the sample and thoroughly enjoyed it. Bought the book, it paused in download and nothing i do seems to get me the book. Any suggestions on how to make it download?
  • Lots of Candles

    By Hummingbyrd59
    Another enjoyable read with the always so true comments of life. This time on aging, living well, dealing with the curve balls. Thanks for the read!

    By notenufsleep
    This is the first book I've read of this authors. Every word spoke to my heart as if I had finally had a chance to put words onto a page. The sentiments the desires and the mood of the book truly allowed me to rethink all I've been through and what may lie ahead for me in life. I have several family members and friends that I think would enjoy this book as much as I did and I will encourage them to read it as well. Just wonderful!!!!!!
  • Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake

    By Debra, Speech Pathologist
    There were parts of the book with which I strongly identified. Overall, however, I felt it to be "preachy." Perhaps if I had read the book chapter by chapter, over an extended period of time I would have appreciated it more.
  • Lots of candles plenty of cake

    By Marciav
    Love the title, loved her thoughts on aging and baby booming, inspires me to do, not to fear!
  • Everything I thought it would be

    By Eus knilk
    Anna's life is my life. She inspires me. Excellent book.
  • Lots of Excellence

    By Kathleengolf
    I couldn't put this book down....Anna writes beautifully about things that cross everyone's mind.
  • Candles and Cake, Too

    By Erind5
    I cannot believe no one else has written a review yet, I will say from the start, I am a great fan of Anna Quindlen, and I bought the book without even looking for a review. This book matches exactly where I am in life, and reinforces most of the things I have learned, which is reassuring, at least to my ego. It has freed me up to think about living another thirty years, and what the purpose of that stage might look like. She has inspired me with her thoughts and observations, and I am grateful. It is a book I will read again.