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Download Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake: A Memoir of a Woman's Life Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake: A Memoir of a Womans Life Audiobook, by Anna Quindlen Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (5,756 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Anna Quindlen Narrator: Anna Quindlen Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2012 ISBN: 9780307989871
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In this irresistible memoir, the New York Times bestselling author and winner of the Pulitzer Prize Anna Quindlen writes about looking back and ahead—and celebrating it all—as she considers marriage, girlfriends, our mothers, faith, loss, all the stuff in our closets, and more.
 
As she did in her beloved New York Times columns, and in A Short Guide to a Happy Life, Quindlen says for us here what we may wish we could have said ourselves. Using 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. Sometimes I will see a photo of an actress in an unflattering dress or a blouse too young for her or with a heavy-handed makeup job, and I mutter, ‘She must not have any girlfriends.’ ”
 
Stuff: “Here’s what it comes down to, really: there is now so much stuff in my head, so many years, so many memories, that it’s taken the place of primacy away from the things in the bedrooms, on the porch. My doctor says that, contrary to conventional wisdom, she doesn’t believe our memories flag because of a drop in estrogen but because of how crowded it is in the drawers of our minds. Between the stuff at work and the stuff at home, the appointments and the news and the gossip and the rest, the past and the present and the plans for the future, the filing cabinets in our heads are not only full, they’re overflowing.”
 
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. It’s like a car, and while I like a red convertible or even a Bentley as well as the next person, what I really need are four tires and an engine.”
 
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.”
 
From childhood memories to manic motherhood to middle age, Quindlen uses the events of her own life to illuminate our own. Along with the downsides of age, she says, can come wisdom, a perspective on life that makes it satisfying and even joyful. Candid, funny, 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.




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Quotes & Awards

  • “Where Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake succeeds is in Quindlen’s warm yet pithy discussions about feminism, aging, the uselessness of stuff and the importance of girlfriends—‘the joists that hold up the house of our existence.’”

    Washington Post

  • “[A] pithy, get-real memoir.”

    Booklist

  • “[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

  • “Classic Quindlen, at times witty, at times wise, and always of her time.”

    Miami Herald

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Signora | 2/17/2014

    " Wonderful reflection on authors life in her sixties. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Candy | 2/14/2014

    " Really enjoyed her insights and reflections at 60. Working, children, husband, feminism, the church, friendships - lots of observations and feelings that I could relate to. I recommend it to women at all stages of life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amanda | 2/3/2014

    " This is a glorious book - I recommend it to all! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michele | 1/30/2014

    " She is a very wise woman. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Heather | 1/24/2014

    " I think I am a little too inexperienced in life to enjoy this book completely. I think I will come back to it at some point. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kam | 1/20/2014

    " I loved it! Anna has so many of the same life experiences and hopes and dreams that I have and have had. She expresses these ideas very eloquently. I didn't want to stop reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wendy | 1/8/2014

    " This was not what I expected...it is labeled as a memoir but it was really more of quindlen's thoughts. I guess we can call it her head memoir! She provided many interesting And thought provoking ideas on life, motherhood, growing old, being a woman over the ever changing decades of her life. I struggled between a 3 and 4 rating. Wish there was a .5 scale! She has great perspective and attitude. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Phyllis Brett | 1/1/2014

    " Discovered in this book that Anna Quindlen and I are the same age - both turning 60 this year - and that she was born in Drexel Hill, PA. Maybe that's why I've always felt such a connection with everything she writes. This is her memoir and in so many chapters she could have been talking about or to me. I love this woman...! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy | 12/26/2013

    " Love Anna Quindlen and her writing. Liked the book, even though it's likely to resonate best with women in their 50's & 60's. Will hang on to it & re-read then.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeri Norris | 12/22/2013

    " A must read for every woman starting at at least forty. Her life is not really the same as everyone who reads her books but she does write from a place we can all understand. We have all either been there, seen our mothers there, or know that eventually we will go there. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kirsten | 12/16/2013

    " I really enjoy reading Anna's books. I would call this one more of a collection of essays on ageing and life rather than a memior. A quick and enjoyable read that makes you ponder. She may have gone on a little to long for me about feminism but all around well worth the read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rose | 12/16/2013

    " Overall enjoyable to hear her point of view and sharp wit but some essays meander & repeat. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barbara Benedetto | 11/29/2013

    " Great overview of life in general. So many things hit home. Great read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andrea Sachs | 11/27/2013

    " I almost never underline passages in a book. This is my book, given to me by my daughter, Lesley, for my birthday, however, and there are so many things that resonate with me in Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake - that I did use a pencil! Great book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lolly | 11/16/2013

    " Musings on turning 60ish. Nice, but not particularly exciting or inspiring. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marge | 11/10/2013

    " This book was fun... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jane Goldberg | 11/4/2013

    " humorous on aging "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Audrey Insoft | 10/19/2013

    " As usual, Quindlen has uncanny insights into families, relationships, and in this case, aging. She presents many astute life lessons and reflections on our generation. This book is probably for the 50 and older set; those younger may not appreciate its full value. I thoroughly enjoyed it! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lynn | 9/12/2013

    " I didn't finish this book, just didn't get my interest. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Apallant | 9/5/2013

    " For those of us who are nearing or in our 50s this memoir is excellent. A series of essays about woman (baby boomers) and about parenting, changing roles, marriage etc. It seemed to resonate with me and my life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meta Smith | 8/9/2013

    " Anna Quindlen reflects on her life and mine! How did she do that without even interviewing me? Am still looking forward to what the next 20 years might bring. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christine Ferdinand | 2/3/2013

    " Enjoyable, validating, simple pleasure, a must read for Anna Quindlen lovers! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Carol Ann | 1/11/2013

    " This just wasn't my kind of book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peg | 9/15/2012

    " a great book for women over 50. It's like having a conversation with a good friend and nodding your head in agreement with almost everything. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Debby Teplin | 7/25/2012

    " It was good, but I didn't LOVE it. Hard to say exactly why as - as usual - her writing is excellent. I think there might have been an element of fatigue on my part - as in the book went on too long for my taste. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michael Keating | 6/16/2012

    " Pretty good. Julie really enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Suzy | 5/29/2012

    " Love Anna Quindlen's writing, both memoirs and novels. This one is a reflection on aging - the good, the bad and the unflattering. Good for reflection and the stirring of memories of times past. For those under 40, go back and read her earlier works - save this one until you're older. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kate Boucher | 5/26/2012

    " I just couldn't make myself finish this book. Too many quotes and musings. I prefer a story with a story line and a little action. I guess that is why I don't read a lot of memoirs. Not my style. "

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About the Author
Author Anna Quindlen

Anna Quindlen is a novelist and journalist whose work has appeared on fiction, nonfiction, and self-help bestseller lists. Her book A Short Guide to a Happy Life has sold more than a million copies. While a columnist at the New York Times she won the Pulitzer Prize and published two collections. She currently lives in New York with her husband and children.