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There Are No Grown-ups: A Midlife Coming-of-Age Story

by Pamela Druckerman

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1174205,563 (2.98)4
The best-selling author of BRINGING UP BÉBÉ investigates life in her forties, and wonders whether her mind will ever catch up with her face. When Pamela Druckerman turns 40, waiters start calling her "Madame," and she detects a disturbing new message in mens' gazes: I would sleep with her, but only if doing so required no effort whatsoever.   Yet forty isn't even technically middle-aged anymore. And after a lifetime of being clueless, Druckerman can finally grasp the subtext of conversations, maintain (somewhat) healthy relationships and spot narcissists before they ruin her life. What are the modern forties, and what do we know once we reach them? What makes someone a "grown-up" anyway? And why didn't anyone warn us that we'd get cellulite on our arms? Part frank memoir, part hilarious investigation of daily life, There Are No Grown-Ups diagnoses the in-between decade when...     * Everyone you meet looks a little bit familiar.     * You're matter-of-fact about chin hair.     * You can no longer wear anything ironically.     * There's at least one sport your doctor forbids you to play.     * You become impatient while scrolling down to your year of birth.     * Your parents have stopped trying to change you.     * You don't want to be with the cool people anymore; you want to be with your people.     * You realize that everyone is winging it, some just do it more confidently.     * You know that it's ok if you don't like jazz. Internationally best-selling author and New York Times contributor Pamela Druckerman leads us on a quest for wisdom, self-knowledge and the right pair of pants. A witty dispatch from the front lines of the forties, There Are No Grown-ups is a (midlife) coming-of-age story, and a book for anyone trying to find their place in the world.… (more)
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» See also 4 mentions

Showing 3 of 3
3.5 stars. It's an adequate book to read while reading to yourself waiting for your soon to be 5 year old to to bed. Small little chapters/anecdotes of life in your forties.

Hey, I'm in my forties and I can totally relate to Pamela Druckerman. I have a young child and ...umm, well, I haven't had cancer. Near the end, I found Pamela more interesting when she started thoughtfully talking about relationships and how to understand people and herself. ( )
  wellington299 | Feb 19, 2022 |
Best for:
People looking for a perfectly entertaining collection of essays about mid-life.

In a nutshell:
Author Druckerman shares what she has learned as she entered her 40s.

Worth quoting:
“As you keep looking at things, you see more and more in them.”

Why I chose it:
I finished my book and had a train ride back to the UK ahead of me. This was one of the English-language books available, and it was by an author I’d read before.

Review:
As I mentioned in a previous review, I’m turning 40 next year, so some of my book choices are focused on that reality. This book happened to fit into that trend, and it offered some interesting insights. Some of the chapters within the book are clearly repurposed versions of previous essay’s Druckerman has written, but she manages to make them mostly fit together.

On thing I appreciate about her writing is her honest self-assessment. Well, at least it seems honest (I don’t know her), as it isn’t always flattering, nor is it self-deprecating in a way that reeks of false humility. She wonders if she has any immutable characteristics; she struggles to make friends.

She isn’t totally relatable, and I don’t think I agree with all of her suggestions and advice, but some components - especially chapters 18 (’How to figure out what’s happening) and 21 (how to say no) - resonated with me. I’m definitely happy I picket it up.

Keep it / Pass to a Friend / Donate it / Toss it:
Donate it (I’ll be tossing it, but only because I got a lot of tomato juice on my copy) ( )
  ASKelmore | Aug 8, 2019 |
An honest yet refreshing look at being a fortysomething. ( )
  bookwyrmm | Nov 19, 2018 |
Showing 3 of 3
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The best-selling author of BRINGING UP BÉBÉ investigates life in her forties, and wonders whether her mind will ever catch up with her face. When Pamela Druckerman turns 40, waiters start calling her "Madame," and she detects a disturbing new message in mens' gazes: I would sleep with her, but only if doing so required no effort whatsoever.   Yet forty isn't even technically middle-aged anymore. And after a lifetime of being clueless, Druckerman can finally grasp the subtext of conversations, maintain (somewhat) healthy relationships and spot narcissists before they ruin her life. What are the modern forties, and what do we know once we reach them? What makes someone a "grown-up" anyway? And why didn't anyone warn us that we'd get cellulite on our arms? Part frank memoir, part hilarious investigation of daily life, There Are No Grown-Ups diagnoses the in-between decade when...     * Everyone you meet looks a little bit familiar.     * You're matter-of-fact about chin hair.     * You can no longer wear anything ironically.     * There's at least one sport your doctor forbids you to play.     * You become impatient while scrolling down to your year of birth.     * Your parents have stopped trying to change you.     * You don't want to be with the cool people anymore; you want to be with your people.     * You realize that everyone is winging it, some just do it more confidently.     * You know that it's ok if you don't like jazz. Internationally best-selling author and New York Times contributor Pamela Druckerman leads us on a quest for wisdom, self-knowledge and the right pair of pants. A witty dispatch from the front lines of the forties, There Are No Grown-ups is a (midlife) coming-of-age story, and a book for anyone trying to find their place in the world.

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