By Anna Quindlen-Random House, 2019
Award-winning journalist Anna Quindlen is well known to those of us in midlife and older. Her latest book, Nanaville, is written in her typical feels-like-we’re-sharing-coffee style. Quindlen expounds on the joy of becoming a grandmother. Nanaville is more than a saccharine ode to her son’s baby, however. Quindlen reveals the lessons she’s learned: that she is not the decision-maker, and that the techniques she used to raise her own children may not be acceptable today. She discusses blending and honoring customs of different cultures (her son’s wife is Asian). She candidly admits she knows how to parent but had to learn how to help her son parent—often by saying nothing at all. As much as we delight in the love affair between grandmother and grandson, the book serves equal purpose as grandparenting (or mother-in-lawing) for dummies. It’s a terrific read for any future nana, so full of Quindlen quotes, you’ll want to read it with a highlighter. And if you like this one, we also recommend Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake (2013) and One True Thing, a film based on Quindlen’s semi-autobiographical novel.