By Robyn Spizman Gerson

Featured AJT Contributor

Looking for a page turner? The 23rd Edition of the Book Festival of the MJCCA has you covered!

There’s an author for everyone with 40+ of the most talked-about authors, celebrities, and influencers. The festival features speaker programs, author meet and greets, book signings, panel discussions, and so much more.

A can’t-miss favorite at the month long event will be Anna Quindlen, Pulitzer Prize winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author of “Lots of Candles,” “Plenty of Cake,” “Rise and Shine,” “Blessings,” and “A Short Guide to a Happy Life”.

Her newest literary treasure; “Still Life with Bread Crumbs” is a story of the complex dimensions of a woman’s life. Quindlen returns with a story that captures the true power of love. An unexpected romance takes Rebecca Winter, a talented photographer on a self-defining unexpected journey and meaningful discovery.

Quindlen captivates her reader’s hearts, book after book. Themes like cake and breadcrumbs seem like unlikely titles and topics, yet Quindlan follows her own heart. Such is the case with her acclaimed bestseller “A Short Guide to a Happy Life” which suggests this is a writer who speaks her truth. That book instantly enrolled me as a long-time admirer of her work. I stocked it in quantity as a favorite gift to have on hand for memorable gift giving.

In my recent interview correspondence with Anna, I elected to first focus on the overwhelming success of her book on the secret to having a happy life.

“What I hear from readers, over and over again” She shared, “Is that in simple straightforward language, it reminds them of what is truly important in life. I’m so gratified by that, but I never would have predicted it.”

Since writing that book, I inquired what she’s learned about life. She responded, “Frankly, I think the lesson I describe at the end remains my touchstone. Look at the view. Every morning I powerwalk, usually along the Hudson, and I try to pay attention to my surroundings. But I’ve done the same thing along the Mississippi, and in Golden Gate Park, and around the squares of Savannah. There’s always something to remind you that the world is glorious and, sadly, always events in your life to remind you that your time here is fleeting. Look at the view.”

And how does she handle being accused of such eternal optimism? She shares, “There was already a perception that I was a Pollyanna. That book may have cemented it. I can live with that. I’m 62 years old and, frankly, the only voice I trust to tell me how to behave now is my own. Everything else is background noise.”

The author’s topics range from reinvention to resurrection and motherhood. When asked her personal philosophy, she adds, “There’s a Hemingway quote on my bulletin board that has been there for decades: The world breaks everyone, and afterwards many are strong at the broken places. That’s a good place to start. Actually, it’s a good place to start for every book I’ve ever written.”

On a final note, I wondered about the next chapter of her career and life, and what is next for Anna Quindlen? She responded, “You know waiting for Godot? Well, I’m waiting for Grandchildren.”

ANNA QUINDLEN, “Still Life With Bread Crumbs” – Monday, November 4, 7:45 pm – (Member: $28/Community: $33/prices include book) Purchase tickets: call 678.812.4005 or visit online at www.atlantajcc.org/bookfestival

Robyn Spizman Gerson is a New York Times Best Selling Author, Communications Expert and a well-known media personality having appeared often on NBC’s Today Show. www.robynspizman.com