Great Reads for Midlife Women: April 2009

Our best new books this month: a hilarious essay collection, award-winning poems, and more.
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When You Lie About Your Age, the Terrorists Win, by Carol Leifer (Villard)

The joys and perils of family, love, and aging are candidly exposed in this hilarious essay collection by the 52-year-old comedian (a former writer for Seinfeld). In "40 Things I Know at 50," Leifer notes: "Never buy expensive thong underwear. One trip through the dryer and it’s a frilly bookmark!"

Buy the book at Amazon.com

The Towering World of Jimmy Choo, by Lauren Goldstein Crowe and Sagra Maceira de Rosen (Bloomsbury)

This tell-all details how Malaysian immigrant Jimmy Choo’s luxury shoe brand grew into a global business with sales of nearly $200 million a year. The merger-and-acquisition aspects of this corporate saga may be a snooze, but the personalities behind the brand — notably company president Tamara Mellon — are fascinating.

Buy the book at Amazon.com

Assorted Poems, by Susan Wheeler (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

The award-winning poet astonishes with this compilation from her first four books of verse. Wheeler explores eclectic subjects (Bruce Willis, Time Warner), using beautiful yet antiquated phrasing: "A verdant swale appeared to me-/disburthened of perspicacity-/by sunset vaulted o’er," she writes in "Reflected Sonnet," a tribute to painter April Gornik. It’s hard to resist the impulse to unravel these poetic puzzles (and well worth the effort).

Buy the book at Amazon.com

BeautyLight, by Matthew Rolston (teNeues)

"We are hardwired as humans to love light," writes photographer Matthew Rolston, who shot this month’s Dara Torres cover, in his new book. The collection of celebrity portraits, taken for magazines such as Interview and Rolling Stone, spans Rolston’s two-decade career and highlights his signature style. With seductive and often theatrical images — Calista Flockhart savors a tart, Salma Hayek channels the Virgin Queen, and Jodie Foster directs a film — Rolston shows his knack for capturing Hollywood icons at their shiniest. — Rebecca Adler Warren

Originally published in MORE magazine, April 2009.

Buy the book at Amazon.com
Photo by Bryan McCay

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