Audiobook Review: On Being 40ish

On Being 40(ish)
by Lindsey Mead (Editor),  Kate Bolick, Taffy Brodesser-Akner, Veronica Chambers, Sloane Crosley, Meghan Daum, K.J. Dell'Antonia, Jill Kargman , Julie Klam, Jessica Lahey, Catherine Newman, Sujean Rim, Jena Schwartz, Sophfronia Scott, Allison Winn Scotch
Narrated by: Janina Edwards, Madeleine Maby, Soneela Nankani, Joy Osmanski, Candace Thaxton
Audiobook, 5 hrs and 2 mins
Published February 5th 2019 by Simon Schuster Audio

I received a copy of this book from Simon and Schuster for review purposes. It has no way influenced my opinion of this book.


The big 4-0. Like eighteen and twenty-one, this is a major and meaningful milestone our lives—especially for women. Turning forty is a poignant doorway between youth and…what comes after; a crossroads to reflect on the roads taken and not, and the paths yet before you. The decade that follows is ripe for nostalgia, inspiration, wisdom, and personal growth.

In this dazzling collection, fifteen writers explore this rich phase in essays that are profound, moving and above all, brimming with joie de vivre. With a diverse array of voices—including Veronica Chambers, Meghan Daum, Kate Bolick, Taffy Brodesser-Akner, Sloane Crosley, KJ Dell’Antonia, Julie Klam, Jessica Lahey, Catherine Newman, Sujean Rim, Jena Schwartz, Sophfronia Scott, Allison Winn Scotch, Lee Woodruff, and Jill Kargman—On Being 40(ish) offers deeply personal, often hilarious perspectives across a range of universal themes—friendship, independence, sex, beauty, aging, wisdom, and the passage of time.

Beautifully designed to make the perfect gift, and to be a treasure to turn to time and time again, On Being 40(ish) reflects the hopes, fears, challenges and opportunities of a generation. 

My Thoughts

When I was a child, I remember the adults celebrating turning 40 with black balloons, a "you're over the hill" cake, and on occasion tombstones in your front yard. It was as if to say, 40 = your life is over. My sister cried the day she turned 40. Big, blubbering tears. And for the life of me I couldn't figure out why. She's only a year older than I am. So when my turn came, to be honest, I didn't feel any different. I didn't cry. I felt the same as when I turned 25 or 32. Over the year I did start to wonder if I have or am accomplishing everything  I wanted to. I started to take notice of the women around me, looking at their journey and noticing the differences and similarities each woman's is.

My 40ish year was marred with a bit of tragedy. My husband's mother had just passed away from cancer. My paternal grandmother and grandfather had passed away within months of each other. I was riding a wave of grief, just trying to keep my head above water. My sister had just gotten out of a serious relationship and was trying to rebuild her life. I have friends who have gone back to school after years of staying at home with their children, friends going back to work, or friends that were getting promoted in their careers. Being 40 looks different on every one. And just like diversity in life, On Being 40-ish offers a variety of essays from women who are in different stages of their lives, but linger around the 40-ish benchmark. 

I read in the description that this book makes the 'perfect gift.' I would like to amend that a bit and say, this makes the perfect gift for yourself. Sometimes woman need reminding that everyone had a different path, and it's not meant to look like everyone else's. This book is full of encouragement, wisdom, and inspiration. I chose to listen to this book as an audiobook. It has multiple readers, which gives it a more personal feel, as if the essays are meant for you alone. The themes range from friendship to the passing of time. This is a book that has a universal truth about women and age. Something all women can relate to.