Picks and Pans Review: Inventing the Rest of Our Lives

UPDATED 01/17/2005 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 01/17/2005 at 01:00 AM EST

Women in Second Adulthood
By Suzanne Braun Levine

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A you-go-girl manual for the menopause crowd, Levine's book will be welcomed by women who want to make the most of their lives from age 50 on. One of her revelations: Our brains experience a post-50 growth spurt that may make us better at judgment calls. She encourages readers to let go of "shoulda-coulda-woulda thinking" and, if they're contemplating career changes, to decide whether they actually like working with people or only think so because that's how they've been socialized.

True, it's not all breaking news, and coining terms like the "F—-You Fifties" is likely to turn off conservative readers. Too bad, because Levine's perspective is welcome and her anecdotes inspiring. Take the one about the widow who tells her daughter that she's joining the workforce: "The thing I like doing most is being a mother...so I'm going to be a nanny!"

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