Why We Can’t Sleep- Women’s New Midlife Crisis by Ada Calhoun helped to ease my worries regarding my own advancing age.
NetGalley is hosting a “Review A Thon,” throughout the entire month of August. Net Galley is a great website that provides free advanced reader copies to bloggers and readers in exchange for an honest review. I love books and I also enjoy saving money, so Net Galley is perfect for me.
I enjoy reading as a form of self care. Curling up with a good book is a form of stress relief for me. Sometimes I share book reviews here on my website, but throughout the month of August, I will be sharing even more book reviews than normal as I work my way through my massive “To Be Read,” pile on Net Galley.
What are you reading? Let me know in the comments below!
My Review for Why We Can’t Sleep by Ada Clahoun
Why We Can’t Sleep by Ada Calhoun tackles the questions that keep us awake at night. She addresses the challenges and issues that many women face during middle age from an empathetic and scholarly perspective that is both enjoyable and educational for the casual reader. According to Calhoun, the burden of choice that women now face is both liberating and deeply troubling. We are not alone when we look back on our lives and wonder: “Did I marry the right person?” “Did I choose the right career?” “Should I have had children?” “Should I have went back to school?”
I’m getting older (aren’t we all?) and I fall into that strange generation that is “not quite” Gen X and “not quite” millennial. Unlike many millenials, I remember the sound of dial up internet and I didn’t learn to use a smart phone until I was in grad school. However, unlike Generation X, I don’t remember the Cold War and I was only a year old when the Berlin Wall fell. While this book technically focuses on Gen X women, I still found a great deal I could relate to as an “elder millenial.”
Sometimes, I feel like a stranger in a strange land. it seems so odd to me that there is an entire generation of people, some of them of voting age, who can’t remember the attacks of September 11th. To those people, the tragic events of that day seem as distant as the attacks on Pearl Harbor seem to me- something we have only heard about in stories, history books, and documentaries.
I look around and wonder, “How did we get here?” According to Calhoun, such existential questions are common ones for women approaching middle age. While men have midlife crises that involve sports cars and large outward signs of struggle, women tend to quietly agonize over their life choices. I was glad to know that I was not alone with my thoughts and concerns.
Calhoun’s book is filled with statistics and interviews. Although I became a bit bogged down with all the numbers, I was comforted by the book’s enduring message of the strength of women. As each year brings me closer to midlife, I am glad to know that I am not alone with my existential angst.
I recommend this book for any other woman (especially in the Gen X generation) who finds herself lying awake at night struggling with questions related to aging and self worth. Why We Can’t Sleep is an affirmation to women of all ages- young, middle-aged, and advanced and years- that our struggles are real. But nevertheless, we are resilient.
Note: I received a free copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and options are my own.
When Ada Calhoun found herself in the throes of a midlife crisis, she thought that she had no right to complain. She was married with children and a good career. So why did she feel miserable? And why did it seem that other Generation X women were miserable, too?
Calhoun decided to find some answers. She looked into housing costs, HR trends, credit card debt averages, and divorce data. At every turn, she saw a pattern: sandwiched between the Boomers and the Millennials, Gen X women were facing new problems as they entered middle age, problems that were being largely overlooked.
Speaking with women across America about their experiences as the generation raised to “have it all,” Calhoun found that most were exhausted, terrified about money, under-employed, and overwhelmed. Instead of being heard, they were told instead to lean in, take “me-time,” or make a chore chart to get their lives and homes in order.
In Why We Can’t Sleep, Calhoun opens up the cultural and political contexts of Gen X’s predicament and offers solutions for how to pull oneself out of the abyss—and keep the next generation of women from falling in. The result is reassuring, empowering, and essential reading for all middle-aged women, and anyone who hopes to understand them.
Author: Ada Calhoun
Genre: Nonfiction/ Sociology & Psychology/ Cultural Study
Publisher:Grove Atlantic/ Grove Press
Publication Date: January 7, 2020
Other Review-A-Thon Book Reviews:
Horse Crazy- A sociological exploration of why we love horses and how their love shapes us
A History of Art in 21 Cats – The purr-fect book to learn about art history!
The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen is a delightful read for fans of Jane Auten’s novels.
What are you reading?
What are you currently reading? I’m currently reading Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are on Audible! Have you heard of Audible? You can try Audible and get two free audiobooks as well as two Audible Originals! As a person with low vision, I absolutely LOVE Audible. I use it all the time! Sign up for a free trial and even if you cancel your membership, you get to keep the audioboooks! Try Audible today. Your Ears will thank you!