Read Leap Days: Chronicles of a Midlife Move by Katherine Lanpher Online


Katherine Lanpher, whose essays have appeared in the New York Times and More magazine, officially moved to Manhattan on a leap day, transferring from a rooted life in the Midwest to a new job, a new city, and a new sense of who she was. But re-invention is a tricky business and starting over in the middle of life isn't for the feint of heart. Katherine Lanpher's short essaKatherine Lanpher, whose essays have appeared in the New York Times and More magazine, officially moved to Manhattan on a leap day, transferring from a rooted life in the Midwest to a new job, a new city, and a new sense of who she was. But re-invention is a tricky business and starting over in the middle of life isn't for the feint of heart. Katherine Lanpher's short essay on her first six months in New York--"A Manhattan Admonition" was published last August in the New York Times op-ed page and remained on their list of most e-mailed stories for weeks. Now she has written a book chronicling how her past life and loves have prepared her for unexpected discoveries in her new home. Lanpher looks back on her marriage, her early days in newspapers, and her childhood in the Midwest. And, with startling insight, she examines her new world--how beauty is defined in New York, how the landscape differs from the Midwest, and how good food and books have been constants in her life. The tone of her essays mixes the emotional depth of Anna Quindlen with the quirky wit of David Sedaris. ...

Title : Leap Days: Chronicles of a Midlife Move
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780821258309
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 240 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Leap Days: Chronicles of a Midlife Move Reviews

  • John
    2019-04-28 18:17

    Well written memoir in essay format - some folks might be disappointed that her on-air career is covered in only one entry, with her time as Al Franken's co-host a subset of that, though it's a comprehensive piece. Lanpher effectively navigates the overall theme of her progression from Moline to Minneapolis to Manhattan. Definitely recommended.

  • Lynette
    2019-05-05 20:10

    Even for a memoir writer, this author was self-absorbed to a fault. Tries to maintain her Midwestern bona fides but ends up being as snobbish as the New Yorkers she parodies.

  • Brenda
    2019-05-14 23:07

    Fascinating! Sometimes, bravery is just taking a leap. Sometimes, you have to look back in order to move forward.

  • Katherine
    2019-05-17 01:07

    I was torn between three and four stars. I really liked to listen to Katherine Lanpher when she was on MPR, but don't think I ever managed to tune her in when she was with Al Franken on Air America Radio. Fickle? Maybe. But I have never liked Kerry Miller as much as I liked Katherine.This memoir was well written and entertaining. Katherine is just my age and experienced many of the things I did, growing up in the 60's and 70's. However, the book is mostly about her grown up life and, as listening to her on the radio did, it made me want to be friends with her. My radio show impression was that she would be one of those friends who is a little intimidating, but vastly entertaining. My book impression is...surprise!... that she, too has insecurities and soft spots, and I like her even more for them. I especially liked the chapter called "On Reading", and, even though it is poignant, wish I could have experienced a time like that in my life, where reading was the primary non-work space filler; not something squeezed in, not a guilty pleasure. I just moved this book from three stars to four. It left me with a satisfied taste in my mouth, yet wanting more. I promise not to stalk you, Katherine.

  • Tracy St Claire
    2019-04-23 02:09

    I read this book because the premise was a woman from the midwest struggling to fit in into New York City, something my sister did and now young neighbor is going through and I wanted to understand the experience. This is part of the book and filled my curiosity nicely.The rest of the book is Katherine's rambling autobiographical memoirs broken up by chapter in roughly chronological manner. These are interesting enough for a short read, and they evoked a feeling in me that quickly went beyond the book. She speaks so much of her own writings, and the writings of others as they visit places interlaced with mortality -- I thought of my own writer relatives and those relatives who have left writings and those who have not.I misinterpreted Al Franken's review of her book to mean she was dead, so I read the book as if it were her last work, and the reading made me think about what we instill in the words we write for posterity, and how do? the writers among us gain the posterity that we lose forever.

  • Verena
    2019-05-18 00:14

    I enjoyed Katherine Lanpher’s columns in the Pioneer Press as well as her stint as a talk show host on MPR. She conducted interviews with guests and juggled contributions from callers in a lively and sometimes zany way. She wasn’t afraid to hold guests’ feet to the fire when the subject was controversial. When she left MPR and moved to New York City to join Al Franken on Air America, I lost track of her. Finding Leap Days: Chronicles of a Midlife Move on my bookshelf brought me up to date (through 2006) on her life after leaving St. Paul. I found a love story of sorts as she recalls her life as a St. Paul newspaper reporter and columnist, a radio host on KSTP-AM and MPR, a wife and ex-wife. Her vignettes pay tribute to her parents, husband, bosses, neighbors, and friends. She is candid about the joy and terror of her leap from the city and people she loved to a much larger city that she learned to love. Her other leap into a writing career was off to a good start with this book.

  • Robin
    2019-05-19 19:26

    This is yet another suggestion from a Goodreads acquaintance and, once again, I was not disappointed! The author's reflections on her life and times is very insightful. I'm guessing that she is close to my own age but has gone through a very different life than I have, especially since she was unable to bear children, a heartbreak that I know nothing about. I admire the author's courage to relocate to NYC after living most of her life in the middle part of the country.

  • Rachel Romeo
    2019-05-09 23:20

    This is a great little book filled with short essays about the author as she chronicles a major move in her life in her mid-forties. Any woman who has had to start over because she needed to or wanted to, should pick this up as her tales are all too familiar. She divorces, moves to New York, hosts a radio show and figures out the big city along the way. If you've ever been unsure of yourself, you will gain confidence reading her essays.

  • Catherine
    2019-04-26 00:18

    Katherine Lanpher writes about her move from Minnesota to New York to be Al Franken's sidekick on Air America. This book was a quick read with some interesting stories about her life and the turn of events that led to her move to New York. There was nothing about this book that knocked me out, but there were some interesting stories about her life.

  • Sunny
    2019-04-20 23:18

    I had high hopes for this memoir. The first few chapters were intriguing. Somewhere in the middle it fell flat. I loved the stories about learning to live and thrive in NYC, however, Lanpher leaves that thread and goes off in different directions and waxes on about her life. Truly, I was bored.On the plus side, the book is very well written.

  • Leticia
    2019-05-16 02:32

    I worked with Katherine when I was an intern my senior year in college on her mid-morning call-in show at Minnesota Public Radio. It as interesting to the say the least to read more indepth about her life.

  • Julie M
    2019-04-22 21:05

    Read cover-to-cover during a 'snow' day in Owatonna. Great loss to St. Paul, great gain for NYC. I could relate to so many of her habits, likes/dislikes and of course we're nearly the same age so all her references were spot on with mine (Barbies, the Midwest, journalism in the '80s, etc.)

  • Lisa McAllister
    2019-04-30 23:21

    There were moments I really enjoyed this- but it tended to go back and forth thru her memories and events that it was hard to really get into it. I just kept waiting to get to the end to see if it would be satisfying...but it just kind of ended with a dud.

  • Sue
    2019-04-19 01:30

    One of the better chronicles I've read of late. Crisp writing and lots of points. Maybe you really should wait until you have enough interesting experiences to fill a book to write one.

  • Teesa
    2019-05-18 00:29

    Just OK. I was disappointed with the tone of this book, maybe it's my own mood based on my own situation. Looking for more in this book and not finding it.

  • JodiP
    2019-05-13 21:12

    I thought this a fair book. I really think if you weren't from Minneapolis and knew of some fo the palces and people, it wouldn't have been so interesting.

  • Lisa C.
    2019-05-14 01:18

    Loved this book as I made the opposite move at midlife- from a big city on the east coast to the Twin Cities as a single woman. Big transition!

  • Carrie Pirmann
    2019-04-25 22:17


  • Kathy Szydlo
    2019-05-18 01:29

    Well known host on Minnesota Public Radio moves to New York City. Well written and enjoyable, especially if you've heard and remember Katherine's warm voice and hearty laugh.

  • Ellen
    2019-05-03 19:33

    As seen on No Hurry In J.C..

  • Karen
    2019-04-26 22:14

    "Turns out, I like to leap,"Lanpher confesses in "Flying Lessons," an essay about trapeze instruction that opens the spirited collection. Lanpher, a freelance journalist, seems almost breezy about her own bravery. Her wry pieces are inspired by her own '04 move to Manhattan on, yes, a Leap Day, when she leaves her native Minnesota to join Al Franken as cohost on Air America Network. Behind her are a successful career at the 'St. Paul Pioneer Press', an unsuccessful marriage and a younger woman's belief in endless possibilities. "When the offer came...I took it. I wasn't sure how many more chances would come my way," writes Lanpher, then 44. What the midlife adventurer brings with her are warm memories of her childhood in St. Paul (which she shares in several essays) a love for people and a reporter's eye for the theater of public life. "I think of the city as this instrument I can play simply by walking down its sidewalks.," she writes, "setting off a trip wire that prompts the street scene, the encounter, the overheard conversation." Lanpher quickly grasps the art-versus-reality question that is endemic to Manhattan. She thinks Law and Order is shooting on her street the day she sees a medics wheeling a body from a house around the corner. Then she asks a bystander, "What happened?" "Murder," says her informant. With its quirky observation and self-depreciating humor, Lanpher's inspiring story is about an eagerness to immerse herself in other cultures - a newsroom, a new city- and emerge intact and enriched. High flying, indeed. #peoplemagazine