Kirkus Reviews QR Code
DON'T COUNT THE CANDLES by Joan Rivers

DON'T COUNT THE CANDLES

Just Keep the Fire Lit

By Joan Rivers

Pub Date: April 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-06-018383-7
Publisher: HarperCollins

No go-with-the-flow aging for Joan Rivers. Fight it every way you can, she exhorts: diet, exercise, makeup, clothes, plastic surgery, sex with younger men. Comedienne, talk-show host, QVC jewelry marketer, and actress, Rivers (Enter Talking, 1986), nearing 70, has been there, done that, and doesn’t plan to stop exploring what life has to offer. “Aging sucks,” she announces flatly on page one, but she advises to “go through it with dignity.” Here’s the strategy, definitely not PC, but crammed with sound bites that translate to a battle plan. Look “the best you can for your age,” advises Rivers, laying out tips on clothes, makeup, exercise, diet, and even home decorating. For instance, up-to-date wardrobes can be a “little trashy” but not “TRASHY”; go easy on the short-short skirts and the low-low necklines. Jokes about the power of gravity on breasts and butt are interspersed with discussions of symptoms of aging that are usually reserved for doctors or hairdressers (wear sexy underwear, but be especially careful to keep it clean; when hair starts to thin, use hair pieces or even hair restorers; when facial hair becomes a problem, get rid of it—Oprah Winfrey did). Face lifts are no longer a feminist no-no: Letty Cottin Pogrebin had one, Rivers reports. In other advice: exercise, eat well but lightly, have young friends, have sex regularly, never visit anyone at a place called . . . Leisure anything,” and keep your mind active. Celebrity friends and acquaintances (Kim Basinger, Lauren Hutton) offer advice throughout the book, and as usual, Rivers takes a swipe at Elizabeth Taylor, a favorite target. She even quotes Robert Browning and Emily Dickinson. Each chapter winds up with a menu of one-liners: “Never admit that your back goes out more than you do.” Old saws given new bite in the sharp-tongued Rivers mode. (Author tour; TV satellite tour)