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Leap!: What Will We Do with the Rest of Our Lives? Paperback – February 26, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The subtitle's question is posed to baby boomers; the author's answers offer an array of arresting possibilities. Davidson, whose book Loose Change tracked three '60s Berkeley radicals, interviews well-known men and women as well as ordinary citizens and deals with such subjects as sex in the age of Cialis, finding work that expresses your purpose in life, finding a community to grow old with and finding a spiritual path. Davidson weaves in her own story, contrasting her decision to remain a writer with Marcia Seligson's midlife choice to give up a writing career to found a musical theater. Some of the "leaps" represent spiritual transformation, such as how Sally Kempton left the ashram where she had been a disciple of Swami Muktananda for 27 years and adopted a new life of teaching and writing. Davidson compares the late marriage of Gloria Steinem at age 66 with Jane Fonda's ability to finally live without a man after her divorce from Ted Turner. Many of Davidson's subjects are from her own social circles, so her book won't apply to everyone. But her engaging and provocative anecdotes will inspire hope and creative thinking about the future in many readers. (Feb. 20)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Sara Davidson is the author of bestsellers Loose Change, Real Property, and Cowboy.

Actor and voice-over artist Ren�e Raudman has performed on film, television, radio, and stage. A multiple Audie Award nominee, she has garnered several AudioFile Earphones Awards, a Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award, and numerous starred reviews. --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 321 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (February 26, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345478096
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345478092
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,143,636 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Welcome! If you'd like to read an excerpt from The December Project, please visit my website, If you pre-order the book, you'll get a bonus--a free recording we produced of Reb Zalman singing,talking with me,and leading a meditation on letting go. You can start enjoying it right away, before the book arrives.

Now for the BIO:

Sara Davidson first captured America's imagination with her international best seller, "Loose Change," about three women growing up in the Sixties.

Sara grew up in California and went to Berkeley in the Sixties, where the rite of passage was to "get stoned, get laid and get arrested."

After Berkeley she headed for New York to attend the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. Her first job was with the Boston Globe, where she became a national correspondent, covering everything from the election campaigns of Bobby Kennedy and Richard Nixon to the Woodstock Festival and the student strike at Columbia.

Returning to New York, she worked as a free-lance journalist for magazines ranging from Harpers, Esquire and the New York Times to Rolling Stone. She was one of the group who developed the craft of literary journalism, combining the techniques of fiction with rigorous reporting to bring real events and people to life. Her work is collected in the textbook, "The Literary Journalists," by Norman Sims.

Sara moved back to California where for 25 years, she alternated between writing for television and writing books. The books tend to fall in the gray zone between memoir and fiction. She uses the voice of the intimate journalist, drawing on material from her life and that of others and shaping it into a narrative that reads like fiction.

In television, she created two drama series, "Jack and Mike," and "Heart Beat," which ran on A.B.C. She was later co-executive producer of "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman," wrote hundreds of hours of drama episodes, movies and miniseries, and in 1994 was nominated for a Golden Globe.

In the year 2000, her life began to unravel. She was divorced, her children were leaving for college and she couldn't find work in television. Following her intuition, knowing nobody, she drove to Boulder, Colorado for three months to be a visiting writer at the University of Colorado. She never drove back, and has pieced together a different life which she writes about in Leap!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Bee VINE VOICE on July 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Poor Sara. She is baffled by the rejection that keeps coming her way. No one wants to buy her self-described "edgy" screenplay that features "a lovable and loyal bloodhound that gets its throat cut while its owner is forced to watch." When she arrives in India a week late for a brief "volunteer vacation" during which she whines about the conditions and sneaks away to a luxury hotel to take a hot shower, she can't understand why the other volunteers want nothing to do with her.

Her attempt to find answers about how to deal with her failures is to interview her large cadre of successful friends and acquaintances. She reassures the reader of each person's worth by listing their accomplishments as well as any famous people with whom they may have worked. Wow! Sara knows someone who used to work for a once-famous entertainer! Sara was once married to a man whose father wrote hit musicals in the thirties! She talked to a plastic surgeon who "will not confirm or deny" that he has worked on famous singers! She knows someone who was once a staff writer for a sitcom! Even the never-famous high school English teacher "taught literature at one of the most rigorous schools in Manhattan." Pity the poor teachers who teach at the less rigorous schools. This book has little use for them. Most of the people interviewed in this book have found at least a modicum of wealth and fame in some artistic endeavor, and Davidson spares the reader little detail as she describes each person's tremendous physical attractiveness and gorgeous, expensive residence.

This book beautifully illustrates the kind of self-absorbed, self-important, self-centered perspective that makes Americans so beloved around the world.
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83 of 93 people found the following review helpful By John Zxerce on February 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Davidson's `Leap' is essentially about what we do after work and before death. She answers with an array of loosely attached anecdotal answers showing the tenuous relationship between the success and wealth of baby-boomers and the ideals they experienced and held in the 1960's.

Her discussion on aging seems to settle for the more Oprah-friendly answers of - "Don't fight it. Get used to it. Accept and embrace it. Take care of your health and sanity." Of course she writes in a more engaging style and as a result her words aren't nearly as blandly stated. At the same time I wanted more substance, significance, and deeper answers - those she's found to be true about the human condition, beauty, morality, and life.

She writes, "I can't sleep either. I fall asleep but wake at 2 a.m., shaking with fear. What am I supposed to do for the next 30 years? I've raised my kids, written best sellers, had deep love ... Why am I still here?"

That is the ultimate question, and in asking this question one faces what Davidson calls `going through the narrows'.

She goes on to say, "While there's no single route through the narrows, I can tell you that there's sunlight and air at the other side. What became clear for me may be utterly different than for you. I've talked with a man who's building a hospital in Uganda, a woman who's becoming a nun at 50, a couple who are adopting a child at 61. Others have a passion to live near their families and play golf."

My question is, "Is there no hierarchy in our choices?" She seems to suggest that all decisions are equally valid. You can play golf, watch tv, help the homeless - whatever works for you. I'm not sure if I buy this. Certainly a diversity of involvement in life can result in a well-rounded person.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By S. Kayton on May 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Sara Davidson may not have been aware when she wrote Leap! that it would not only be a guide for aging baby boomers, but also a healing message for those in grief.

Let me explain. I was intrigued by the Newsweek review of the book, and bought it in March shortly after it came out. However, I didn't read it right away. I have a high stress Silicon Valley job that leaves little time for reading books. "I'll get to it when I get a chance," I told myself.

Regrettably, in the past month, I have had that chance. I've been on leave from my job since mid-April, when my 22-year old son drowned in a boating accident. Among other grief counseling, I have read "grief" related books people recommended -- but they were not terribly satisfactory.

So over the last week, I picked up Leap! from my stack of unread books, and read it. Leap! has done more to focus my mind on what to do under these tragic circumstances than almost all, if not all, of the other things I have done. At a minimum, I am thinking about quitting my job (I can afford to) and live life as Davidson has suggested. My son's premature death has shown me that life is too short and uncertain to do anything else.

So many thanks to Sara Davidson for writing something that, inadvertenly or not, has been a true inspiration and source of comfort.

(This review written by Sue Kayton's husband using her account.)
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Cy Michelle on June 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book promised a lot and delivered very little. The cover tag touts: informative, entertaining, and above all, helpful. Leap! strikes out on all three counts. It read like a boring letter from an acquaintance who was very into name-dropping. I've enjoyed other people's vacation pictures more. There was nothing in this book that provided boomers with real-world options to use as they move through this life transition. Most of us don't relate to Jane Fonda, Carly Simon or the CEO of Air America Radio. What I was looking for was some advice from others in their boomer years for coping with life after 50. I wanted tried-and-true ideas about what to do now that my kids are grown and I have some time to devote to myself. This book is not the place to find that information. But if you want to read about all the famous writers, actors, models, etc. that Sara Davidson has known, this is the book for you.
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