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The Red Hat Society(TM): Fun and Friendship After Fifty Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook


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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio; Abridged edition (April 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159483024X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594830242
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 5.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,070,933 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Cooper, the Red Hat Society's founding "Queen Mother," believes middle-aged women have gotten used to going unnoticed, and this book describes how she's trying to change that. The Red Hat movement began in the late 1990s, as Cooper, a California graphic artist, began hosting 50th (and other) birthday celebrations for a few friends. Inspired by the line in Jenny Joseph's poem "Warning" that vows, "When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple,/ With a red hat that doesn't go," Cooper presented each birthday girl with a red hat that jibed with her individual taste. The women loved the hats so much, they started wearing them to teas, slumber parties and even sporting events. Their gatherings attracted attention, and today, the society claims to have over 10,000 chapters across the country. And members have moved well beyond hats. These days, Cooper encourages Red Hatters to accessorize with "a fluffy red-feathered fan, or a pair of purple fishnet hose," since "it is a lot easier to act silly when you are dressed silly!" Why the need for such folly? Cooper recommends it as an antidote to the serious loss of self-esteem many aging women face as they deal with their children leaving home, caring for elderly parents, widowhood, health crises and altered body image. It's a zany approach, to be sure, and Cooper's ideas may sound ridiculous to women at the height of their careers or those in retirement who've found alternate ways to relieve stress and express creativity. Nevertheless, this feel-good handbook, complete with anecdotes from members, could find a welcoming audience.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

An infant "disorganization" whose members have been catapulted into fame, thanks to some shrewd publicity, the Red Hat Society is aimed at middle-aged women, recognizing a stage in life that traditionally was downplayed or feared. Southern Californian and Queen Mom founder Cooper relates, with much humor and some sobriety, the society's beginnings and rapid growth. A Jenny Joseph poem ("when I am an old woman I shall wear purple with a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me") serves as the motto, signature, and impetus for members sporting red hats and purple apparel. A lot of the narrative is anecdotal; the names of local societies, for instance, range from Hot Cakes and Behattitudes to Silver Foxes and W.O.E. (Women Out of Estrogen). Just as much is inspirational; stories about the first convention (Chicago, April 2002) and shared experiences, from marriage to health, pepper the book. It is a philosophy definitely intended to celebrate milestones and express individuality, a philosophy worthy of large-scale promotion. Barbara Jacobs
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Another feature I liked a lot is that it's in large print.
Doc W8
This is a fun book for those women who are stuck in a rut and need an excuse to celebrate or get out of the rut.
Elizabeth
Every Red Hat Society Member, or prospective member, should read this book, by RHS founder Sue Ellen Cooper!
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By "nje99" on April 21, 2004
Format: Paperback
I just returned from the 3rd Annual Red Hat Convention in Dallas (April 14-18, 2004). It was my first official sojourn into the realms of the Red Hat World, a phenomenon all women (not just those over 50) should check out. The book was released, I believe, at the convention, and Sue Ellen Cooper is currently on a multi-city book tour.
The book is a collection of anecdotal tales of women "of an age" living their lives with verve, confidence, optimism and laughter, interspersed with Will Rogers-like commentaries from the author and charming illustrations. The Red Hat story, as told in the book, is a one of a kind adventure story. It is a simple book, with fairly large type for aging eyes and an easy-to-navigate format. It reads like Reader?s Digest ? but it is incredibly complex in the topics it explores. I cannot imagine anyone of either gender or of any age reading the book and not recognizing the beauty of its simple truths. It is a manual for finding joy in the moment, for finding fulfillment in living, for being "present." It is truly an empowering book.
I purchased the book at the convention, but I logged onto Amazon.com today to buy a few more copies to send to my friends and family. When I realized that I would have the opportunity to write the first review of the book here, I couldn?t resist putting in my two cents, knowing full well that thousands of other women will end up waxing far more poetically than I on the simple beauty of this book and what it represents.
Although I am an avid reader, I have never bothered to take the time to review a book on this site. This time I can?t help myself. After last week, I am a Red Hat believer, a total convert, and a born-again celebrant.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on May 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
THE RED HAT SOCIETY is a book about fun, loads of it. Sue Ellen Cooper, in her thirties, was inspired by a lyrical poem she read in a used bookstore. Years later, she recalled the piece that celebrated the aging process. Cooper searched for the perfect gift for a dear friend about to celebrate her fifty-fifth birthday. A framed copy of the poem, along with an outrageous red bowler, matched her friend Linda's personality. The gift was an instant hit. Soon, Cooper's entire list of friends benefited from like remembrances. A tearoom excursion in 1998, captured on film by Cooper's husband, was the first of many romps in hilarity for the over-fifty girls. The embryonic Red Hat Society bloomed into a sisterhood for like-minded lovers of foolishness.
THE RED HAT SOCIETY is the story of its mushrooming into viable groups spread over the entire globe. A worldwide entity, The Red Hat Society now meets annually, for a convention of mutual fun-lovers. The rules are simple; there are none. The sole purpose is to revolutionize the view of feminine aging in our society. Cooper states that the society fulfills certain needs: "the need to play, the desire to dress up, the need for connection with others at the same stage of life, an appreciation for humor, visibility as an active segment of society and the need for fellowship with other women."
The frisky official mascot of the society is Ruby Red-Hat, a full-figured little lady, cleverly disguised as an adult. A computer-generated icon, she is the embodiment of attributes and attitudes that Red Hatters admire. Her Ten Rules for Living, plus One, is the sole set of rules that Red Hatters accept. The book examines each with several paragraphs of explanation.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 27, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is a fun book for those women who are stuck in a rut and need an excuse to celebrate or get out of the rut. For me it was more a book about making a hobby out of being fun, wild and on occasion celebrating being age 50+.
Be an Outrageous Older Woman by Ruth H. Jacobs is the book I recommend for those women who are serious about living a 'march to your own drummer' lifestyle rather than making being age 50+ an occasional celebration.
Personally I have few female friends and the ones I have I hand picked specifically because they live authentic, eccentric lives where everyday is a celebration, where the gathering of the women isn't about playing tea time, gossiping or shopping, but serious, wonderful thought provoking verbal intercourse.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Kristin J. Johnson VINE VOICE on October 25, 2004
Format: Paperback
To say that The Red Hat Society is an official handbook would be contradicting the spirit of Red Hatting. Red Hatter founder, Red Hat Society author and Queen Mother Sue Ellen Cooper and her crimson chapeau sisters, eschew the notion of Robert's Rules of Order. This delightful book introduces us to Ruby RedHat, who acts as gleeful mascot for the entire Red Hat Society, founded by Cooper. The whole thing has a great "Lifetime" ring, without man-bashing since several husbands, fathers, sons, and even one polite five-year-old boy fully support red Hats in all their red, red, and red glory!

There's a definite sisterhood and joie de vivre in the way the Red Hatters describe their fundamentals--emphasis on the "fun"--and the touching way they support each other through life's ups and downs (navigated, no doubt, in a red and purple balloon).

At a time when so-called role models get younger and sillier, the Red Hat Society shows us that to be older and sillier is better...because you've earned it. The book makes you want to grab your red or pink hat, go thrift shopping, and celebrate yourself.

The book provides a practical and fun guide to joining or starting your own chapter. Women under fifty can join as Pink Hatters wearing lavender. Sing me up!
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