Book Report: The Longest Date

It’s been much too long since I’ve covered off some of the buzziest books in town – and stay tuned as this winter and spring will be chockful of reads to get you through the bitterest and rainiest of days. Starting with today’s pick, a memoir entitled The Longest Date: Life as a Wife by Cindy Chupack.


What’s The Buzz?: If the name Cindy Chupack sounds familiar to you at all, it’s likely because you’ve devoured Sex and the City at some point in your life and noticed her name feature rather significantly during the credits. As one of the lead writers and executive producers on the show, Cindy and her fellow writers helped infuse the beloved series with its trademark wit and sharp insight into life as a single woman in her 30s. I hesitate to call Cindy a real-life Carrie Bradshaw, but given the last time we checked in on the fictional Carrie she had a few memoirs under her belt, it’s not a stretch to say this book is pretty much like picking up one of Carrie’s tomes – only it’s real life, and it’s penned by a real person. Heck, it even features some of the same quippy puns Carrie is known for, as per: “I can’t help but notice that most of my gay male friends, whether single or cohabitating, have gorgeous Zen homes that look and smell like boutique hotels…I think cleaning should be called “gaying things up” instead of “straightening things up.””

What’s the Story?: The focus of this particular memoir is all about ‘Life as a Wife’. Chupack married a self-proclaimed ‘bad boy’ at the age of 40 and muses in short essays (many of which have been previously published elsehwere) about both the journey to the altar and what she experienced afterward. Some of it was expected (like Carrie, she openly comments on how your sex life transforms with monogamy, not necessarily for the better), some of it was surprising (like her stance bringing a pet into their ‘shared’ home), but all of it has been an adventure, one she ultimately seems to be glad to be taking with her husband, Ian. The vibe is conversational and insightful, but rarely veering toward preachy; you’ll find yourself nodding your head along, whether or not you’re in wedlock.

Wait…so I don’t need to be married to read this?: Truth be told, Chupack strikes me as a single gal at heart, ring on her finger be damned. There are PLENTY of shout outs to the single ladies and you’ll easily get the feeling that Chupack looks fondly upon her single days, and maybe even misses them a little. Whether you’re on your first or your fifth trip to the altar, or you’ve been happily married for three decades, or you can’t ever see yourself getting hitched, there’s still plenty of fun insight on monogamy, society and how relationships change you.

Is the book just about being a wife? Or does family factor in?: To me, the best kinds of nonfiction memoirs will generally have a linking thread to them, regardless of how disparate the stories within are. Although ‘wifedom’ is definitely a continual theme, there is a ‘plot-based’ through-line surrounding Cindy and her husband Ian’s struggle with starting a family; through fertility treatments, adoption and otherwise. Sometimes it’s given just a passing mention, other times entire essays are handed over to the topic. Overall though, it’s an unflinching, honest look at the realities of starting a family when you’ve found ‘the one’ past your primo years of fertility.

I’m thinking of giving this as a wedding shower gift – good idea or bad?: Totally good! Given that the vast population of women out there that are in that key typical wedding range (22 – 40) have watched at least a little bit of Sex and the City, they’ll sincerely appreciate the fact they’re getting to read the thoughts and insights of one of the women that literally inspired the show’s happenings. In many ways, this book feels like a behind-the-scenes continuation of the series as it was concluded, with most of the show’s core cast members in long-term, committed relationships. Light is definitely shone on some of the less glittery aspects of being married, but not in a bad news kind of way – it’s just a clever, thoughtful, genuine look at what being a wife is all about; for better, or for worse.

What else has Cindy Chupack been up to?: Rest assured, the gal has not been twiddling her thumbs since Sex and the City’s conclusion in 2004. Prior to her nuptials, Chupack also pulled together a series of essays on the being a swinging single (The Between Boyfriends Book), written for a host of prestigious publications including The New York Times and Harper’s Bazaar, and worked on television programs such as Modern Family.

Altogether I thought The Longest Date was a fitting read before Valentine’s Day as a fun, last-minute gift idea for your paramour, your girly friends, your favourite newlywed couple, or your about-to-get-hitched friend. Retailing for $31 (list), it’s light as a chocolate soufflé, but with far less calories my dears. Oh, and I’ve got a copy of it to give away. Want to win? Here’s how to enter:

1) Tell me in the comments below by February 27th – why are you interested in giving this book a read?

2) Entries are limited to one per person / per email address / per household (or more if you score bonus entries). A random draw will be conducted on or around February 28th, 2014 to select the winners, who will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen in their place.

3) Entries are limited to Canadians that have reached the age of majority in their province. Quebec is not eligible for this promotion.

4) Bonus Entries: You’ve got two ways to score. The first is to like Penguin Canada on Facebook and leave a comment about why you’re keen to read Cindy Chupack’s memoirs. As always, you’re under no obligation to mention the CGG, but you DO have to provide me a link to your Facebook post in the comments below so I can give you a bonus entry.

Your second option is to add this book to your Goodreads to-read list, and link back to that list (on the same page as wherever the book is) to earn another entry.

41 Responses to “Book Report: The Longest Date”
  1. Julie G. says:

    I’d like to read this book since it sounds like a humorous read – a great way to spend some time on these snowy, cold Canadian nights!

  2. Leah says:

    I’m interested in giving this book because I have a sister that loves this genre

  3. Annie Demill says:

    I would love to read this book myself. Loved Sex & the City and still watch reruns sometimes.

    already liked on facebook, left a comment :

    Goodreads bonus :

  4. Joan G says:

    I have a good friend getting married this summer and I think it would be a great read for her.

  5. cookie3 says:

    I’ve always liked Sex & the City so I’m sure I would love this book also.

  6. mousecat says:

    I’m just interested on reading this based on your blog write-up. Sounds like something I could relate to.

  7. Susan says:

    Sounds like a fun and humorous book to read.

  8. Jayne says:

    Sounds like a pick me up during this long depressing winter.

  9. Marlene says:

    The Longest Date: Life as a Wife by Cindy Chupack. My friend is getting married in a few months

  10. Hayden says:

    Huge fan of SATC – would love to win just for that alone.

  11. Wanda Washington says:

    My brother-in-law is about to get married…wonder if he’d get a kick out of this?

  12. Alison K says:

    I’d be interested in giving this book a read ‘cos it sounds like an honest look on marriage.

  13. janicour says: We always have a weeding in the family each summer. I would love to read this, sounds like a great book to get me ready for the busy summer season.

  14. Anastasia says:

    I’d love to read this book as an entertaining throw back to life as a wife and Mom with 20 years invested in my date! 🙂

  15. Audrey Skinner says:

    I would be interested in reading this book myself but I might also give it to my niece who just got engaged.

  16. Emilia says:

    My friend we would have a chuckle together

  17. i love the name of this book it would be a great read and i love the cover of it thank you for the giveaway

  18. Anne Derkat says:

    It sounds intriuging

  19. sonya says:

    I love Sex & the City so I’m sure I would love this book too!

  20. Sandi Tymchuk says:

    I like to be entertained, and this book sounds entertaining!

  21. Sadie says:

    I’m a newlywed myself so I’m curious to read what this book says about my future as a monogamist!

  22. Brynn says:

    I don’t judge books by their covers but this one makes me laugh. I’m interested to read it for that alone.

  23. photomum says:

    I love the title,and the book sounds delightful to read

  24. CLC says:

    I’d like a humourous pick me up read.

  25. lyn212 says:

    Sounds like my kind of book – I need a pick me up

  26. beewbedard says:

    looks like a funny book

  27. Tara B says:

    Makes me smile! Thanks!

  28. Holly says:

    Because I LOVE Sex and the City!

  29. Crystal Kordalchuk says:

    Sounds like an interesting read and possibly something to relate to my own little world!

  30. This looks like an interesting book, so Id like to read it

  31. Quinn says:

    Funny cover and funny title. I have a few friends that would get a chuckle out of this.

  32. Jacquie Hess says:

    I have wanted to read this book. Looks funny.

  33. Ali says:

    I like the concept of the book to be honest.

  34. linnett says:

    sounds like a good read for the spring, we all need a chuckle this time of year, thanks

  35. Angela Mitchell says:

    I miss Sex and the City! I’m a married gal of about the same age so I’d love to read about some else’s perspective.

  36. Leah says:

    I’m looking for a good read and this book sounds perfect: relatable and humorous!

  37. Angela says:

    Oh I just heard about this book in my Flare magazine. I really need a good book to read!

  38. Jessica Lord says:

    sounds like a light read

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