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The Red Hat Society: Fun and Friendship After Fifty Paperback – 13 Dec 2004

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Books (13 Dec. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446679763
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446679763
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.9 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 984,790 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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First Sentence
One evening, in the fall of 1997, my husband and I, both Californians, were visiting old friends who had moved to Tucson, Arizona. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Frances Fearon on 21 Aug. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Come on you British Red Hatters get writing! As to be expected, this book is very American and is too cheesy for my taste. I bought it to find out the history of the Red Hat Society, and it does that....Share one for your chapter but look for a cheap copy in a charity shop first.....
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 28 reviews
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Think Outside The "Age Box" And Live In The Now! 22 April 2004
By "nje99" - Published on Amazon.com
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. This book (and the concept of the Red Hat Society itself) is infectious - one cannot read the book without thinking of countless ways to improve the quality of the reader's own life on a daily basis.
I have been a happy woman my entire life - but I have never experienced the kind of collective joy that I experienced last week. It cannot adequately be put into words - it is gut level emotional. The book is a primer on celebrating Life, but the lessons it imparts can only be practiced in the company of others. Read it ? and then get off your backside and go live it. Get involved. Have fun with your life on this planet!
This is a book that could change your life!
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
You'll Have a Great Time Reading This One! 15 May 2004
By Bookreporter - Published on Amazon.com
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. Additional boxed quotations by authors and famous personages underscore Cooper's strong feelings about life as a celebration.
THE RED HAT SOCIETY expands the roles of women to learn from their past roles in living and to bring experiences from those pasts into the present. Marriage, motherhood, caregiver, angel, grandmotherhood, careers, volunteerism and sisterhood extend into later years as the basis for renewed growth, if the sisterhood's spirit so moves. Red Hatters have the option to take up worthy causes or not. The book's middle chapters examine the process of aging --- physical, mental and spiritual. Red Hatters assume the task of enriching one another's lives as a worthy goal.
Cooper expresses the need for the society to remain true to its origins. Men may observe the fun and frivolity their wives have and desire to become part of it. But men are not admitted. Neither are women under fifty. However, if these ladies form junior adjuncts to the club, they are called Pink Hatters. They're relegated to wearing paler shades of pink and lavender, to attain full red and purple regalia upon reaching fifty.
During my reading of THE RED HAT SOCIETY, I dined at a local restaurant with a few friends. A back door swung open from a private dining salon. The parade of ladies wearing outlandish red hats, colorful boas and deep purple clothing was an incredible sight in the middle of an otherwise mundane afternoon. They exuded the open, frivolous gaiety Cooper writes about in THE RED HAT SOCIETY. I want to become one of these carefree creatures. You too will love the story of The Red Hat Society's inception and explosion.
--- Reviewed by Judy Gigstad
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Fun for those who seek an occasional celebration 27 Jun. 2004
By Elizabeth - Published on Amazon.com
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.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Five enthusiastic Ruby RedHats up 25 Oct. 2004
By Kristin J. Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
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!
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Wish I'd been in Dallas! 24 April 2004
By Sunny Hersh Author of Midlife Mamas on the Moon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I've been at many women-centric gatherings, and it's always such a warm, uplifting experience, whether it's just social or for business training. Wish I'd been in Dallas, but this book is the next best thing to being there! It makes you realize the importance of girlfriends and knowing that the invisible woman becomes visible when she is part of a loving team. I must go to the Red Hat site, find a get-together near my home, and start fashioning a far-out red hat!
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