Novels. Memoirs. Comfort.
Great Reads during transitions
At insidewink we talk a lot about change and transition – the great, the not-so-great and everything in between. We know life has a way of testing even the most prepared. Whether it’s losing someone, facing professional challenges, relocating, or anything else that feels like an upheaval, we sometimes believe we lack the necessary tools to handle what’s been thrown at us. This can cause a sense of overwhelm, even when the change is positive – like landing that dream job or welcoming a long-desired baby.
The range of how to deal with change is far and wide – from taking time to thoughtfully navigate life’s transitions to tucking in with warm, wonderful food that gives you a sense of comfort. One of our favorites is settling down with a good book – funny, practical, or awe-inspiring, a great read can have a real impact on how we face change.
Here are five of our very favorite books that have helped us laugh, cry, and trust our way through some of life’s biggest transitions…
Fifty Acres and A Poodle: A Story of Love, Livestock and Finding Myself on a Farm
by Jeanne Marie Laskas
This is a whimsical story of a middle-aged woman’s life being turned upside down by the impulsive purchase of a farmhouse –– even though neither she nor her then-boyfriend-now-husband knew the first thing about living on a farm. While a consistently hilarious read, at its core the book is about the surprises and the rewards of change. It’s a wonderful reminder that the biggest, scariest leaps in life are the ones that can generate the most gratifying dividends.
Publisher: Bantam; Reprint edition (January 2, 2002)
Print: 288 pages
Find Fifty Acres and A Poodle Here
by Cheryl Strayed
A New York Times bestseller and an Oprah Book Club pick with an Oscar and Golden Globe nominated adaptation starring Reese Witherspoon, our choice of Wild seems almost redundant. But even though it’s been on our shelves for a decade, it seems to resonate now more than ever. Wild is Cheryl Strayed’s soul-touching memoir about choosing to save herself by walking the Pacific Crest Trail. As described on Scribd the book captures life at its “lowest ebb and at its highest tide.” In other words, it doesn’t sugarcoat the difficulty of change, but rather shows how something incredibly trying can be ultimately fulfilling.
Publisher: Vintage; 1st edition (March 20, 2012)
Print: 315 pages
Find Wild Here
by Emma Markezic
Emma Markezic lays all her cards on the table when she tells the story of how she was able to lift herself from deep depression while dealing with aggressive breast cancer and divorce. An interview with Markezic that appeared in the Australian daily paper, the Canberra Times gives us a peek into her backstory and why she chose to write the book. It also offers some of her insights on happiness: “We talk a lot in the self-help sphere about happiness –– happiness has been the big buzzword for the past several years –– but it’s not happiness we need, it’s resilience and that elusive happiness is a by-product of resilience.”
Publisher: HarperCollins (May 1, 2019)
Print: 288 pages
Find Curveballs Here
By Susan Jeffers
A practical and helpful guide about how to change your mindset, Embracing Uncertainty is a great read for people who are dealing with fears around an ambiguous future (all of us) and fixating on the possible negative outcomes. It’s an inspiring read on how to embrace the future with a positive attitude, reframe your mind to accept change, and let go of the need to have full control over what’s to come.
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin; Illustrated edition (March 15, 2004)
Paperback: 304 pages
Find Embracing Uncertainty Here
By Jami Attenberg
Not a memoir or self-help book, Saint Mazie is a colorful novel based on the real-life Mazie Gordon-Phillips –– a movie theater owner and advocate for the homeless. It’s a witty read about feeling trapped in the current situation but using what you have learned from those circumstances to create positive change. It’s a story often described as one that makes the real-life Mazie seem like a saintly figure but while doing so it provides a blueprint for readers to lead better (and more generous) lives, regardless of circumstance. As one New York Times review put it, Saint Mazie “makes sainthood seem not only attainable, but seductive.”
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Reprint edition (June 14, 2016)
Print: 336 pages
Find Saint Maize Here
By Alison Meyer
Alison Meyer is a part-time lifestyle blogger working toward a Master of Education degree in the Seattle area. After spending most of her undergraduate years on the pre-med track, Alison discovered a passion for teaching during a summer service program. She has since moved across the country, briefly run an online marketing business, and dabbled in life coaching, all while working toward a career in higher education.
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