Find the Good: Unexpected Life Lessons from a Small Town Obituary Writer by Heather Lende
Rating: 4 Stars
Description: As the obituary writer in a spectacularly beautiful but often dangerous spit of land in Alaska, Heather Lende knows something about last words and lives well lived. Now she's distilled what she's learned about how to live a more exhilarating and meaningful life into three words: find the good. It's that simple - and that hard. Quirky and profound, individual and universal, Find the Good offers up short chapters that help us unlearn the habit - and it is a habit - of seeing only the negatives. (from Goodreads)
Why I Picked This Book: I like the message of the book and the fact that the author writes obituaries definitely caught my attention!
My Impression: Last year I ended the year on a inspirational type book and I wanted to do that again. However, between an overload of Christmas celebrations, my youngest's birthday (how is he 6??), and a chest cold that will not go away, my brain is very very tired. So scrolling through the Review Book Pile of Shame I was excited when I came across this little book by an obituary writer from Alaska. It's a short book - less than 200 - pages with short chapters that are basically short essays linked only by the fact that the author knows the people she's talking about. The stories are sweet but not sappy and with just enough poignancy that the message didn't seem flip but the book wasn't melodramatic of melancholy.
This book was perfect for my overtired coughing up a lung holiday aftermath brain. The stories were short with a dash of humor and a lot of heart. While death does come up quite a bit (she is an obituary writer after all) the focus isn't on death but on life. It's on appreciating and celebrating those that have been and what we have all without feeling hokey. Sometimes it's on adjusting our perceptions of reality such as when Lende's daughter announces she's pregnant before she finishes her degree and throws Lende for a serious loop. It's about singing and learning how to work together and communities coming together to help those that need it. The underlying current in all the stories is find the good no matter what. I think that's a pretty good message to go into 2016 with though if it fails I'll keep Lende's friend John's advice in mind - "Be nice to the dog and don't do meth." Between those 2 messages I think 2016 will be a pretty good year!
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: I would! This was a nice soothing read and I'd love to read some of her other books.
Would I Recommend this Book?: Yes! This is a good read if you're in a slump or want something a little light but still with some heart.