4 star book review for Find the Good: Unexpected Life Lessons from a Small-Town Obituary Writer by Heather Lende. Coming to a retailer near you on April 28, 2015, but available for pre-order NOW!
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
I always love when I get blessed with a book that I believe I can devour over a lunch period or two. So when Find the Good: Unexpected Life Lessons from a Small-Town Obituary Writer by Heather Lende came across my work desk I knew this was a must read. The ARC is is 161 pages of goodness!
Heather Lende is a New York Times bestseller list author. Her first book If You Lived Here, I’d Know Your Name (2006) made it to the #17 slot on the New York Times bestseller list for eBooks in July 2013. In this book, Lende chronicles the lives and deaths of those who live in her small-town of Haines, Alaska. The story was an honest look into the lives of a town that is mainly accessible by air and water. Readers loved her writing style and perspective, plus the book helped many look at the world a bit differently.
Now Lende takes us back to Haines on a journey through her unorthodox life to hopefully teach us how to find the good.
An antidote to all they cynicism and self-centeredness we are bombarded with every day in the news, in our politics, and even sometime in ourselves. Find the Good helps us rediscover what’s right with the world. (Amy Gash, Senior Editor Algonquin Books)
When I cracked opened Find the Good, I was coming off of a crisis at work and I just wanted anything to take my mind off what I just dealt with. So I took a well deserved lunch break and fed my mind and spirit instead of my body. With each chapter of Find the Good, Heather Lende takes one through moments in her life where she has been inspired and changed for the better by the experiences or individuals she meets or writes obituaries for.
One of the chapters that resonated heavily with me was “Stop and Smell the Fish,” which tells the reader a bit about carpenter and fisherman Norm Blank. This man enjoyed his life; he spoke his mind about environmental issues that were affecting his community, he loved his family with his soul, he valued his friends. But most importantly to me, Norm took risks! When he earned a stable state job with great benefits, he turned it down because the job would take him away from his family. He walked away from something that financially could have made a difference in his family’s life, but instead realized that being an active parent was more important. Reading about Norm Blank life made me remember that the best gifts for your life don’t always come in a gift box of financial freedom.
Another chapter which I reflect upon daily since putting down Find the Good is “Make It Shine.” This chapter recalls the life of Hilma who died at 98. Hilma, was a glorious woman who outlived two husbands, managed a camper park, and owned and operated a hotel that at one point put Haines on the tourism map. Hilma believed that one needed to work in life. For your life to be what you imagine it, you must put in effort to reach your goals. Sometimes, I forget that in a world where things often come to one easily, that getting what you want or need through work is often better for the soul.
Norm Blank and/or Hilma lives might inspire you or maybe you know the lessons that Lende was hoping to teach you with their stories. But I feel that the antidotes within Find the Good will make you a better person for our earth. As Jo-Ann Mapson, author of Owen’s Daughter stated, “Find the Good is a treasure.”
I highly recommend Find the Good by Heather Lende and when the book becomes available on April 28, 2015 I think everyone should get a copy or head to your nearest library and borrow one. I look forward to seeing what you all have to say about the book in a little over a month.
*No quotes from the ARC of Find the Good are listed in this review since the item is uncorrected and I can’t verify if quotes within the ARC will appear in the final version.
[Featured Image Courtesy Algonquin Books]