In times when a chapter is coming to a close, it’s a great time to actually reach out and embrace the lessons that our beautiful books can teach us. Whether its fable, fairytale, or following the narrative arc of a character we love, or whether its inspiring fact over fiction, these books lend the best insights on how to embrace change…
The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
During times of turbulence, fear and upheaval there is no better book to have on your bedside table than The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Follow a band of small hobbits as they set out on a quest to defeat the darkness that threatens to engulf the land. Ultimately, The Lord of the Rings is a tale about courage in the face of deep upheaval, coming together to protect each other, and about maintaining hope no matter how dark the days get. There’ an exchange between Frodo and Gandalf that goes…
Frodo: I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.
Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.
Walden – Henry David Thoreau
No book will entice you to throw down the mantle of modern society and live in the woods quite like Walden or Life in the Woods by Henry David Thoreau. It may have been penned in 1854 but those dreamy rapt descriptions of the simplified life, the musings of the land, and the nurturing of connection between man and nature makes for highly spirited reading. During challenging times there is no greater muse than stripping existence back to its bone. As Thoreau writes…
“However mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names. It is not so bad as you are. It looks poorest when you are richest. The fault finder will find faults even in paradise. Love your life, poor as it is. You may perhaps have some pleasant, thrilling, glorious hours, even in a poorhouse. The setting sun is reflected from the windows of the almshouse as brightly as from the rich man's abode; the snow melts before its door as early in the spring. I do not see but a quiet mind may live as contentedly there, and have as cheering thoughts, as in a palace.”
Where the Crawdads Sing – Delia Owens
How do you anchor yourself when the world is rapidly changing around you? The Marsh Girl who lives in the wilds of the North Carolina coast can show you how. A novel that follows what it means to hold onto those childhood ideals and sense of home no matter how much the world evolves and tries to force your hand, Where the Crawdads Sing is a gorgeous exploration of how nature can be both a cruel and beautiful anchor. The novel is stunning in its descriptive prose of the natural world – the perfect remedy for when you are missing the wilderness of outdoor space.
Kya knew judgment had no place here. Evil was not in play, just life pulsing on, even at the expense of some of the players. Biology sees right and wrong as the same color in different light.”
Better Than Before – Gretchen Rubin
Everyone’s favorite podcast host, Gretchen Rubin’s book is all about the art of mastering the habits of our everyday lives. Rather than taking the grand scale approach of inviting overwhelming change, Rubin notes that changing your life is never a one-size fits all approach and that everyday habits are the key to crafting some form of success. Whether you want to eat better, read more, sleep deeper, or just find a more positive mindset, this guide to turning tiny tweaks into lifechanging habits is the perfect antidote for now.
“How about this,” I suggested. “Instead of feeling that you’ve blown the day and thinking, ‘I’ll get back on track tomorrow,’ try thinking of each day as a set of four quarters: morning, midday, afternoon, evening. If you blow one quarter, you get back on track for the next quarter. Fail small, not big.”
Which books do you love that deal with the art of change? Share in the comments and let’s get our reading lists longer.