10 Books To Help You Through Your Divorce

10 Books To Help You Through Your Divorce

Books To Help You Through Your Divorce

About a year ago, I wrote a post on what it’s like to go through a divorce in your 20s. Honestly, I never in a million years thought many people would care much about it. I anticipated a few close friends would read it and that was it.

It is – by far – the most viewed post my blog has ever had and continues to be viewed many times every day.

Obviously, my story resonates with others. Divorce is a common experience, but that doesn’t make it any easier. People are desperate for two things: 1. Healing 2. To know they aren’t alone.

One way I fulfilled both of those desires was through books. As a bibliovore and English major, maybe I’m a bit biased to the written word, but I believe in the transformative power of sharing our stories and teaching our insights.

Each of these books helped me through my divorce, and I know they can help you with yours too (or your breakup – any time a love ends, pain is there). No matter the stage you are in – thinking about divorce, in the muck of it all, or post-divorce – it’s important to invest in yourself during this time.

10 Books To Help You Through Your Divorce

Books To Help You Through Your Divorce

1. When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times

Books To Help You Through Your Divorce

Hands down the best and most powerful book I read when going through my divorce. If I could afford to buy a copy and send it to every person who ever gets divorced, I would. But I can’t. So please buy it for yourself.

Pema Chodron is a buddhist monk. No matter your religious affiliation or lack thereof, it doesn’t matter. When Things Fall Apart goes way beyond religion and enters the land of, how she puts it, “heart advice.”

The lessons on grief, loss, and pain that I learned in this book changed my life. It’s beautifully and simply written. You will read the last page and feel grateful. Trust me on this one.

2. The Gifts of Imperfection

Books To Help You Through Your Divorce

If you haven’t read Brené Brown’s work, do it now. Run, don’t walk! (Read all three in the order on this list). Brené is a shame researcher and offers easy to understand insights to her readers. While they aren’t specifically for dealing with divorce, they could not be more relatable to the subject!

In The Gifts of Imperfection, she really delves down deep into the important topics of worthiness, perfectionism, wholehearted living, and letting go of who you think you’re “supposed to be” in order to embrace who you are. She encourages us to cultivate courage, compassion, and connection.

This is foundational lessons for those who have just gone through an event like a divorce.

3. Daring Greatly

Books To Help You Through Your Divorce

This is Brené Brown book #2, equally as impactful and important. In Daring Greatly, she enters the realm of uncertainy, risk, and emotional exposure (all the things you deal with during and after a divorce). She encourages to face those experiences head on with vulnerability and courage.

This book is about “stepping into the arena” and not allowing our fears to stop us from embracing our life wholeheartedly – even if that means we will have critics along the way. Let’s face it, who doesn’t find at least a critic or two when you’re getting a divorce?

4. Rising Strong

Books To Help You Through Your Divorce

Brené Brown’s must-read #3 is sort of a cheat. This came out well after my divorce, but I wish I had read it during that time. It still taught me, years later, how to own my story and write my own ending.

When we are going through a divorce, we often have moments of feeling powerless. The spouse and his/her lawyers are writing our stories. We have fallen and we sometimes feel like we can’t get up. These are the issues Brené tackles in Rising Strong.

5. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

Books To Help You Through Your Divorce

Wild is a memoir of a woman who went through a divorce, the loss of a beloved mother, and a drug addiction all at the same time. She reconnects with herself through a solo hiking trek on the Pacific Coast trail.

Cheryl Strayed is an insanely talented writer who weaves her story so beautifully that you can find yourself in the midst of her words. If you want to find inspirition in the story of a kickass, yet vulnerable woman, look no further.

(Also, watch the beautiful Wild movie with Reese Witherspoon.)

6. Codependent No More

Books To Help You Through Your Divorce

I realize that not everybody who gets divorce is codependent, so this may not apply to everyone. It was a foundational book for me as a codependent. Codependent No More allowed me to realize the negative and unhealthy part I played in my relationship and helped me prevent going down that same road in my next relationship.

Talk about an eye-opener! Melody Beattie gets to the core of how to stop controlling others and start taking care of yourself in the complex world of codependency. I felt like I understood myself for the first time after reading this. It was extremely freeing.

There is also a helpful Codependent No More Workbook to go along with it.

7. Eat, Pray, Love

Books To Help You Through Your Divorce

This book is like my bible. It changed my life more than once.

I originally read Eat, Pray, Love even before I was married. It opened my eyes to what it means to be yourself, the benefits of exploring the world, and the importance of sharing your story. If you’ve ever wondered why I am a writing traveler, thank Ms. Gilbert.

I re-read this after my divorce, and it brought me brand new insights. After all, this whole journey was sparked after Elizabeth Gilbert’s divorce. Reading her crying in the bathroom resonated with me deeply. I had a few of those bathroom cries myself.

8. A Thousand Mornings

Books To Help You Through Your Divorce

Sometimes you just need a little beauty. That’s what Mary Oliver’s poetry is to me: sheer beauty. All of her poetry should be required reading, but this small collection in particular was balm to my wounded heart.

Just because they are beautiful does not mean there aren’t profound lessons tucked in between the words. There is plenty of wisdom for the recently divorced. I have read through each and every poem more times than I can count. Here its the first in the book:

I Go Down To The Shore

I go down to the shore in the morning
and depending on the hour the waves
are rolling in or moving out,
and I say, oh, I am miserable,
what shall—
what should I do? And the sea says
in its lovely voice:
Excuse me, I have work to do.”

9. The Four Agreements

Books To Help You Through Your Divorce

I try to re-read this book every two years. I need the reminder. The Four Agreements are simple:

  1. Be Impeccable With Your Word
  2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
  3. Don’t Make Assumptions
  4. Always Do Your Best

These four agreements become the guideposts for dealing with others and yourself. For a more in-depth description, I have an entire post dedicated to this incredible book and its concepts.

10. Yes Please

Books To Help You Through Your Divorce

One of the first things I did after getting divorced was start a new comedy series on Netflix. The idea was I’d have something funny to go to bed with each night as I was adjusting to being alone. My choice was Parks & Rec. Amy Poehler became my hero.

In her hilarious memoir, Yes Please, she offers beautiful advice for all women (all people, really), but she also discusses her divorce from Will Arnett with grace, insight, and humor. She also quotes Louis C.K. who says “Divorce is always good news because no good marriage has ever ended in divorce.”

Remember to laugh through this time!


*Disclaimer: Some links are affiliate links. This means if you buy a product I suggest, I may receive a commission at no cost to you. As ALWAYS, I only recommend things I believe in or use myself. Nothing I am not crazy about will EVER be promoted on this blog.*

Book Talk: December 2015

Book Talk: December 2015

Book Talk

Here’s a recap of what I read in December.  As you can see, I didn’t get through as many books as I usually do.  You can blame this on two culprits: the holidays and discovering Homeland on Netflix.  Damn you, Netflix binging.

I did love everything I read, though.  Here’s the rundown:

book talk

My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem

5/5 Stars

You guys.  This book was made for me: feminism and travel.  Gloria Steinem, leader of the Women’s Movement, shares the stories of her life through the lens of all her travels.  Not only are there so many interesting chapters about her vast experiences and decades of fighting for women’s rights, you get wisdom and insight from all the places she’s been in her life – and this woman TRAVELED!

You clearly see that the negative press she’s received throughout her life as being a man-hater or excited baby killer is completely unfounded.  In fact, she spends much of the beginning of the book lovingly recounting her life with her father.  It was a delightful description of positive feminism.  It was such a joy for me to read this book.  I closed it feeling inspired and reinvigorated.  (If you are sensitive to the discussion of being pro-choice or cringe with liberal politics, it’s not for you.)

book talk

WomanCode: Perfect Your Cycle, Amplify Your Fertility, Supercharge Your Sex Drive, and Become a Power Source by Alisa Vitti

4.5/5 Stars

I first heard a podcast interview with Alisa Vitti on The Jess Lively Show (one of my favorite weekly podcasts.)  For the first time IN MY LIFE, I started to realize that we, as women, live on a 24-hour cycle of being even though our bodies are running on a 4-week cycle.  I was intrigued and bought the book.

Seriously, I learned more about my body and health as a female in this book than I’ve ever learned before.  I cannot believe all this information isn’t common knowledge.  From eating and exercising along with where we are on our cycle, to what is actually happening in our bodies. I recommend that every single woman read this (especially those between puberty and menopause.)

book talk

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

4.5/5 Stars

I discovered Kristin Hannah’s work years ago, and I’ve loved every novel I’ve read by her.  But I think this is her masterpiece (which is agreed on Amazon with a 5-star average rating and over 16,000 reviews!)

The Nightingale brings us to WWII in France and gives us a glimpse into the war the women were fighting back home.   One sister fights by doing everything she can to save her home and child; one sister fights by spying, illegally distributing literature, and bringing allies to safety.  It’s beautiful, intense, properly disturbing, haunting, and a refreshing view of the women in WWII.

What have you read recently??  Let me know in the comments!  I always love taking a peak at other people’s bookshelves (or Kindles for our generation) :)


*Affiliate disclaimer: Some links are affiliate links. This means if you buy a product I suggest through a link, I may receive a commission at no cost to you.  As ALWAYS, I only discuss or recommend things I believe in or use myself.  Nothing that I am not totally crazy about will be promoted on this blog. I feel grateful to pay bills by sharing my interests with my readers. *

Book Talk: November 2015

Book Talk: November 2015

Book Talk

I cannot believe it is December. Something about living in Costa Rica’s perpetual state of summertime makes it hard to fully grasp that we are in Christmas season!  I’m not complaining.  While you scrape snow off your car, I’m floating in the 85* ocean.  But I do miss it *feeling* like Christmas.  Thank goodness Spotify offers me limitless Christmas music!

Here’s the recap of what I read in November!  Some fantastic; some not so much.  As you can see, I’ve changed up the formatting a bit to make it more simple for me to create each month’s list.  The time I save is thanks to the second book on this list.  (Essential: sharing the books I read; Non-Essential: having cool formatting that takes too much time.)

 Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

5/5 Stars

Book Talk: November 2015
I was already in love with Chimamanda (see my girl-fanning here), but I’d never read any of her fiction.  This book is a masterpiece.  This is not a toe-dip into the waters of race and what it’s like to be African in America; this is a full dive into the waters.  She also delves into feminist issues, the complexity of love, depression, and family relationships.

Chimamanda deals with these heavy topics in a beautiful and conversational way through the perspective of the life of a young Nigerian woman, Ifemelu, who grows up in Nigeria and moves to America for college. Ifemelu is a blogger (love that) and her blog posts are sprinkled through the novel as social and political commentary.

Americanah is simply one of the best novels I’ve read.  It is also one of the most important.  I don’t want to live in my white skin and pretend I know what it must be like to be black.

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less – Greg McKeown

5/5 StarsBook Talk: November 2015

I’ve seen this book everywhere – recommended for business owners, creatives, and people in general.  I figured it was about time to read it, and I’m so glad I did.  As a minimalist, I was expecting another book on getting rid of things in your life.  But Essentialism was much more than that.

Essentialism is not about just removing the unnecessary things; Essentialism is about a lifestyle of knowing what is truly necessary and what isn’t.  This is a mindset for your life and your business: saying “no” to the good in order to make room for the great, understanding that it is impossible to have 27 priorities, embracing that you cannot do everything, and then focusing on what is truly essential.

Read it.  Read it.  Read it.  Trust me.

  The Places that Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times (Shambhala Classics) – Pema Chodron

3.5/5 StarsBook Talk: November 2015

Pema’s When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times will forever be in my top 5 books that changed my life list.  So I was really excited to read one of her other books.  But I was disappointed.  There was still some great info, but it was dreadfully repetitive.  I feel like it would make a better blog post than entire book.

If you are wanting to learn anything about Buddhist teachings that can apply to today’s world or if you’re in the middle of a seriously difficult time, I’d suggest skipping this one and going straight for When Things Fall Apart (I read it during my divorce).

 The Awakening – Kate Chopin

2/5 StarsBook Talk: November 2015

After graduating with my English degree this spring, I told myself I wouldn’t stop reading historic works of literature.  I find them to be too valuable to go unread.  The first one I picked up was The Awakening.  It’s also considered early feminist literature, so I was grabbing two of my loves in one novel.

I really wanted to like this book, but I found it boring.  English Major Gods, strike me dead.  I can appreciate Chopin’s willingness to talk about a woman coming into her sexuality in 1899.  I mean, we rarely talk about these things in 2015 (there’s still this common trope that men are sex crazed and women have to “sacrifice” by offering them sex).

The Awakening just didn’t do it for me.  I didn’t like the writing style.  The story never caught my attention.  Bummer.

*Affiliate disclaimer: Some links are affiliate links. This means if you buy a product I suggest through a link, I may receive a commission at no cost to you.  As ALWAYS, I only discuss or recommend things I believe in or use myself.  Nothing that I am not totally crazy about will ever be promoted on this blog. I feel grateful to pay bills by sharing my interests and loves with my readers. *


There you have it, my friends.  Have you read any of these books?  Do you agree/disagree with my assessments?  What books did you read this month?  Let me know in the comments!

Book Talk: October 2015

Book Talk: October 2015

Book Talk

September was a great reading month for me!!  Aside from Elizabeth Gilbert’s hit, I intentionally tried to only read books outside of the current mainstream talk. It served me well!  I absolutely loved these four books!!!  I always adore happy reading months. :)


Book Talk: October 2015

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

By Elizabeth Gilbert

5/5 Stars

It’s no surprise around here that Elizabeth Gilbert is one of my heroes, and this book is truly phenomenal.  If you are in a creative field, have a creative hobby, or are a person at all – you should read this book.  Bloggers.  Painters. Businesspeople. Dancers. Actors. Handletterers. Editors. Designers. Writers. Sculptors. Photographers.

As somebody with a job in a creative field, I was blessed by the contents of this book.  Her description of inspiration, her discussion of fear, her respect for her art, the idea that artists don’t have to be drunk, starving, or tormented – all of it.  Pure greatness.

Plus, I adore Gilbert’s conversational writing.  Just do yourself a favor and buy this book.


meaningful_jiwa

Meaningful: The Story of Ideas That Fly

By Bernadette Jiwa

5/5 Stars

On my quest to read one book a month to help me with my business (my at-home Master’s degree in Business that will take me the rest of my life), I chose this little gem this month.  Why?  It was cheap (2.99 on Kindle!) and Seth Godin recommended it.  Both reasons enough!

I’m so glad I did.  In fact, if you have a business of any kind or want a business (especially all my creative  friends – bloggers, photographers, etc.), I highly recommend as a refreshing look into marketing.

Jiwa discusses and shows the importance of creating, marketing, and selling work that is MEANINGFUL to customers.  It’s not about selling people what they don’t need.  It’s about knowing and loving your customer base and understanding what they want and really need in their lives.  Offering VALUE!


Book Talk: October 2015

The Amateur Marriage: A Novel

By Anne Tyler

4/5 Stars

 I purchased this book on a whim at a Vegas library book sale right before moving to Costa Rica.  I wanted a few real books that I could take to the beach.  If they got lost or stolen, I’d be less sad with one book than my Kindle.

A lot of reviews say this is just a depressing story about a couple who can’t get along.  I saw this novel as so much more than that.  It’s an honest look into the lives of families – lives that are never perfect and rarely tidy.  But there is always some strain of love there that ties them together.

This book follows the entire tumultuous relationship of one couple and their family – from World War II until modern times.  Not a light beach read, but beautifully done.


Book Talk: October 2015

Rebecca

By Daphne Du Maurier

4.5/5 Stars

 This gothic romance was published in 1938 and made into a Hitchcock film in 1940.  I had never heard of it until I read author Kate Morton’s list of favorite books.

It’s beautiful.  The imagery is gorgeous and haunting.  The plot is intriguing even if not the most original idea in the universe.  One unnamed young woman meets a sad widower who owns a large estate.  They get married, but the late wife, Rebecca, still wields power in the estate and all those who live there.

There are some gnarly moments of gender issues that make me squeamish. The main character is not a strong woman.  The dead female antagonist is much stronger.  The husband is demeaning.  But these characters grow as the story does.  Also, keep in mind gender politics weren’t the same in the 30s as they are today.


Do you have any book recommendations that aren’t currently “popular,” but you love them dearly?  TELL ME in the comments!

xo Tay

Book Talk: September 2015

Book Talk

Here’s what I read over the month of September!  P.S.  I’m determined to read one business book a month to blossom my skills, but didn’t love the one I chose for September.  I would LOVE to see your business-related book recommendations in the comments!  Thanks, friends!  – Tay xo

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Book Talk: September 2015 - Rising Strong

 Rising Strong – Brené Brown

5/5 Stars

 This is the 3rd book by Brene Brown I consider to be “life-changing.”  The Gifts of Imperfection (<Kindle version on sale!) and Daring Greatly had tremendous impacts on my life – and her new book, Rising Strong, is no different.

Her research combined with her relatable storytelling helps her readers learn what to do when they’ve fallen and how to get back up!   If we’re being vulnerable and daring greatly, we will fall down, but we don’t want to stay down.

I can’t rave about this book enough. I believe every human being needs to read all three of Brené’s books. They’re vitally important to living wholehearted lives full of bravery & free of shame!

 

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Book Talk: September 2015 - What Alice Forgot

What Alice Forgot – Liane Moriarty

5/5 Stars

 I think Liane Moriarty is a great storyteller of women.  I’ve read The Husband’s Secret, which I also thought was great. She tells interesting, easy-to-read stories about the intersection of women’s lives.  And I love them.

In this novel, Alice wakes up from a head bump and can’t remember the last ten years of her life.  To her, she’s the newly-married, newly-pregnant, young, carefree,  happy 20-something.  But the life she wakes up to has gone way off course.  And for the life of her, she doesn’t know what happened.

This is a simple read, enjoyable, easy – but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in depth and insight!  How do we let our lives and our loves slip away from us?

 

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Book Talk: September 2015 - The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake  The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
– Aimee Bender

5/5 Stars

 For some insane reason, Aimee Bender doesn’t get much recognition outside literary communities.  Those studying to get their various English degrees read her and love her, but she’s yet to come into the attention of the mainstream.  It’s their loss.  She’s magnificent.

I heard Aimee Bender speak in Las Vegas.  She speaks with the same magical quality that she writes.  Her work takes some deep truth about humanity and displays it in a simple and unusual way.

In this novel, the protagonist can taste the emotions of the person who makes her food.  It’s brilliant.

 
 

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Book Talk: September 2015 - Drops Like Stars Drops Like Stars: A Few Thoughts on Creativity and Suffering
– Rob Bell

4/5 Stars

 This is probably the only Rob Bell book out there that I’d not give a full 5 stars.  Rob Bell is one of my favorite people/speakers/writers/podcasters.

But my evaluation is not entirely fair.  Drops Like Stars was originally created to be an inspirational coffee table book on creativity.  If I had it in that format, I probably would have enjoyed it more.

Drop Like Stars is short and sweet.  Rob encourages all people to pursue their creativity in his typical Rob Bell way.  I was inspired, not awestruck.  Normally he leaves me awestruck.

 

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Book Talk: September 2015 - The E MythThe E-Myth Revisited – Michael E. Gerber

3/5 Stars

The E-Myth came recommended to me, but I wouldn’t really recommend it to anyone else.  It definitely did not meet my expectations.

There were a few concepts that I found value in – especially the discussion on the Technician (the person who specializes in a skill) a Manager (the person who oversees everything), and an Entrepreneur (the person who envisions everything) – and how in small business, owners have to often wear all three hats.

But I really hated the format of the book.  There was a cheesy “real-life” dialogue between the author and a small business owner.  It just didn’t do it for me.

 

 

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First on my list for October is Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear.  Can’t wait!

Please leave your business book recommendations in the comments!!!