If you’ve followed me here on my VisionOfSuccess blog for a while, you’ve probably noticed that I LOOVVVEEEE!!!!! books. My perfect morning would involve me snuggled up somewhere with a good book in one hand, a mug of tea in another, and a gorgeous view to let me escape into my own little world … 🙂
I read A LOT. At any given time, I have a book on my nightstand, several on my desk, and one by my chair in the living room. I can’t read the same book before bed that I read when I rise. Nonfiction books are a normal part of my day. Yet right before bed, the only thing that helps me relax is a really good story, preferably a romance or one that isn’t too deep for me to lay awake thinking about all night.
In honor of World Menopause Month, I started thinking about all the books I’ve read over the last few years and which of them had the biggest impact on the way I’ve moved from perimenopause, into menopause, and now on the other side in postmenopause.
I believe moving through this period of life isn’t just about how your body changes. It’s also about creating a mindset that will carry you through the next few decades of your life.
I read a lotttt. You can check out my reading list here (my 2021 reading list), which links back to the reading lists I created in 2020 and 2019. While there are a lot of books on my lists, as I was writing this, I thought about what I would put together in a care box for a woman starting to investigate her own journey through perimenopause, and what books I most would want to share with her.
This is that list.
Each of these books has made a significant impact on my life. I love their messages, and have read them more than once.
So read on! Pick up these books today, and let me know if they help you in any way as you move through the best years of your life!
I’m Too Young For This by Suzanne Somers
Many years ago, as I first noticed the signs of perimenopause, a friend recommended I pick up a book by Suzanne Somers. I had the classic symptoms: moodiness, heavy periods, being wide awake in the middle of the night, tender breasts. She told me Suzanne’s books were filled with great advice for women in midlife, and had helped her look at her own health differently.
I was doubtful. Suzanne Somers? The one from TV? But as a reader, I checked one out from my local library, and was instantly hooked. You will be too.
Suzanne goes into so much detail on everything that happens to a female body as it moves through perimenopause. She gives you straightforward advice on hormones, bioidentical hormone replacement, foods and nutrients, plus all kinds of advice from leading doctors from around the world. She’s made it her mission to get the best advice for aging well, and isn’t afraid of where she goes to get it. With her resources, she digs deep into health and nutrition, and gives sound advice to her readers.
I’m Too Young For This is a great place to start for any woman 35 and older as you begin noticing symptoms that weren’t there before. I would also recommend adding Suzanne Somers to your “author” list, and checking out any book she publishes from now on. I’m always learning from her new resources, and love all the advice she’s dished out so far.
The Wisdom of Menopause by Dr Christiane Northrup
I’ve seen this book listed as “the bible of middle-aged womanhood” and I couldn’t agree more. It was newly revised and updated for a fourth edition published earlier this year. Yes, that means it’s been out in the market for a very long time.
As I started researching health in midlife, Dr Northrup’s name came up again and again. Before I even checked on her resources, I came to realize that her name was synonymous with women in midlife as they move through perimenopause and beyond.
What I like about her books and resources is that she guides you through accepting this is the BEST time of your life, not just a point you reach that leads to a downhill spiral. Because that’s what so many resources do – they teach menopause is the end of the very essence of you. And nothing could be further from the truth!
She provides advice on all of your questions: hormones, weight loss, relationship advice, supplements, vaccines, and more. She takes a holistic look at ensuring you make the right choices for this stage of your life.
She’s a resource I check back in with again and again. If I ever question something I read in the media, or hear from my “generalist”, I use Dr Northrup as my resource to get a second opinion.
Read The Wisdom of Menopause and see what you think.
Waking Up In Winter: In Search of What Really Matters at Midlife by Cheryl Richardson
Cheryl Richardson is no stranger to my bookshelf. She has a number of books on self improvement, and I’ve always enjoyed her message.
But Waking Up in Winter is more of a personal memoir as she moves into midlife. She tells the story of her own life as she noticed subtle changes in her life.
She leaves no stone unturned. She talks about her marriage, her friendships, her approach to work, and her priorities. She talks about shedding what no longer works, and stepping into the things that do.
I really enjoyed her thought-provoking approach to how she talks about her own transformation. I’ve read this book numerous times, and each time through, I learn a new little nugget that I can use as I make changes to my own life.
The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time by Arianna Huffington
I remember a time when I wore sleep deprivation on my sleeve as a badge of honor. My daughter was young, and I was growing a business. Sleep – I thought I could do that when I was “dead.”
Like Arianna Huffington, I faced my own set of health issues that came along with lack of sleep. When this book came out, I took a good long look at my own life, and started making some changes.
Sleep is one of the most important aspects of good health. You can’t survive without it. You can’t function well without a solid number of hours each night. Yet we all try, especially as women who often have to-do lists a mile long.
Read through The Sleep Revolution, and you might just change your own approach to sleep. When you combine this book with others about midlife and menopause, you might push sleep to the top of your list.
Since reading this book, I have made my bedroom a cozy retreat. I have a great bed, even better sheets, and a pillow I love to snuggle into. Digital devices are a no-no, and aren’t allowed anywhere inside. No to televisions, computer equipment, and tablets. Bedrooms are made for one thing only … okay, maybe two. 😉
How To Eat by Mark Bittman and David L Katz
If you’ve hung around here on my blog and read my posts, you know food is a very big deal in my life. When my father died at the age of 54 from a massive heart attack, I went on a quest for better health. My daughter declared herself vegetarian at three, and it solidified my journey into better nutrition.
I read everything I can get my hands on about nutrition. I’ve moved into a plant-based diet by experimenting with all kinds of eating.
In this world of convenience and fast-food, it doesn’t take very long to realize our approach is all wrong. If you don’t watch what you eat, you’ll pay the price in the long run. My father paid the ultimate price for his deep-rooted love of steak and potatoes.
I could list a hundred different books here that I would recommend to anyone trying to figure out their approach to nutrition as they move through perimenopause and beyond. But as I was reviewing that list, How To Eat kept jumping out at me as a great book to start learning from.
This small book keeps it short and sweet. They move through different types of diets, and provide a no-nonsense perspective on food and nutrients. If you want to learn the basics of food, this is an excellent place to start.
in a nutshell …
There are a lot of books out there. I read and recommend several dozen of them each year. Yet when I look back at my journey over the past few years, and think of all the books that have stood out in my mind, these books made the list. These books influenced me to make the changes in my life I’m living today.
I really hope you enjoy this list of books that have made a difference in my life. And if you have any recommendations yourself, I’d love to hear from you.