As she was digging deep into the lives of community members, Heather Lende, the obituary writer for her tiny hometown newspaper in Haines, Alaska, began to notice something. Even the crustiest old Alaskan sourpuss who died in a one-room cabin always had Halloween candy for the neighborhood kids, and the eccentric owner of the seafood store who regularly warned her about government conspiracies knew how to be a true friend - his memorial service was packed.
When Lende started intentionally seeking what was positive and true in people and situations in her own life - whether it was finding common ground with her opponents on the school board or accepting that her unmarried daughter's pregnancy might be a blessing - she felt happier, and life seemed more meaningful, too. Awful events - from a recent school shooting across the country to a fisherman drowning in Haines - are always followed by dozens and dozens of good deeds. When tragedy strikes, we can choose to focus on the first responders rushing toward the scene or the guys grilling hot dogs for hurricane refugees, and, like yawning, caring is contagious. There's so much to gain by taking responsibility for your own happiness and nothing to lose. In stormy times like these, we have to make our own good weather, and Find the Good shows us how.
©2015 Heather Lende (P)2015 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books
"Find the Good is a gem of a book. It’s honest and funny, reminding us to live in the moment and to pay attention to those around us. A joy to read." (Sharon Salzberg, author of Real Happiness)
SciFi/Fantasy and Classics to History, Adventure and Memoirs to Social Commentary—I love and listen to it all!
I think about life and death a lot, sometimes too much. This little book brought so much light and humor into my thoughts about it, it's unreal. Here are wonderful stories about fishermen with tough lives who are remembered for putting holes in their nets so some salmon can break free; a young mother dying of cancer who'd very much like a say in what her obit will be; one woman so broken by her son's death she can only answer questions by slipping notes under the door; and even a brain-damaged cat who saw children from potty training to the prom whose death is a quiet and merciful gift. This is about beauty and friendship, about trying to live your life and leave it still under construction, leave it filled with surprises for those who are left behind.
You can listen to this all in one sitting, you'll want to, but I recommend coming back to it also. It's filled with little stories that Lende has turned into touching and beautiful metaphors, and it's narrated in a very engaging, very warm style. Then too, it's a great book filled with humor that will have you chuckling. 'Cause life, and death, are funny if you're doing it the right way.
You can't have love without loss, that's the gift of it all, the many blessings. But "Find the Good" reminds us that you can't have loss without embracing it and coming out with more love than you thought possible. Wonderful little book!
Find the Good, written by Heather Lende. This is the only book I finished this year. I didn't want it to end. Lende, who was the narrator, is an excellent storyteller.
Listening to Lende read her book was like sitting in a cafe with my one of my besties just hanging on each word that fell out of her mouth in each chapter. Since she was an obituary writer in a small town she knew almost every one she wrote about. It was riveting and compelling, especially if the obit she wrote was about a friend.
This book, however, wasn't a tearjerker - OK I did tear up once or twice - the book left me feeling positive and optimistic. The book's title was spot on.
Relaxing Warm Friendly
Everyone Heather spoke about because she brought them to life in such a natural way.
I loved the fact that she read this book like she was living it. Actually, Heather spoke the whole book to the reader. It was as if you'd known her all her life and you and her were sitting having a cuppa together. It was as if she had been away and stayed in a small country town for a while and she was back, and telling you, her best friend, all about her stay and the people she met who lived there. It was real. It was real because it was spoken in a real and natural way.
My main insight application would come from the writers aspect. I learned from Helen's dialogue sections. I learned from her ways of introducing certain aspects and linking others.
However, I will remember the name of the book because I enjoyed the whole story and the way it was told. This in itself will move me to remember to apply it's title when I find myself sliding into anything that resembles the critical. I'll probably smile to myself and think - find the Good here instead dear.
I rarely read or listen to novels. My choice is usually self-help, psychology, inspirational, biography, religious or just plain non-fiction. I chose this book to walk along side an Obituary writer and explore her mind knowing her occupation was one that draws heavy on the emotions.
I know now, that Heather's coping medication is "Find the Good" and it was very inspiring to journey along with this through the different characters. Thanks Heather, for a wonderful light and friendly telling of the people in that town.
I loved everything about this audio book.
This was one of the most authentic readings that I have ever listened to. There is something really magical when an author reads his/her own book this well.
This was an excellent reading. I felt like I was sitting at her kitchen table with a cup of tea in my hand and she was just talking to me. This reading is full of authentic emotion-- joy and sorrow.
I found myself driving down the road crying at several points. But not in a devastating way. There was always laughter as well. At certain points the author/reader cracks up authentically. It made me smile as well.
One of my favorite listens ever.
I enjoyed this book because it was a lovely reminder to value of the truly important things in life and not to miss opportunities. I enjoyed the stories of the small town in Alaska and how all of the inhabitants bump up against one another while they're doing life. It was just a simple and sweet book but very worth reading.
What a wonderful well written book; delightfully narrated by the author, Heather Lender, with heartfelt conviction and emotion. I enjoyed this book immensely. I Revere it along sides with, "All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten" by Robert Fulghum. If you enjoyed that book, heck, even if you didn't, you will be hard-pressed not to find the good in this wholesome gem. I am grateful, Heather. Thank you for sharing so many wonderful and kind spirited stories.
Warning: You might not want to listen to this on the way to work due to tears of joy and sorrow that seem to sneak up on you. This book is full of life lessons and words of wisdom. Most surprisingly, I found myself quoting it soon after beginning it. The narration is effortless and feels like sharing a cup of coffee with a friend.
Besides incessant listening to audiobooks, I also read on my Kindle at night, birdwatch, garden (roses, daylilies), and do genealogy.
Author and narrator, Heather Lende, is so insightful and really funny. And so genuine. I enjoyed every minute of her short, just under 3 hour book. I have been thoroughly entertained and not only that. I have been reminded of the importance of looking on the bright side of things. Seems too simple, doesn't it? I have a feeling it is just as easy to be positive and look for the good, as it is to be negative. Yet negativity is a more easily formed habit. Particularly for me.
What first comes to mind? I was sure I would hate living in Alaska. The cold, the darkness, the very brief summers . . . . This author made the decision to move to Alaska, raised 5 children, made a wonderful life for herself and her family, has a job she loves, has many friends and really seems to enjoy her life. Much of which involves writing obituaries and going to funerals. In Alaska yet!
Highly recommended if you need a shot of good now and then. Heather's got it!
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