Five Books for Learning + Growth at Mid-Life

Five Books for Learning + Growth at Mid-Life

This week is an easy read- which might be a nice break considering all the heavy stuff we’ve been working with lately. (There is also a snow storm raging outside and I gotta make sure this is ready to roll in case the power goes out!)

So, these are some resources that I turn to, again and again, for information and guidance- both with myself and clients. I think you’ll find them useful, too!

The Female Brain and The Male Brain by Louann Brizendine, M.D.

Both of these books are on my shelf and I refer to them regularly. They are full of information that helps me understand myself by understanding how my brain works (and how it works differently from the male people in my life). It’s fascinating and practical and might help you solve a few marital fights.

The Female Brain | The Male Brain


A Woman’s Book of Life by Joan Borysenko, Ph.D.

This is a great book, but it’s definitely written for middle-class white women. Among other things it assumes that we’re all making decent money in a career we like or are suited for. (And it definitely does not cover the grief a woman feels at having to tell her children how to speak to the police so they don’t get shot.) That said, I do turn to it as a resource for looking at the unique lifespan of women. And I do believe that, even if there are many differences in our lives, there is also a lot of overlap.

A Woman’s Book of Life


Code Red by List Lister

I looooooove this book. So hard. It’s a holistic way of looking at the menstrual cycle. Lisa is funny and wise and gives you so many ways to see your cycle as a source of strength and guidance. Buy this one and underline it like crazy.

Code Red


a room filled with stacks of books as representation of resources for menopause


The Dance of Anger by Harriet Lerner, Ph.D.

We all have anger, but as women we’re told to ‘be nice’ and pretty much shove the anger into other forms that are easier for the people around us to deal with. But…women’s anger is sacred. This book helps you see the different kinds of anger in your life, accept them, and learn from them so you feel stronger.

Anything by Harriet Lerner is highly recommended.

The Dance of Anger


Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski, Ph.D.

This is the everything libido book. Whether you have a high one, a low one, a shy one, or anything else, this book covers sex and sexual response in a way that’s both interesting and practical. (I’m all about the practical, can ya tell?) It offers the most up-to-date data and research and it makes you feel less worried about your sexual self.

Comes As You Are

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Now, as you might have guessed, my bookshelf is full of about 300 other books that deal with all kinds of aspects of the human, female, hormonal, menopausal journey. And a lot of other stuff, as well. But these are favorites and sure to be useful in your life.

If you have other resources to share, please leave me a comment, below. We all know something someone else does not, and sharing that knowledge helps us all make the world a better, more inclusive, place.



2 Responses

  1. Annette says:

    Thank you for the suggestions Joanna 🙂

    I ordered all of them and so far have read The Female Brain. It was fascinating, and I enjoyed it. I am reading The Male Brain and it has been wonderful having an insight of how men think and why they do the things they do sometimes.

    • Joanna says:

      Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed them, Annette! I’m so glad. And yes, those books in particular are fascinating. :o)
      Joanna :: xoxo

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