Celebrate Life With 6 Books for Women Over 50

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Books For Women Over 50

Women of every age deserve to feel empowered in their lives. Unfortunately, we still live in a society fraught with sexist ideals, and one of those ideals is that beauty and value is found in being young. That just isn't true. For this article, we've found books for women over 50 that focus on empowering the person inside, the human part of us all. While there isn't anything wrong with wrong with wanting to look nice, our inner selves are the parts that truly matter. They need to be nurtured, and these books for women over 50 will help with that!

Whether you're interested in nurturing your creative side, find time to spend with nature, embracing your confidence, or growing as a person, these six books have a lot to offer. Four are nonfiction books that are compassionate, informative, and often hilarious, while the two works of fiction are classic books about discovering who you are and what's important to you. Even if you're confident you've already done that, they're both incredible books and worth the read!

1. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brene Brown

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There's a good chance you've heard of Brené Brown at some or another. She even recently got her own Netflix special, The Call to Courage. Watch the trailer here. There's a good reason both Brené Brown and her book, Daring Greatly, have made the list. In it, she talks about society traditionally views vulnerability as a weakness, while she sees the ability to show vulnerability as a sign of courage.

"When we shut ourselves off from vulnerability, we distance ourselves from the experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our lives," says Brown, arguing that it is the very core of all difficult emotions we fear and the birthplace of positive emotions. Sure, vulnerability is uncomfortable. It can be painful and comes with a risk of getting hurt. "But when we step back and examine our lives, we will find that nothing is as uncomfortable, dangerous, and hurtful as standing on the outside of our lives looking in and wondering what it would be like if we had the courage to step into the arena."

2. Upstream: Selected Essays by Mary Oliver

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"In the beginning I was so young and such a stranger to myself I hardly existed. I had to go out into the world and see it and hear it and react to it, before I knew at all who I was, what I was, what I wanted to be."

Mary Oliver's death earlier this year was a truly devastating loss, but she left behind an incredible legacy in the form of her work. Though she was more known for her poetry, her essays are equally as poignant. Upstream is a collection of her essays, reflections on both her childhood and adulthood, and of the natural and literary worlds.

Creative people will be especially interested in Oliver's words and her ideas on the pleasure of artistic labor and the inherited responsibility from our predecessors. Upstream encourages us all to find time to set aside to immerse ourselves in the natural world, to give into the whimsical we feel around us and let it guide us as we create.

3. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

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Winner of a Pulitzer Prize for her short story collection, Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake is a novel spanning 25 years about the Ganguli family. Originally from Calcutta, Ashoke and Ashima move to Massachusetts and have a son named Gogol. Ashima struggles to find herself in a new country, missing both her family and traditions back home, while engineer Ashoke adapts far more easily.

As Gogol grows, he struggles to find his own place in the U.S. He doesn't feel fully Indian or American and struggles to find the place he belongs, something many children of immigrants experience. Even his name, which is neither Indian nor American, but rather the last name of a Russian writer, further conflicts Gogol.

Lahiri's novel delves into the immigrant experience in the United States, the relationships between immigrant parents and their children, the power of our names, parental expectations, and "the means by which we slowly, sometimes painfully, come to define ourselves." The Namesake is not a book to be missed.

4. Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes

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If you live in a cave, you may not be familiar with Shonda Rhimes, but if not, there's a good chance you've caught at least a commercial for one of her award-winning shows. Well, her memoir, Year of Yes, is as much of a treat to read as her shows are to watch! It may be surprising, but Shonda is actually an introvert and, after it was pointed out by her sister that she never says yes to anything, she decided to challenge herself. If something scared her, she was going to say yes to it!

It shouldn't come as a surprise that someone who spends her time writing TV shows writes a mean memoir. There's real, raw honesty in Shonda's words as she talks about things we all struggle to talk about: our fears, our self-doubt. You applaud the empowerment she gains throughout the book and feel encouraged to try it yourself.

5. The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver

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Barbara Kingsolver's first novel, The Bean Trees is the story of half-Cherokee Taylor Greer, an 18-year-old a native of rural, impoverished Kentucky. On her way west in her beat up car, she inherits Turtle, a three-year-old Native American girl. Though Taylor was proud of the fact she graduated high school without getting pregnant like, something common in her hometown, Taylor decides to care for Turtle, becoming a mother in her own way.

Together, Taylor and Turtle drive west until their car dies in Tuscon. That's when their new life together truly begins. The novel has a big emphasis on found family with characters like Taylors roommate Lou Ann and her child, a Guatemalan couple named Esperanza and Estevan, and Mattie, a woman who helps undocumented immigrants. If you enjoy The Bean Trees, be sure to check out the sequel, Pigs in Heaven.

6. A Secret Sisterhood: The Literary Friendships of Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, and Virginia Woolf by Emily Midorikawa and Emma Claire Sweeney

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Friendship is a powerful, lifelong experience, and Emily Midorikawa and Emma Claire Sweeney's book, A Secret Sisterhood, dives right into it, discussing the friendships between women in the literary world. Friendships between men in the literary world are heralded in research and studied in school, while the equally valid friendships between women writers are overlooked. Not any longer.

Midorikawa and Sweeney use letter and diaries entries as they researched their book. Some of the friendships may be surprising, but they're all incredible. A few covered include:

• Jane Austen and amateur Anne Sharp, who was one of her family servants

• Mary Taylor and Charlotte Brontë

• George Eliot and Harriet Beecher Stow

• Virginia Woolf and Katherine Mansfield, two women often seen as foes, but actually had a complex friendship

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