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Find the Good

Unexpected Life Lessons from a Small-Town Obituary Writer.

By Heather Lende

“Compared to front-page news, obituaries are downright inspirational. Writing them is my way of transcending the bad and has taught me the value of intentionally trying to find the good in people and situations. We are all writing our own obituary every day by how we live. The best news is that there’s still time for additions and revisions before mine goes to press.” – Heather Lende, from Find the Good

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; 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 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.

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Meet the Author
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Heather Lende

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Review quotes
“Working as an obituary writer could get you down, if you were the kind of person who let it. Lende isn’t…she teases wisdom from the lives her obits celebrate as well as from her own experiences as a mother and grandmother…each conveys the unsentimental conviction that the good in our lives shouldn’t be overshadowed by their inevitable end.” —New York Times Book Review
 “A wise, witty memoir that combines anecdotes about Lende’s work and family with plainspoken wisdom gleaned from her years of living in a small community.” —Shelf Awareness for Readers, starred review
“Find the Good is the perfect nightstand accompaniment: short, breezy and chock-full of life lessons.” —New York Daily News

Find the Good is wonderful to its core . . . page after page of this delicious book is filled with truisms you’ll want framed to hang on your wall.” —The Oklahoman
 “Simple yet profound… [Lende’s] homespun stories will speak meaningfully to readers. The overarching message is that the life we get is precious, as obituary writer Lende knows so well, and should be lived in such a way as to create much good to be remembered by.” —Booklist 
“Honest and simple yet full of lasting strength, the author's prose demonstrates what makes a life better rather than worse—including something as simple as picking up heart-shaped stones on the beach with a grandchild. Optimistic, slightly humorous reflections on living a fully engaged, meaningful life.”—Kirkus Reviews
“It seems so easy to write something that makes the world a better place, but as most writers know, it isn’t. Heather Lende has a rare gift and is a writer to be treasured and appreciated for all the tough times in your life, whether you are from a small town in Southeast Alaska or a city on the other side of the world.”—The Seattle Review of Books
“At times heart-achingly poignant, at others heart-meltingly sweet, Find the Good reminds us those last words will come soon enough, far too soon for some, and charges us with the responsibility to not only live a life worth writing about but to recognize and honor those people who matter to us while they're here to appreciate it.”—South Bergenite/NorthJersey.com 
“Lende’s short chapters resonate, reminding us that it’s worth looking at our relationships, our obligations, our priorities, our community, and our world from a fresh, positive perspective. A gift to share with friends and family, Find the Good offers a way out of the negativity and cynicism that can overwhelm our daily routines.”—Utne Reader
“A feel-good volume that is sure to please many a mom and maybe even earn you some extra brownie points.” —Bookbrowse

Product Details
Categories
Number of pages
176
Publication date
April 28, 2015
ISBN
9781616201678