Middle-aged. It’s a term that sounds depressing and almost demeaning – like you were born in the Dark Ages.
But you know the truth about being a woman over the age of 40. Life is far from over. In fact, you’re right smack-dab in the middle of what might be the very best part.
That’s not to say that being a more mature woman doesn’t come with its challenges. Thankfully, there are many excellent books for women like you – some can inspire you, some will inform you, and others will make you laugh. Twilight Saga books are for your teenage daughter, and 50 Shades of Gray can wait for when you’re really desperate.
If you want some quality reading material for the next opportunity you have to take some “me time,” we found 16 books you can curl up with. Because even though you are already wise and experienced – you’re also smart enough to know you can always discover something new.
For Your Health
1. “Skinny Bitch” – Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin
At Natural Healthy Concepts, it’s our firm belief that diet and nutrition are the most important factors for a healthy life. The authors of the best-selling book series Skinny Bitch agree.
Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin used to work in the modeling industry. Their first book focused on the advantages of following a vegan diet and looked to expose potentially harmful practices of the commercial food industry.
And it’s far from boring. Freedman and Barnouin add plenty of attitude to their writing making it a very entertaining read. Even if the vegan lifestyle isn’t for you – this book will be fun and informative. They’ve written several followups including Skinny Bitch in the Kitch, which includes recipes.
- Visit the Skinny Bitch Website
2. “Eat Right 4 Your Type” – Dr Peter D’Adamo
This eye-opening diet book suggests that your blood type pertains to the type of food you should be eating.
Dr. Peter D’Adamo and co-author Catherine Whitney believe there should be a specific diet for each of the four blood types. They say that’s because your blood type reflects your internal chemistry and determines how your body absorbs nutrients.
One thing is definitely true – each woman is very different and has different health and nutrition needs. This book may shed some light on how you can eat right. It is available to order from Natural Healthy Concepts. CLICK HERE to find it on our website. We also offer individual pocket books for each of the four blood types.
3. “Sexy Forever – How to Fight Fat After 40” – Suzanne Somers
Love her or hate her – you can’t deny the fact that actress and model Suzanne Somers has aged well. The Three’s Company and Step by Step star is also a major proponent of natural health and has written numerous books on the subject.
In her book Sexy Forever – How to Fight Fat After 40, Somers examines the challenges women face with weight as they age. She calls out the toxins found in food that may contribute to weight issues. Somers also writes about battling your personal “food demons,” and shows readers how they can still eat the food they love without packing on pounds.
Click Here to find this book at Natural Healthy Concepts. We also offer Suzanne Somer’s bestselling book Knockout, in which she interviews doctors who’ve had success curing cancer – often through natural or alternative means. Somers herself is a cancer survivor.
4. “Before the Change” – Ann Louise Gittleman
It’s that big “M-word” so many women don’t even want to think about – menopause.
Respected nutritionist, Ann Louise Gittleman wrote Before the Change – Taking Charge of Your Perimenopause to help women prepare for what their bodies are about to experience. It includes a detailed program for dealing with the symptoms naturally. Gittleman explains how nutrition can play a major role in the way your body responds to this time of life.
- Click Here to find out more or order the book
- Find Menopause Support Supplements at Natural Healthy Concepts
- Read a perimenopause article from NHC Certified Nutritionist Theresa Groskopp
5. “Waking the Warrior Goddess” – Dr. Christine Horner
Breast cancer is one of the scariest health issues facing women in midlife and of all ages. Nearly everyone’s life has been affected by this disease.
Dr. Christine Horner wrote Waking the Warrior Goddess to help educate women about how to protect themselves through cancer prevention – that includes taking the right supplements.
Horner is a renowned surgeon who specializes in reconstructive breast surgery. She played an important role in efforts to pass laws that now require insurance companies to cover breast reconstruction following a mastectomy.
Fiction For Entertainment
6. “Smart Women” – Judy Blume
Yes, this is the same Judy Blume who wrote Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, and Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. But she’s written much more than just books for kids and young adults.
If you grew up with Judy Blume’s books – you’ll love reading the books she’s written for adults. Smart Women tells the tale of two divorced women and their teenage daughters. The title was inspired by a line from the book “How come smart women like us keep falling in love with schmucks?”
Laughs and tears are a sure bet! Blume has also dealt with divorce so her story will be honest and pertinent.
- Click Here to find out more about Smart Women
7. “Summer Sisters” – Judy Blume
As a woman over 40, you’ve no doubt had some amazing female friends in your life. Perhaps some of them have been there with you since you were just a kid.
Summer Sisters is another book by Judy Blume. This nostalgic story looks at the relationship between two friends from their pre-teens in the 1970s into adulthood. It reminds us that our friendships are often more important than our love affairs.
- Click Here to find out more about Summer Sisters
8. “Mrs. Dalloway” – Virginia Woolf
Looking for a classic piece of literature? How about something from one of the most respected writers of the 20th century.
Virginia Woolf’s book, Mrs. Dalloway, combines two short stories centered on the title character, Clarissa Dalloway, as she prepares to host a high society party. This tale flashes backwards and forwards in time, entering the innermost thoughts of its characters.
Mrs. Dalloway is one of Woolf’s most well-known and best-loved novels. Look for it at your local library or bookstore.
9. “Safe Haven” – Nicholas Sparks
Every good story includes at least a little romance. Then there are the books of Nicholas Sparks. If you want tear-jerking, heartbreaking romance – he’s your guy.
Sparks is most known for writing The Notebook, but another popular love story from the author is Safe Haven. It’s a book about a woman trying to escape an abusive relationship. She finds safety in the arms of someone else – but also has to make a stand to protect herself.
There’s a pretty big twist to this story, but we’re not going to put any spoilers in this article! If you’ve already seen the film – I’ve been told the book is much better. Isn’t that almost always the case?
- Click Here to find out more at Nicholas Spark’s website
For a Good Laugh
10. “I Feel Bad About My Neck” – Nora Ephron
The creator of some of your favorite romantic comedies wrote a tongue-in-cheek book about midlife struggles.
Nora Ephron, who sadly passed away in 2012 during a battle with leukemia, was the creative mind who brought us stories like Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally and Julie and Julia. Besides being a successful writer/director in the movie world, Ephron was also an accomplished playwright and columnist.
In the book of essays I Feel Bad About My Neck and Other Thoughts on Being a Woman, Nora Ephron uses her dry sense of humor to paint a picture of the roller coaster ride women go through as they age. It’s full of personal stories from Ephron’s colorful life.
- Click Here to find this book online
11. “Dish: Midlife Women Tell the Truth About Work, Relationships and the Rest of Life” – Barbara Moses
Sometimes it’s nice to be reminded that you’re not alone. Barbara Moses’s collection of stories and advice from real women will make you laugh until you cry. The truth is often stranger than fiction – and in this case – it’s a whole lot funnier too.
You may also be relieved to realize that we are all in this together.
Moses is a well-known life coach and best-selling author who has appeared on the Today Show, Good Morning America and many other popular media outlets.
Modern women over the age of 40 have lived very interesting lives and have plenty of witty advice to give and stories to tell – this book proves it.
- Click Here for more on Dish and other books by Barbara Moses
12. “Forever Erma” – Erma Bombeck
Erma Bombeck is one of America’s most beloved humorists. She’s written many books about the funny side of life, love and family.
She writes from the perspective of an average American living in the Midwest. And that’s a point of view that includes equal parts tenderness and sarcasm.
Bombeck’s quotable quips include:
Insanity is hereditary. You can catch it from your kids.
As well as…
When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me.’
As a mature woman, you’ll find her words to be relatable and inspiring as well as comical. Forever Erma – Best Loved Writings from America’s Favorite Humorist, includes a collection of some of her best essays. It was the last book published from Bombeck before her death in 1996.
Bombeck wrote 14 other books, which also include some great content for women – especially mothers.
For Overall Happiness
13. “Passages” – Gail Sheehy
There have been many more books written about the stages of childhood than the stages of adulthood. Gail Sheey’s Passages uses a newer concept to examine the different “problems” we encounter as adults.
Reflection is important. This book could help you to look back on your life and determine how you became the woman you are today. This book isn’t only for women. However, Sheey does examine the striking developmental differences between men and women.
Passages was named one of the most influential books of our time in a Library Of Congress survey. Sheehy has also written a followup to this book titled New Passages, in which she finds baby boomers “rejecting the whole notion of middle age.”
- Click Here to find both those books and more by Gail Sheehy
14. “The Mona Lisa Stratagem” – Harriet Rubin
The Mona Lisa is considered a masterpiece of female beauty. This book was inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci’s work and gives women in midlife an actual plan for improving their lives so they can find fulfillment and happiness.
In Mona Lisa Stratagem – The Art of Women, Age and Power, Harriet Rubin writes about how time seems to be a woman’s worst enemy because we feel it steals away youth, beauty and confidence. However, Rubin says the opposite is true. She uses stories of iconic women to explain 10 valuable life lessons, which you can use as tactics to discover the power and pleasure of female maturity.
- Click Here for more on The Mona Lisa Stratagem
15. “50 is the New Fifty” – Suzanne Braun Levine
The title of this book alone made me laugh. We’re always hearing that a certain age is the new younger age – and it’s just silly.
Suzanne Braun Levine’s book includes 10 life lessons for women in “second life.” She shares little nuggets of wisdom and practical advice for women. She also opens your eyes to some of the unexpected rewards that come with age.
Braun Levine has written several other books for women over 40. Click Here to check them all out at her website.
16. “Creating the Good Life” – James O’Toole
Who better to give you advice on how to live a happy life than one of the wisest minds in the history of the world? This book takes the teachings of Aristotle and applies them to modern times.
Author James O’Toole brings Aristotle’s principles to life as he illustrates them with real examples of people who’ve found fulfillment and accomplished their dreams. It is specifically written with middle-aged individuals in mind.
O’Toole’s main point is that happiness in life does not come from riches and fame – but values and personal awareness. He concludes that happiness is attainable for everyone – no matter what your income may be.
One of the toughest things about being a woman of a certain age is looking back on your life and wondering if you really accomplished everything you truly wanted. This book helps you understand how to make the most out of the rest of your time on earth.
- Click Here for more on James O’Toole and Creating the Good Life
What Are Your Suggestions?
Do you have some favorite books you think women over 40 years-old should read? Leave us a comment, tell us a little bit about it and share it with everyone!