What I’m Reading: Shine On

It’s not every day that I’m reading a book and suddenly up pops a mention of me, right there on the page. But that’s exactly what happened while I was reading Claire Cook’s “Shine On: How to Grow Awesome Instead of Old”! You see, the amazing Claire – whom I discovered last year at an Atlanta Writers Club meeting – included a number of descriptions in her book of the women who’ve attended her reinvention workshop and posted their own reinvention stories on Facebook. I mentioned this blog and my journey toward reinventing myself as a writer, and wow! It actually made it into the book. The greatest part about it is that I had completely forgotten about posting it on Facebook until I saw it on the page: what a lovely surprise! And how exciting to think that my story might be able to inspire other women just as Claire’s inspired me.

But don’t get me wrong: even if I hadn’t gotten a mention, I still would have loved “Shine On.” And if you’re not familiar with Claire’s nonfiction books, you should check them out immediately – they are smashing. Both “Never Too Late” and “Shine On” are targeted at the midlife – or “40 to forever” – age group that I’m just barely old enough to be part of, as I tiptoe toward my 41st birthday. (Or maybe I should sashay instead of tiptoe; I bet Claire would like that!) While “Never Too Late” is mostly about finding your dream, that elusive “thing” that we all have that lights us up, and committing to making it come true, “Shine On” takes a broader perspective, encouraging women to take control of all the various facets of life, including work, health, and personal style, that can tend to slip as we age. Her theory is that it’s not tending to these things that makes us look and feel “old.” And so “Shine On” is full of inspiration of the life-changing nature, but also practical advice on everything from exercise balls to eyebrow maintenance. Once you read it, you’ll hear Claire’s friendly, bubbly and down-to-earth voice in your head egging you on whenever you decide to do something awesome: like purchasing a gorgeous scarf because it looks great with your coloring, finally cleaning out your closet or cleaning up your diet, or just taking some time for yourself during a hectic day.

If you’ve read “Shine On,” did it inspire you to do anything differently in your daily life? Did you get any cool ideas from the women that are mentioned in the book? Or maybe you’re one of them, too! Let me know in a comment!