Thursday, November 7, 2013

Choose to Make Things Beautiful

Survival Lessons by Alice Hoffman
: October 1, 2013 by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
I was so excited when I received a request to review this book. I absolutely LOVED Hoffman's The Dovekeepers, and ever since then have wanted to read more by her. And while these two books are about two completely different subjects, both have a similar poetic beauty about them.

Survival Lessons is somewhat of a self-help book that Hoffman was inspired to write from her struggles cancer. It's the type of advice she received, would have loved to receive, or would later give herself. And while the advice was written for someone who many facing the end of their life, all of it is so universal for anyone going through any type of struggle or life in general. Each section contains a goal that sounds simple and almost intuitive, but is still nice to be reminded off, things like "Choose to Enjoy Yourself," "Choose to Dream," and the source of my post title, "Choose to Make Things Beautiful."

It is short, so much so that I read it over my lunch hour. But once finished it felt like I had just had a lunch date with a longtime friend, instead of one where I was sitting alone reading. It's almost like a book of poems or inspirational quotes that you know you're going want to refer back to. Speaking of quotes, there were so many I bookmarked that I wanted to share, but if I shared all of them I'd practically writing the book again. So I'll leave you with not necessary my favorite quote, since I don't feel that would be fair to others I enjoyed as well, but one quote that did speak to me,.
"I know why my grandmother always told me to bring along a sweater on cold nights. She was telling me I had to take care of myself, to watch out for chills and pneumonia. But she was also telling me that life if worth fighting for. I have every blanket she ever made for me even though they are heavy as armor. My grandmother's spirit is in every stitch, and her love for me is there as well."

Disclosure: I was provided this book from the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.


  1. This book sounds so beautiful. I'll have to pick it up.

  2. I love Alice Hoffman's writing style - I'm going to have to check this one out.