100 books like Becoming Sage

By Michelle Van Loon,

Here are 100 books that Becoming Sage fans have personally recommended if you like Becoming Sage. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life

Jeff Bernier Author Of The Money and Meaning Journey: A Guide to Clarity, Financial Confidence, and Joy

From my list on financial peace in retirement.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a wealth advisor for over 37 years, I find many people reach retirement lacking clarity and confidence. Traditional financial advice often focuses on things that are unknowable, uncontrollable, and frankly don’t matter that much. While sound technical investment, estate, and tax planning are critical, the soul’s need for meaning and purpose are as important as sound financial plans. The path to true financial peace may be simpler than you think. These books can help you focus on the fewer, more critical things so that you can thrive in retirement and free yourself from financial media which is not in business to support your vision of a meaningful life.

Jeff's book list on financial peace in retirement

Jeff Bernier Why did Jeff love this book?

Bob Buford introduced me to this book at the Halftime Institute in 2013.

I found this book when I was going through a difficult season - a “falling". This book has helped me understand that much of what we judge as challenges or “falling” is the raw material for personal and spiritual growth. 

And that through the wisdom and insights of these challenges, the second half can be a time of great joy and excitement. I re-read it annually.

By Richard Rohr,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Falling Upward as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A fresh way of thinking about spirituality that grows throughout life In Falling Upward , Fr. Richard Rohr seeks to help readers understand the tasks of the two halves of life and to show them that those who have fallen, failed, or "gone down" are the only ones who understand "up." Most of us tend to think of the second half of life as largely about getting old, dealing with health issues, and letting go of life, but the whole thesis of this book is exactly the opposite. What looks like falling down can largely be experienced as "falling upward."…


Book cover of Life Reimagined: The Science, Art, and Opportunity of Midlife

Dorothy Littell Greco Author Of Marriage in the Middle: Embracing Midlife Surprises, Challenges, and Joys

From my list on helping you to thrive in midlife.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been writing and providing pastor care for more than thirty years now. Since turning sixty, I have noticed that aging well is not a given. Many people seem to grow increasingly bitter, resentful, and hard. If we want to become more empathetic, grateful, and loving, we have to keep growing and do our spiritual and relational work. We also need trustworthy guides to help us find our way. I hope to be a wise, compassionate guide for my readers.

Dorothy's book list on helping you to thrive in midlife

Dorothy Littell Greco Why did Dorothy love this book?

Hagerty is a meticulous reporter and deftly weaves personal stories with many facts and figures about midlife. She interviews experts in sociology, psychology, neurobiology, and genetics while exploring the question, "How do you thrive in midlife?" Hagerty argues that rather than seeing midlife as a time of crises, we should be able to experience it as a time of renewal: a time when we feel a growing sense of certainty about who we are and what we have to offer the world.

By Barbara Bradley Hagerty,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Life Reimagined as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A dynamic and inspiring exploration of the new science that is redrawing the future for people in their forties, fifties, and sixties for the better-and for good.

There's no such thing as an inevitable midlife crisis, Barbara Bradley Hagerty writes in this provocative, hopeful book. It's a myth, an illusion. New scientific research explodes the fable that midlife is a time when things start to go downhill for everybody. In fact, midlife can be a great new adventure, when you can embrace fresh possibilities, purposes, and pleasures. In Life Reimagined, Hagerty explains that midlife is about renewal: It's the time…


Book cover of The Gift of an Ordinary Day

Dorothy Littell Greco Author Of Marriage in the Middle: Embracing Midlife Surprises, Challenges, and Joys

From my list on helping you to thrive in midlife.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been writing and providing pastor care for more than thirty years now. Since turning sixty, I have noticed that aging well is not a given. Many people seem to grow increasingly bitter, resentful, and hard. If we want to become more empathetic, grateful, and loving, we have to keep growing and do our spiritual and relational work. We also need trustworthy guides to help us find our way. I hope to be a wise, compassionate guide for my readers.

Dorothy's book list on helping you to thrive in midlife

Dorothy Littell Greco Why did Dorothy love this book?

Kenison wrote this book when she was in her forties, after she nudged her husband to sell their long-time family house and move to rural New Hampshire with their two teenage sons. The book gives voice to being uprooted, letting go of the familiar, and the profound transitions of mid-life. Kenison writes beautifully of the stirrings and longings that prompt us to see our lives from a new vantage point, ultimately allowing us to move on with grace and grit.  

By Katrina Kenison,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Gift of an Ordinary Day as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Gift of an Ordinary Day is an intimate memoir of a family in transition-boys becoming teenagers, careers ending and new ones opening up, an attempt to find a deeper sense of place and a slower pace, in a small New England town. It is a story of mid-life longings and discoveries, of lessons learned in the search for home and a new sense of purpose, and the bittersweet intensity of life with teenagers - holding on, letting go.
Poised on the threshold between family life as she's always known it and her older son's departure for college, Kenison is…


Book cover of Love, Pray, Listen: Parenting Your Wayward Adult Kids with Joy

Dorothy Littell Greco Author Of Marriage in the Middle: Embracing Midlife Surprises, Challenges, and Joys

From my list on helping you to thrive in midlife.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been writing and providing pastor care for more than thirty years now. Since turning sixty, I have noticed that aging well is not a given. Many people seem to grow increasingly bitter, resentful, and hard. If we want to become more empathetic, grateful, and loving, we have to keep growing and do our spiritual and relational work. We also need trustworthy guides to help us find our way. I hope to be a wise, compassionate guide for my readers.

Dorothy's book list on helping you to thrive in midlife

Dorothy Littell Greco Why did Dorothy love this book?

If you are a parent and your children are over the age of eighteen, you know that your relationship with them shifts radically as they become adults. If you’ve raised your children to be independent thinkers, guess what? They will think and act independently, sometimes making choices that cause pain and confusion. Mary does a terrific job of helping parents remain grounded in their faith as they figure out how to love and support their sons and daughters in this new season. Her love for and knowledge of Scripture is very evident throughout. (Note: I would not have included the word “Wayward” in the title. Mary does not focus on adult kids who have made poor choices, but rather ones whose lives look different than what we might have imagined.)

By Mary DeMuth,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Love, Pray, Listen as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Love, Pray, Listen offers empathy and grounded biblical wisdom to help parents thrive, no matter what path their adult kids take."--PASTOR STEVE STROOPE

Wisdom and Hope for Parents of Grown-Ups

As a parent, your role changes drastically after your kids grow up. You fear heartache and strained relationships when your children choose difficult--even seemingly wrong--paths.

Love, Pray, Listen is the gracious, practical resource you need for navigating the rocky terrain of parenting grown-ups. In this book, mom and author Mary DeMuth answers questions like:

* What do I do when my kids make choices that don't align with my values?…


Book cover of When Your Aging Parent Needs Help: A Geriatrician's Step-by-Step Guide to Memory Loss, Resistance, Safety Worries, & More

Star Bradbury Author Of Successfully Navigating Your Parents' Senior Years: Critical Information to Maximize Their Independence and Make Sure They Get the Care They Need

From my list on helping you or your loved ones age successfully.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have worked in senior living for over 25 years. I was the administrative director of both an assisted living facility as well as a memory care facility and then I worked for over 18 years in one of the top national Life Care Communities in the country. During this time, I helped thousands of families navigate the complex and confusing world of senior living. I wrote my book to help families make educated and informed decisions and know what they could do before a crisis! It is not if your parents will need help, it is when! I am passionate about passing on the knowledge of my years in this field. 

Star's book list on helping you or your loved ones age successfully

Star Bradbury Why did Star love this book?

Dr. Kernisan is a well-known geriatrician who writes an educational newsletter that is as useful as her book!

She has years of expertise on dealing with all kinds of senior health issues and concerns. Excellent book for any caregiver! She covers a wide range of critical things to know if you are caring for an elder loved one that I can’t recommend this book enough!

By Leslie Kernisan, Paula Spencer Scott,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked When Your Aging Parent Needs Help as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It’s scary and stressful when it happens…. noticing changes in your parent and becoming increasingly worried about their health and safety. Maybe it’s Mom leaving the stove on, Dad getting lost on his way home, or unpaid bills that trigger this realization. Or perhaps there have been falls or emergency room visits. Whatever it is, you know something’s wrong. You wonder about a diagnosis. And you want your aging parent to accept help, or perhaps move.

Helping an older parent can be gratifying. But it’s especially hard if they’re blowing off your concerns, refusing to make changes, or otherwise resisting…


Book cover of Oxygen: The Molecule that Made the World

Neil W. Blackstone Author Of Energy and Evolutionary Conflict: The Metabolic Roots of Cooperation

From my list on bioenergetics or how life makes a living.

Why am I passionate about this?

Evolution is the most general theory of biology that we have. I seek to employ evolutionary principles to provide a predictive framework for both current ecological interactions and interactions that occurred earlier in the history of life. A generation ago, the study of cooperation was revolutionized by the deceptively simple notion of “follow the genes.” Embracing another simple notion—follow the electrons—can have an equally large effect in illuminating cooperation. Connecting evolutionary biology to biochemistry, however, remains a challenge—many evolutionary biologists dislike biochemistry and are much more comfortable with the informational aspects of life (e.g., genes). The below “best books on bioenergetics” can help to bridge this gap.

Neil's book list on bioenergetics or how life makes a living

Neil W. Blackstone Why did Neil love this book?

A comprehensive and very readable biography of oxygen, its scientific study, and its role in the history of life on Earth. 

The “big picture” view is grounded in numerous anecdotes of individual scientists’ work. The relevant scientific history blends nicely with the history of life. Throughout, we see oxygen generated by oxygenic photosynthesis, consumed by oxidative phosphorylation, with leftovers drifting up into the atmosphere to eventually produce the planet that supports human civilization and much else besides.

By Nick Lane,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Oxygen as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Oxygen has had extraordinary effects on life. Three hundred million years ago, in Carboniferous times, dragonflies grew as big as seagulls, with wingspans of nearly a metre. Researchers claim they could have flown only if the air had contained more oxygen than today - probably as much as 35 per cent. Giant spiders, tree-ferns, marine rock formations and fossil charcoals all tell the same story. High oxygen levels may also explain the global firestorm that contributed to the demise of the dinosaurs after the asteroid impact. The strange and profound effects that oxygen has had on the evolution of life…


Book cover of Last Laughs: Cartoons About Aging, Retirement ... and the Great Beyond

Barbara Katz Rothman Author Of A Bun in the Oven: How the Food and Birth Movements Resist Industrialization

From my list on death and dying.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been writing about birth for decades – how it became a medical process, managed by a surgical specialty in a factory-like setting. I’ve worked with contemporary midwives who are trying to reclaim birth, to move it back home, back to physiological and loving care. And over and over again, I see the similarities to the other gate of life – how death and dying also left home and went into the hospital, where people die, as they birth, pretty much alone – with perhaps a ‘visitor’ allowed. Covid made it worse – but in birth and death, it allowed the hospitals to return to what medicine considered essential: medical procedures, not human connections. 

Barbara's book list on death and dying

Barbara Katz Rothman Why did Barbara love this book?

There was a death in my family years back, and somehow after a long and wrenching day at the hospital, we were sitting around my dining room table at a late-night long-delayed dinner – and we were laughing. My brother came into the kitchen, worried about the children present: what were they learning? I answered: They’re learning how to bury us. Death, even death – and I am heavily grieving a loss right now – can be a moment for laughter, the sheer absurdity of life, the grief and sorrow expressed in crying and in laughing. There are other good books that do this, that take a more intellectual approach – but honestly, I admire the chutzpah of Greenberg editing a book of cartoons on death. 

The range is from the silly, the grim reaper at the door introducing the fat lady, ‘here to sing for you,' to ones that…

By Mort Gerberg,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Last Laughs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A volume of previously unpublished cartoons by top industry names celebrates the wayward experiences of the baby boomer generation with contributions by such artists as Leo Cullum, Jack Ziegler, and Lee Lorenz. 50,000 first printing.


Book cover of Dave Barry Turns 50

E.J. Lamprey Author Of The Christmas Caper

From my list on getting older with style and panache.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a columnist in a national magazine, book reviewer on a daily newspaper, journalist on a small rural paper, commercial blogger for hire, copy-editor, and critiquer, usually alongside more conventional roles in the not entirely thrilling world of corporate finance. In my fifties, I took a belated gap year courtesy of a good redundancy package and started writing full-time under a couple of different names, mainly EJ Lamprey but here as Clarissa. The gap year never really ended . . . At the heart of all my books is the exuberant celebration of finding in autumn the best season of our lives.

E.J.'s book list on getting older with style and panache

E.J. Lamprey Why did E.J. love this book?

We’ve outgrown vaulting over five-barred gates, running up mountains, drinking all night, and springing bright-eyed from our beds, and so what? For anyone in denial, or clinging stubbornly to youth, Dave is the Baby Boomer to point out the stark realities. He’s funny but he’s ruthless. Fifty’s not the new thirty. It’s fifty. The reason I recommend it is that it can be hard to let go and you’ll waste precious autumn if you don’t accept the inevitable, and move on with a spring in your step into what I have found to be the best period of all. Laughing helps. Laughing always helps.  

By Dave Barry,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dave Barry Turns 50 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist comes a celebration of the aging process. Not just Dave's, but that of the whole Baby Boom Generation--those millions of us who set a standard for whining self-absorption that will never be equaled, and who gave birth to such stunning accomplishments as Saturday Night Live!, the New Age movement, and call waiting. Here Dave pinpoints the glaring signs that you've passed the half-century mark:

- You are suddenly unable to read anything written in letters smaller than Marlon Brando.
- You have accepted the fact that you can't possibly be hip. You don't even know…


Book cover of The Successful Caregiver’s Guide

Iris Waichler Author Of Role Reversal: How to Take Care of Yourself and Your Aging Parents

From my list on caregiving and the challenges it brings.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been a medical social worker for over 40 years working with people who have had a catastrophic illness. I counseled them and their family members. Because of this experience, I have a lot of knowledge, experience, and training regarding the challenges caregivers face. In addition, I was the primary caregiver for my parents and helped take care of 2 friends helping them to die with dignity. Finally, I am the author of an 8-time award-winning book called Role Reversal How to Take Care of Yourself and Your Aging Parents. I have written hundreds of articles on health-related topics including aging and caregiving.

Iris' book list on caregiving and the challenges it brings

Iris Waichler Why did Iris love this book?

Rick Lauber is another caregiving expert that I turn to for information and advice when I was a caregiver. This book is jam-packed with practical guidelines, tips, and resources for caregivers. It helps caregivers assess their needs and what care options are available to them as they care for the needs of their loved one changes and their ability to be a caregiver also changes. 

By Rick Lauber,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Successful Caregiver’s Guide as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

You may be among the tens of millions of Americans who provide care for your parent — or you may be among the ten of millions who will. So many children are caught unprepared when physical and mental health declines in aging parents. Life cannot readily prepare you to furnish excellent eldercare while balancing the demands on your time. This book provides practical tips, realistic guidance, encouragement and insight into the time ahead. Among other things, it answers: • How do you decide when your parent stays at home or moves to assisted living? • What should you expect when…


Book cover of Calypso

Christina Ford Author Of In Search of Mr Darcy: Lessons Learnt In The Pursuit of Happily Ever After

From my list on believing in the existence of love.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write about life, love and being single in my blog, A Broad In London, and I am a semi-regular guest on a Week In Review on BBC Radio London. 

Christina's book list on believing in the existence of love

Christina Ford Why did Christina love this book?

I only discovered David Sedaris' writings a couple of years ago, and already, I have pretty much read everything this man has scribbled. I love how he can take the tiniest moments, like a hotel elevator ride, and then blow it up into a hilarious life lesson.

His family sits at the center of his creative fodder, and his observations on life, death, and love are laugh-out-loud funny. This book is more than just a collection of essays; it is an artfully threaded story of the unique and sometimes complicated love he has for his family. 

By David Sedaris,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Calypso as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Sedaris is the premier observer of our world and its weirdnesses'
ADAM KAY

'Funnier and more heartbreaking than pretty much anything out there'
HADLEY FREEMAN, GUARDIAN

'The brilliance of David Sedaris' writing is that his very essence, his aura, seeps through the pages of his books like an intoxication cloud'
ALAN CUMMING, NEW YORK TIMES

'The funniest writer alive today'
JONATHAN ROSS

'An incredibly funny and sometimes moving meditation on love, death and family life'
SUNDAY TIMES

When he buys a beach house on the Carolina coast, Sedaris envisions long, relaxing vacations spent playing board games and lounging in the…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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