Read a novel.

posted in: mother | 4

Organize your attitude #41

Yes, read a novel. It doesn’t even have to be a Great Book. Just a story.

Get out of your own particulars, relate to someone else, and gain perspective.

When we read novels, we are able to see the world from another point of view, experience different settings and lifestyles and circumstances, and are better able to see how small circumstances build into a big picture – into a story.

I’ve shared before how it was a novel (or two) that brought me out of a housecleaning funk and showed me the importance of a neat and tidy home. Perhaps a novel contains the paradigm shift you need, also.

When our own little problems loom too large in our own eyes, when x, when x, then we need to hit the pause button.

A novel is a pause button.

Maybe a chapter at bedtime is just the mental break you need.

Maybe a “mental health day” is what you need – instead of binging on Netflix, pick up a novel and read the whole thing in one day.

When we start taking ourselves and our situation too seriously, start getting all uptight and overwrought, start losing it over the littlest provocations, we need to stop. Spending some mental and emotional time in someone else’s world and problems helps us see our own in a more healthy light, in perspective, and in the context of our own story.

Just as the story we read has struggles and stress, it moves to a conclusion where it all comes together. Life is like that, because it is God’s story.

One way to help yourself see your life as your story is to immerse yourself in someone else’s story.

So pick up a novel for your attitude’s sake.

Suggested novels for perspective

Sure, you could read Anna Karenina, Kristin Lavransdatter, or Mansfield Park, but you don’t have to commit to anything so grand to reap the benefits of getting out of your own head and your own particulars and learning from the experience of other women, even if they are fictional women.



What novel would you recommend for a perspective reset?



4 Responses

  1. Ann-Morgan Krueger
    | Reply

    I recently read, “Same Kind of Different as Me” and “Taking Flight”…both of which were true stories of individuals that overcame great adversity and have an amazing story to share. “Same Kind of Different as Me” is the story of how a homeless man who had grown up as a modern day slave connects with a couple (the husband is a multi-millionaire international art dealer and the wife has a heart for loving on the homeless). It challenges your thoughts on poverty, on race, on faith shown through action…it’s a great story. “Taking Flight” is the true story on Michaela dePrince, who was an orphan in Sierra Leone who went through unbelievable suffering during the war. It tells about her dream to became a professional ballerina and how that became a reality (at the young age of 17 or 18!) despite all her hardships growing up, as well as the challenges of being black in the field of classical ballet.

  2. Elaine
    | Reply

    I read Madeline L’Engle novels to help me reset. The Time Quartet (Wrinkle in Time, etc.) helps me value how God made me as a woman that loves math and science. The Austin series shows a happy, healthy family. I’m always encouraged as a mother by reading L’Engle’s books! I’m also reading her essay collection Walking on Water for deeper thoughts.

  3. Julie
    | Reply

    Elizabeth Goudge is my new favorite author! I so enjoy her and I always feel refreshed when I am done :)

    Another easy read that I have enjoyed is “Lark Rise to Candleford”, which is the book by Flora Thompson that inspired the BBC series of the same name. It is amazing to see how much of the TV series is straight from the book!

  4. Judy
    | Reply

    I discovered Georgette Heyer this year. Started with The Grand Sophy.

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