Find the Good

Find the Good

by Heather Lende


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As the obituary writer in a spectacularly beautiful but often dangerous spit of land in Alaska, Heather Lende knows something about last words and lives well lived. Now she’s distilled what she’s learned about how to live a more exhilarating and meaningful life into three words: find the good. It’s that simple—and that hard.

Quirky and profound, individual and universal, Find the Good offers up short chapters that help us unlearn the habit—and it is a habit—of seeing only the negatives. Lende reminds us that we can choose to see any event—starting a new job or being laid off from an old one, getting married or getting divorced—as an opportunity to find the good. As she says, “We are all writing our own obituary every day by how we live. The best news is that there’s still time for additions and revisions before it goes to press.”

Ever since Algonquin published her first book, the New York Times bestseller If You Lived Here, I’d Know Your Name, Heather Lende has been praised for her storytelling talent and her plainspoken wisdom. The Los Angeles Times called her “part Annie Dillard, part Anne Lamott,” and that comparison has never been more apt as she gives us a fresh, positive perspective from which to view our relationships, our obligations, our priorities, our community, and our world.

An antidote to the cynicism and self-centeredness that we are bombarded with every day in the news, in our politics, and even at times in ourselves, Find the Good helps us rediscover what’s right with the world.

“Heather Lende’s small town is populated with big hearts—she finds them  on the beach, walking her granddaughters, in the stories of ordinary peoples’ lives, and knits them into unforgettable tales. Find the Good is a treasure.” —Jo-Ann Mapson, author of Owen’s Daughter

Find the Good is excellent company in unsteady times . . . Heather Lende is the kind of person you want to sit across the kitchen table from on a rainy afternoon with a bottomless cup of tea. When things go wrong, when things go right, her quiet, commonsense wisdom, self-examining frankness, and good-natured humor offer a chance to reset, renew, rebalance.”  —Pam Houston, author of Contents May Have Shifted

“With gentle humor and empathy [Lende] introduces a number of people who provide examples of how to live well . . . [Find the Good] is simple yet profound.”  Booklist

“In this cynical world, Find the Good is a tonic, a literary wellspring, which will continue to run, and nurture, even in times of drought. What a brave and beautiful thing Heather Lende has made with this book.” —John Straley, Shamus Award winner and former writer laureate of Alaska

“Heather Lende is a terrific writer and terrific company: intimate, authentic, and as quirky as any of her subjects.” —Marilyn Johnson, author of The Dead Beat

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781616201678
Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Publication date: 04/28/2015
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 156,603
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 7.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Heather Lende has contributed essays and commentary to NPR, the New York Times, and National Geographic Traveler, among other newspapers and magazines, and is a former contributing editor at Woman’s Day. A columnist for the Alaska Dispatch News, she is the obituary writer for the Chilkat Valley News in Haines and the recipient of the Suzan Nightingale McKay Best Columnist Award from the Alaska Press Club. Her previous bestselling books are
Find the Good, Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs, and If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name. Lende was voted Citizen of the Year, Haines Chamber of Commerce, in 2004. Her website is

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Find the Good 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous 4 months ago
Nice reminder to find what makes life worthwhile everyday. It is more likely the little things.
Xkoqueen More than 1 year ago
Find The Good is a collection of down-to-earth, uplifting essays written by Heather Lende who also happens to write the obituaries for her small town of Haines, Alaska. Through her tenure, she has delved deep into the lives of her fellow townsfolk and has easily found the good in them. Without seeming preachy, Ms. Lende offers her readers a way to look at the positive side of most things in our daily life. Her tales of crusty, salt-of-the-Earth folks in a small Alaskan town show that you can’t judge a book by its cover and that you never know where you’ll find inspiration to do better and be better. So chill out and enjoy the ride while it lasts.
Ariesgrl More than 1 year ago
3.5 Stars Yes, this story has sweet tales and sorrowful losses. However, this short book is more of a wake up call. When life is overwhelmingly negative, you must work hard to find the positive and focus on it. Once you strive to find the positive in each negative thing, it will come easier over time. The small-town Alaskan setting truly comes to life for readers, as well as the quirky community members. This is an easily read book that each reader can relate to. This was the first book by Heather Lende that I had read, but I will definitely be looking into her other two books. Note: This review was originally posted on the Ariesgrl Book Reviews website.
Madd More than 1 year ago
Heather Lende, an obituary writer in a small Alaskan town; challenger the of her novel "Find The Good" to truly take a second look at their life and way they live. She encourages the reader to unlearn the habits that control us every day. The habits of finding all the things wrong’ instead of all the things right. Lende shares her experience when it comes to death and becoming parent again; along with eventually becoming a grandmother. All of these situations have aspects that make them hard to deal with, but she manages to find the positives in all these situations which truly manage to change her life for the better. This novel maintains consistent themes; to always live in the moment and experience. This book has helped me to challenge myself and push past my normal personal boundaries. I have learned that I am normally quick to anger, and in a bad situation I find the glass half empty. After reading this novel, I have been finding the positives in all aspects of my life and making the best of every moment. Finding the glass half full and always preserving makes any individual stronger. Lende’s writing style is very universal and individual; it doesn’t speak to just a specific group or readers. Anyone wanting a healthier way of living must read this book!
DoranneLongPTMS More than 1 year ago
I love reading Heather's books. As my brother lives in Skagway, I have visited Haines, and can relate to the "characters" in her books. She is willing to share her own personal joys and sorrows, and that of her friends and neighbors, in a way that soothes my tears and adds laughter to my own life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a great short read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So cool i shuled be in it