Read Your Midlife Better


I love to read and believe that there is no greater joy than losing yourself in a book.

My Kindle gathers dust though, as little makes me happier than the smell of a good, weighty book; I love to scribble notes in them.

One of the wonderful things to come out of the midlife revolution is the explosion of books by people exploring what it means to get older and do it well.

With that in mind, here are some of my favourites. Fitness, fashion, career and home life are all covered.


I’m Absolutely Fine! A Manual for Imperfect Women

Brilliantly funny, relatable insights on the reality of being a midlife woman, from Annabel Rivkin and Emilie McMeekan, the founders of The Midult.

Why you need to read it: because there’s nothing better than a book that makes you snort with laughter in public. This is THAT book.

Get it here >

feel the fear and do it anyway

Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

This book has been my bible for years but came into its own when I was thinking about setting up Studio10. Susan Jeffers’ insights gave me the push I needed to overcome fears, worry and go for it.

Why you need to read it: because too many of us don’t allow ourselves the opportunity to live the lives we deserve through fear.

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big magic

Big Magic

Written by Elizabeth Gilbert, of ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ fame, this gorgeous novel explores the magic behind our creative mind and how to use the ideas we have to transform our lives.

Why you need to read it: how many of us have a brilliant idea that we never quite get round to accomplishing, then feel the disappointment when we find out that someone else has already done it? This book will stop you from letting that happen again.

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the invisible woman

The Invisible Woman: Taking on the Vintage Years

Whether you’re a ‘growing old and letting it go’ or a ‘fight the dying of the light with dyeing of the hair’ type, you’ll find something to love in this call to midlife arms. Helen Walmsley-Johnson urges us to stop sniping at each other and celebrate ageing in all its glory.

Why you need to read it: by the time you’ve finished reading this you’ll be grabbing a placard, fully ready to join the front line demanding we get to age on our own terms.

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Fit At Mid-Life

Enjoying our best lives means being as healthy as possible. You can be your fittest in your 40s (yes, really) but it doesn’t have to mean shame and obsessiveness. Samantha Brennan and Tracy Isaacs offer a totally different way to think about looking after your body and challenging yourself beyond what you ever feel capable of.

Why you need to read it: as one in three 40 plus women admits to struggling with depression and anxiety, I truly believe that a big part of the answer lies in our fitness levels and positive body image.

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Know Your Style

When shops turn their ranges round in a matter of weeks, and the media still doesn’t talk to midlife women about fashion, it takes an expert eye to help you to curate your look into something you’re happy with.

Enter Alyson Walsh, stylist and author of the brilliant ‘That’s Not My Age’. Sharing advice without ever preaching, this is a brilliant confidence-giving look at where and how to spend your clothing budget well.

Why you need to read it: a great outfit can make or break your day, win you work and leave you feeling that you can take on the world. Every woman should have the confidence to choose the clothes they love and that look great at every age.

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The Happiness Curve: Why Life Gets Better After Midlife

Is a midlife crisis really a crisis or more a natural life stage? That’s the question journalist Jonathan Rauch asked when he found himself depressed and facing questions about his existence.

Why you need to read it: his discovery was that we all exist on a happiness curve, which can rise after 50, provided the focus shifts from acquisition to compassion – and we could all do with some of that.

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Confessions of a Menopausal Woman: Everything you Want to Know but are Too Afraid to Ask

Written by my friend Andrea McClean, this is a brilliant, warts-and-all guide to the menopause.

Why you need to read it: it’s vital to continue to tackle the taboos around the menopause and ensure that if we face issues like depression, memory loss and health, we can advocate for ourselves in a society that doesn’t take this seriously enough.

I hope you might be inspired and get the chance to read one of these books; would love to know your thoughts. Maybe we could set up a virtual book club?

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