Survival Lessons by Alice Hoffman


Survival Lessons provides a road map of how to reclaim your life from this day forward, with ways to reenvision everything – from relationships with friends and family to the way you see yourself. As Alice Hoffman says, “In many ways I wrote Survival Lessons to remind myself of the beauty of life, something that’s all too easy to overlook during the crisis of illness or loss. I forgot that our lives are made up of equal parts of sorrow and joy, and that it is impossible to have one without the other. I wrote to remind myself that despite everything that was happening to me, there were still choices I could make.” Wise, gentle, and wry, Alice Hoffman teaches all of us how to choose what matters most.”

-Synopsis from inside front cover

Cover of Survival Lessons by Alice Hoffman
Cover image from StoryGraph


Survival Lessons is a book that you won’t know you needed until you start reading it. I think we can all use small reminders to pause and appreciate the beauty in the world and in our own lives no matter how small those things may seem. Alice Hoffman encourages the reader seek out those experiences, from making a point to spend time with friends, to relishing good food and travel.

I love Alice Hoffman’s writing style and was happy to see that it translated so seamlessly from fiction to nonfiction. There are so many wonderful quotes packed into this under-one-hundred-page book.

On planning for the future, her advice begins…

“Write your troubles on a slip of paper and burn it. Now make a list of what you want to do next year.”

from Survival Lessons by Alice Hoffman

Some of the other lessons in this book include how to give in to yourself and not waste time, to choose your heroes, to enjoy yourself, and how to spend your time.

I think this book would be meaningful to those experiencing a loss or particularly troubling time in their life, but it was just as meaningful for me to read and I know that I will remember these words of advice. I am planning to buy a physical copy of this book to keep in my personal library.

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