Reading List: Present Over Perfect

UPDATED: July 24, 2016
PUBLISHED: July 24, 2016
The gist of Shauna Niequist’s message could be written on the back of a matchbook: Love yourself. If you aren’t going to truly love yourself, then how will you live? That’s what the rest of the book is about. Writing in the calming tones of a smart and kind older sister, she avoids the sentimentality that could easily ruin such a message.

Instead Niequist draws on a wide range of literary and cultural sources to buttress her lessons, from poet Mary Oliver to rock group Florence + the Machine, Shakespeare, Rumi, the Indigo Girls and the Bible. None is more relevant than the quote she attributes to F. Scott Fitzgerald: “I hope you live the life you are proud of. If you find that you are not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.”

Related: If You’re Not Happy, You’re Not Successful—So Enjoy the Journey!

Present Over Perfect
By Shauna Niequist
August; Zondervan; $23


This article originally appeared in the August 2016 issue of SUCCESS magazine.

Chauncey Mabe is a freelance writer, book critic, and blogger in Miami, Fla. For 23 years he served as Book Editor and Senior Entertainment Writer at the Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale. He was Book Blogger for the Florida Center for the Literary Arts, the parent organization of Miami Book Fair International, from 2009 to 2012. He also blogs for the Betsy Hotel South Beach hotel, which sponsors literary events year round. His reviews and feature stories have appeared in publications such as the Toronto Globe & Mail, the Serving House Journal, Inspicio, the Palm Beach Arts Paper, the Baltimore Sun, the Juneau Empire, and the Chicago Tribune.