#FridayReads – What Now by Ann Patchett


I love little books. I’m definitely one who will skip over War and Peace and look for the smaller writings found in the nooks and crannies on a library shelf. Such is the case with What Now? by Ann Patchett.

I’ve never heard of Ann Patchett. If I had, I would tell you her writing is exquisite and rich with descriptors which you could hang onto for a suspended amount of time. Nope, I simply picked up her book due to the size of the paperback.

What Now? is based on a commencement address at Sarah Lawrence College which Ann Patchett also attended a young girl. She describes not only her life as a young person not knowing where she was going but as a professional novelist who is still trying to figure it all out. Poetic and candid, you leave the writing flush from her ability to see into your soul, maybe even one you’ve tried to hide from others. She talks about life, living, and love.


It’s up to you to choose a life that will keep expanding. (Tweet it out!)

How many times in our lives do we wonder, “Am I doing this right?” and when you find out someone else is saying the EXACT SAME THING you realize life is merely a journey of educated guesses. I know I feel better when someone else pushes the wrong button on Uber and has a limousine pull up or their Christmas lights only half light up because they didn’t check them beforehand. You were given a life to live it.


If you’re lucky, putting together your life is a process that will last through every single day you’re alive. (Tweet it out!)

The very act of living is hard; existing is quite simple. Living requires time and commitment. Many of us think we can’t live every single day so we cheapen our experience with existing. We make the decision to not talk to people at the airport because you don’t want to be burdened with someone else’s story. We keep to ourselves at the park with our kids because we don’t have time to get involved with another person or their family.

Before you even say it – no, smartphones and social media are not living! Remember, they both have an OFF switch.


You are, everyone one of you, someone’s unfolding story. (Tweet it out!

I could barely read that sentence. I was on a plane from Dallas to St. Louis and as I came to these words on page 80 of the book, my mind immediately went to my children and grandchildren who are my favorite unfolding stories; I became teary-eyed with love.

Justin, Farah, and Jenna are my beautiful children. Jace, Carter, Roya, and Avery are my adorable grandchildren. My mind and heart yearn for the chapters of their stories to be written so I can follow along, each story as unique to them as their fingerprints on the french doors in my kitchen!

ACTIONABLE EDUCATION: Of course you should read this, it took me less than an hour. But do not simply follow your eyes over the sentences, but let the writing wash over you for a bit and you’ll remember being young, you’ll remember when life was a long road in front of you, and you’ll remember you have much to still do. Enjoy!

Be bigger, better, and more BIONIC today!

Sheryl Brown | @BIONICsocialite


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