Books This Middle-Aged Woman Wants To Read

A short list…

Sarah Cottrell
3 min readSep 12


I reluctantly closed my monthly book club membership a few months ago. I loved seeing that bright blue box in the mail—but that whistleful hopefulness of the adventures I would encounter between the pages was always snuffed out when I realized that I’d chosen yet another box of stories about women half my age.

Where are all the books that show women aging without making us out to be crones (although, to be totally honest, I am loving my inner crone the louder she gets)? Why are older women characters always cast in the background? I know they exist, but where?

There must be an entire universe of stories for middle-aged women that I just haven’t found yet — . Can you recommend some books in the comments?

In no particular order, here are 10 of the stories that I want to read but cannot seem to find:

  1. Stories that normalize the perimenopause experience. I’m talking all the crazy symptoms, as anticipated, daily things for the main characters, and then show me how she handles them — with and without grace. I want the funny, messy, heartfelt…all of it.
  2. Stories about marriage that age and how unromantic and chaotic they can be without going to the extreme of abuse and gaslighting. I just want to see how a marriage grows old and how it can sometimes be filled with tenderness and regret. I can’t find books that reflect a seasoned marriage where the characters have two different worlds that does not also include some schism or threat to the marriage. Sometimes, people grow apart but stay together, and it works.
  3. Stories about children growing into adulthood and how that changes the relationship with the parents but from the mother’s perspective. What if the mother disliked her adult children? What if they’re best friends and the blurry lines of friend versus parent become a problem?
  4. Stories about women’s friendships growing old and maybe even breaking. What does the mending look like? What does breaking a friendship older than your children look like?
  5. Sexy, steamy, smutty stories that are fun for older women. Where is the witty banter and medium-paced romantic build of characters in their 40s?
  6. A transformational…



Sarah Cottrell

Writer + Editor | Slow Living + Science Nerd | Rep’d by Folio Lit | Follow my stories here: