The midlife crisis book inhabits a behemoth literary genre. It spans the feel-good fantasy of Eat, Pray, Love; the survival of "ordinary disasters" and meditation on mortality that is Martin Amis' Experience; and the chintz-patterned glasses through which Anna Quindlen envisions the padded retreat into her prime real estate-ensconced years. But as my 50th birthday approached, none of these titles were cutting through my mid-life malaise. Urgency drove me to these three essential reads, which are now as indispensable as my hormone replacement therapy.
Actress and writer Annabelle Gurwitch is the author of I See You Made An Effort: Compliments, Indignities, and Survival Stories From the Edge of 50.