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The Story Behind The Stories We Tell

by Magnolia
Published on February 1, 2023

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. For Jo, this school photo from 1984 reminded her to reclaim and delight in her own story—the good, the tough, and the things that are still a work in progress. But more than anything, this journey of looking back brought an overwhelming sense of joy and gratitude. Those reflections became a New York Times bestselling book (which you can buy here) called The Stories We Tell.

In this space, we have gathered everything you need to dive into how the book came together.

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A Look into the Writing Process

So, what inspired Jo to write a book about reclaiming her story?

In her own words:

Earlier this year, I started to sense this desire to catch my breath and look closely at my life. I found myself jotting down memories and stories from my past, journaling about things I was still, years later, working through. Things had gotten blurry. I’d gotten blurry. My 44th birthday was just around the corner, and I was realizing that it meant I was nearly halfway through this life of mine.

As Jo worked on the book, she returned back to some of the places that helped give shape to who she had become. From New York City to the suburbs of Kansas, she found pieces of her story that she wanted to find delight in. To capture all her ideas, Jo used voice notes on her phone along with journal entries to help bring the chapters to life.

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A Night at The Silos

On launch day, Chip and Jo took the stage during our annual Silobration to dive deeper into the themes that had been woven throughout the book. The result was a lively conversation about the journey they have been on for all of these years. Jo talks about motherhood, holding onto what matters most, and learning how to let some things go.

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The Podcast

In this four episode podcast, . Chip and Jo take the podcast mic for the very first time to dig deeper into the questions that surfaced throughout the book In each episode, they sit down with different family members with the finale capturing a beautiful, powerful conversation with Jo’s mom. You don’t want to miss it!

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What Readers Are Saying

Here's a look at how the book is helping readers see their story from a renewed point of view:

Book Discussion Guide

We put together a set of questions so that you and your book club can discuss the ideas in The Stories We Tell. Our hope is that you leave plenty of space for your own stories to be shared, savored, and celebrated. So fill your cup and find a cozy spot. We can’t wait to hear the stories you tell.

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