Ready for 2021? These stories about starting over will bring you inspiration as we journey into the new year.
Up for Renewal: What Magazines Taught Me About Love, Sex and Starting Over by Cathy Alter
By age thirty-seven, Cathy Alter had made a mess of her life. With a failed marriage already under her belt, she was continuing down the path of poor decisions, one paved with a steady stream of junk food, unpaid bills, questionable friends, and highly inappropriate men. So Cathy gave over her life to the glossies for the next twelve months, resolving to follow their advice without question.
Across Many Mountains by Yangzom Brauen
Kusang never thought she would leave Tibet. But then the Chinese army invaded, and their peaceful lives were destroyed forever. Kusang’s granddaughter, Yangzom, born in safety in Switzerland, has written the story of her inspirational mother and grandmother’s fight for survival.
It’s Never too Late to Begin Again: discovering creativity and meaning at midlife and beyond by Julia Cameron with Emma Lively
When someone retires, the newfound freedom can be quite exciting, but also daunting. Cameron shows readers how cultivating their creative selves can help them navigate this new terrain. She tells the inspiring stories of retirees who discovered new artistic pursuits and passions that more than filled their days—they nurtured their souls.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy, yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found. Along the way his quest teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path, and, above all, following our dreams.
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
From one of America’s iconic writers, a stunning book of electric honesty and passion. Joan Didion explores an intensely personal yet universal experience: a portrait of a marriage–and a life, in good times and bad–that will speak to anyone who has ever loved a husband or wife or child.
Untamed by Glennon Doyle
Soulful and uproarious, forceful and tender, Untamed is both an intimate memoir and a galvanizing wake-up call. It is the story of how one woman learned that a responsible mother is not one who slowly dies for her children, but one who shows them how to fully live. It is the story of navigating divorce, forming a new blended family, and discovering that the brokenness or wholeness of a family depends not on its structure but on each member’s ability to bring her full self to the table.
What is the What by Dave Eggers
What Is the What is the epic novel based on the life of Valentino Achak Deng who, along with thousands of other children —the so-called Lost Boys—was forced to leave his village in Sudan at the age of seven and trek hundreds of miles by foot, pursued by militias, government bombers, and wild animals, crossing the deserts of three countries to find freedom.
Extra Virgin by Annie Hawes
A small stone house deep among the olive groves of Liguria, going for the price of a dodgy second-hand car. Annie Hawes and her sister, on the spot by chance, have no plans whatsoever to move to the Italian Riviera but find naturally that it’s an offer they can’t refuse.
Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes
In small town Maine, Evvie Drake is picking up the pieces after the death of her husband. Dean Tenney rolls into town to get out of the spotlight and figure out what’s next for a major leaguer who’s got the yips.
Fifty Acres and a Poodle: a story of love, livestock and finding myself on a farm by Jeanne Marie Laskas
Jeanne Marie Laskas had a dream of fleeing her otherwise happy urban life for fresh air and open space — a dream she would discover was about something more than that. But she never expected her fantasy to come true — until a summer afternoon’s drive in the country.
Present over Perfect: leaving behind frantic for a simpler, more soulful way of living by Shauna Niequist
“A few years ago, I found myself exhausted and isolated, my soul and body sick. I was tired of being tired, burned out on busy. And, it seemed almost everyone I talked with was in the same boat: longing for connection, meaning, depth, but settling for busy. But over the course of the last few years, I’ve learned a way to live, marked by grace, love, rest, and play. And it’s changing everything.”
Her by Christa Parravani
A blazingly passionate memoir of identity and love: when a charismatic and troubled young woman dies tragically, her identical twin must struggle to survive.
Starting Over by Robin Pilcher
Liz Dewhurst is devastated when she discovers that her husband Gregor is having an affair. After years of security every day feels like a struggle for survival. But things soon begin to change when Liz’s son suggests renting out a room to bring in some extra income.
When I was Puerto Rican by Esmeralda Santiagoh
Esmeralda Santiago’s story begins in rural Puerto Rico, where her childhood was full of both tenderness and domestic strife, tropical sounds and sights as well as poverty. As she enters school we see the clash, both hilarious and fierce, of Puerto Rican and Yankee culture.
One Month to Live: Thirty Days to a No-regrets Life by Kerry and Chris Shook
What if you learned you had just one month to live? Without a doubt, you’d stop living on autopilot and determine to make the most of every moment. You don’t have any time to waste. Why wait to answer the longings of your heart?
Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks
In a small North Carolina town, a mysterious and beautiful woman running from her past slowly falls for a kind-hearted store owner . . . until dark secrets begin to threaten her new life.
Dear Fang with Love by Rufi Thorpe
After a frightening psychotic break at a high-school party in California, Vera has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Suddenly, she and her family are plunged into the absurdity and banality of the mental health system.
Ladder of Years by Anne Tyler
Married with three almost-grown children, Delia Grinstead has vanished without trace or reason. But for Delia, walking away from it all is an impulse that will lead her into a new, exciting, and unimagined life.
Beyond the Sky and the Earth: A Journey into Bhutan by Jamie Zeppa
Jamie Zeppa was 24 when she left a stagnant life at home and signed a contract to teach for two years in the Buddhist hermit kingdom of Bhutan. Much more than just a travel memoir, Beyond the Sky and the Earth is the story of her time in a Himalayan village, immersed in Bhutanese culture and the wonders of new and lasting love.
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. His wife has died; his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history; and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. Slowly but surely, he is isolating himself from all the people of Alice Island.