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Chapter 5 - New Beginnings

The only thing better than the start of September and a new school year is the actual start of a New Year. I had such goals planned for 2020 but virus got in the way and travel, store expansion (via online sales), house renovations, and even reading more books were goals shelved in 2020. In reality, I traveled cautiously, we had new siding put on, and I did read a lot of books last year. But I found my energy really fading by mid-year and almost completely gone by fall.

So with this new year I am hopeful. Hopeful we can make some changes for the store, hopeful to do a little more traveling, and hopeful to do more home renovations, as well as read more books. The books I have found extremely helpful this past year and even into 2021 are ones where there are about new or fresh starts. The following books are at the top of my list for starting over into a new or different life. You will note - non of them are nonfiction - fantasy is what is required right now!

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig - I mentioned this book in our Bookends January newsletter but I really feel I should share it here. Nora is tired and filled with regrets for her life. On the same day as her cat dies, she gets fired from her job. She decides that alcohol and pills may be the answer and they may have been except she gets stuck between life and death in the Midnight Library. Not only does she find her book of regrets but she gets a chance to live any of the lives she might have chosen to see if they fit better.

Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman - Britt-Marie was a minor character in Backman's My Grandmother Said to Tell You She's Sorry. In this story she comes into her own after she leaves her cheating husband and takes a job as a recreational center caretaker. At first, the backwater town of Borg is so dreary but soon Britt-Marie makes it her own as she becomes the coach of the youth soccer team.

Evvie Drake Starts Over by Lynda Holmes - Evvie's husband dies quite suddenly and she finds herself lost. Lost because after many years of marriage she doesn't know who she is and lost, because she can't tell people what her upstanding doctor husband was really like. A washed up baseball player, who becomes her boarder, is have similar self-identity problems. Is there really such a thing as starting over?

Elinor Oliphant is Fine by Gale Honeycutt - Elinor is a social misfit with a traumatic past. She sees a singer in a nightclub and knows that they are supposed to be together. As Elinor pursues this relationship, she finds out about herself and others with the help of her best friend.

The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley - A stray notebook left in a cafe' and a message inside lamenting that people are not really authentic so "write your true story and pass it on" is the trigger for changes in the lives of people who come across it. The original author, an artist passed his prime, leaves the notebook not knowing or even thinking about the upheaval it might cause.

Do you have a favorite book about starting over? Please share it!


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