7 books to inspire fresh starts
A new year might call for a new you, but it also calls for a new book to read! Here's a selection of stories about fresh starts and new beginnings, in all their different forms
Everyone always promises themselves that this is the year they'll get fit, but if you read this book, you might just find you're inspired to do it once and for all. Alexandra's first attempt at running ended badly. But, after finding she runs with her head as much as her body, six years later she'd completed six marathons. This is a book for anyone who loves reading about relationships, ambition, and self-love. Because it's not just a book about running. It's for anyone who wants to break the mould, make a change, wants to seriously start training or just feel better when they run for the bus in the mornings. Liberating and life-affirming (and rib-achingly funny), it's the book to kickstart your motivation this year, and maybe even give you a desire to lace up your running shoes.
The people of Japan believe that everyone has an ikigai – a reason to jump out of bed each morning. And, unsurprisingly, finding that reason is the key to a long, happy, fulfilling life. This beautiful little book is your own mini guide to finding your own ikigai, and will inspire you to pursue it no matter what. Maybe it's painting. Maybe it's cooking. Maybe it's taking care of that one special someone. Whatever it is, this warm, patient, reassuring book breaks everything down into achievable and believable steps so that you really can be on the path to pursuing more joy in your everyday life.
Fresh starts can come in all shapes and sizes, and for Rachel it means a 'holiday' (read: trip to a rehab facility) enforced by her parents. Taken from her life in New York and made to confront a drug problem that she insits she doesn't have, Rachel has the ultimate chance to make a change. While we may not all be familiar with the exact nature of Rachel's predicament, we can certainly identify with her denial about her own bad habits! Marian Keyes takes this serious topic and injects it with her trademark humour and wit, making it a fun and heartwarming read for the New Year.
Tilly is desparate for a new start, and seeks one out by moving to a quaint new town and taking out an allotment on Ivy Lane for some fresh air to match. The locals are far from reserved however, and they soon start to pull Tilly out of her shell, making her confront her past and gain a host of new experiences, friends and family in the meantime. Perfect for fans of Carole Matthews, Trisha Ashley and Katie Fforde, Ivy Lane is sure to warm your heart and put a smile on your face as you head into a new year.
Rowan Coleman's story about fresh starts and learning to move on from your past while keeping it in your heart is wise and beautifully told. Since the death of her husband, Ellie has retreated into the pages of the romantic 'Happy Ever Afters' that she spends her days editing, but when financial woes force her to accept some lodgers into her house, she soon begins to learn that she can find life (and even love) outside the pages of her beloved books.
If you're in the mood for a story about a fresh start with a darker side, then you're going to love Here and Gone. When Audra finally gets the courage to leave her abusive husband with her two children, she thinks that the pain of her past is finally behind her. But as she makes her getaway, keeping to deserted country roads to avoid detection, she notices a car following her. Soon her escape turns into a nightmare, with a breathless race to find the truth at the centre of this spine-tingling thriller.
If you want a story about turning over a new leaf, but still love something with a darker edge, look no further than Good Me Bad Me, the sensational debut from Ali Land. Annie's mother is a serial killer. The only way she can stop her is to hand her into the police. Later, Annie is given a new foster family, a new name - Milly - and a brand new start. She knows it's finally her chance to be the person she wants to be. But is it really that simple? And isn't it true what they say - that blood is thicker than water? Disturbing, brilliantly written and a book that'll have you holding your breath, it's psychological suspense at its most gripping.