Looking to Turn Over a New Leaf? Try These 15 Books About Starting Over
There are points in nearly all of our lives where we wish we could get a do-over. While we can't necessarily undo every mistake we've ever made, we can certainly bask in the possibility of a fresh start — or, you know, at least read about other people who do it. If you're looking for an enticing do-over read (or are looking for the perfect gift for your bookworm friend), we've got you covered with some of the best books about starting over. Whether you're more of a fiction person who loves to get lost in a story or a nonfiction person who's looking for a little life inspiration, you're sure to find your next great read in this list.
The Vineyards of Champagne
Written by Juliet Blackwell, The Vineyards of Champagne takes place in two time frames. The first period is World War I, where women and children are bunkered in the caves of Champagne, France, and risking their lives to harvest grapes amid the warfare. The second period is present day, in which a recently widowed young woman, Rosalyn, explores the caves of Champagne, unknowingly stumbling upon the key that may just help her restart her life and move forward.
The Middle Finger Project: Trash Your Imposter Syndrome and Live the Unf*ckwithable Life You Deserve
One of the biggest hinderances that plagues modern-day women is imposter syndrome — the idea that you aren't qualified or "good enough" for your job, life, etc. Ash Ambirge has a simple message for this notion — a one-finger message, to be exact. The Middle Finger Project is part anecdotal, part self-help, but mostly a great read for anyone who wants to move past their imposter syndrome and live their most fulfilling life.
Made Out of Stars
Sometimes we need a little push to initiate a fresh start, and this journal definitely does the trick. Meera Lee Patel's Made Out of Stars provides prompts, inspirational quotes, and gorgeous illustrations to inspire your dreams and help you plot out your very own fresh start.
Raised from nearly nothing, Christa and her identical twin, Cara, share an incredibly deep bond — one that holds as the two become successful young adults. However, Cara's life takes a turn for the worse, which ends in her shocking death. Christa now must navigate a world without her other half, all while fighting falling down a spiral of her own. Penned by Christa Parravani, Her tells a mesmerizing story of sisterhood, identity, and how to learn to live again when you lose the most important person in your life.
Life After Life
Ursula Todd is born in 1910, but only gets to take one breath before dying — one breath in this lifetime, that is. Born again that night, Ursula will die and live many lives over again and again. Life After Life, written by Kate Atkinson, gives an alluring glimpse into the idea of endless second chances and the mysticism of being born over again.
After her mother is imprisoned for murder, teenager Astrid is thrown into the Los Angeles foster-care system — each home having its own universe, laws, and lessons to be learned. From author Janet Fitch, White Oleander gives a gritty and profound glimpse into growth, self-exploration, and self-discovery.
The Quarter-Life Break-Through
Imagine you have an amazing, well-paying, prestigious job . . . but it makes you absolutely miserable. Your initial thought may be to find one that makes you happy, but as any 20-something knows, it's never that simple. Adam Smiley Poswolsky, nevertheless, takes a leap of faith and embarks on this exact scenario, and with The Quarter-Life Break-Through, you can learn how to do it, too.
Where the Crawdads Sing
Kya Clark lives in a small, coastal North Carolina town, and is more commonly known as "Marsh Girl" because she has lived alone in the marsh for years. When someone is murdered, authorities immediately blame Kya; however, no one really knows anything about Kya, and the lessons she has learned in her years living alone. By Delia Owens, Where the Crawdads Sing tells a classic coming-of-age story of a young girl who is trying to come into her own, start a new life, and love and be loved.
Good Me Bad Me
Milly's mother is a serial killer, and Milly makes the decision to turn her over to the police. After her mother's arrest, Milly gets a fresh start — a new foster family, and most importantly, a new identity. However, as her mother's trial looms closer, Milly wonders how much nurture plays a role in one's goodness, or how much nature may play a role in making her just as bad as her mother. Written by Ali Land, Good Me Bad Me is a great option for those who love a fresh start with a dark, thrilling twist.
Emily lives a happy, music-filled life with her long-term boyfriend in Paris. However, one shocking event turns her whole world upside down, and Emily must come to terms with learning how to love again. Penned by Anstey Harris, Goodbye, Paris is a must-read for the hopeless romantics and those who love a feel-good novel.
This Too Shall Pass
This Too Shall Pass tells the story of Blanca, a 40-year-old woman who loses one of the most important people in her life: her mother. Shaken by the unexpected death, Blanca decides to leave Barcelona and spend the summer in a coastal town, surrounded by her best friends, sons, and others who love her the most. The novel, written by Milena Busquets, reminds us that even in our darkest hours, there are opportunities to move forward with those whom we love the most.
Queer Eye: Love Yourself. Love Your Life.
If you can't get enough of the Fab Five on TV, why not enjoy them in book form, too? Queer Eye: Love Yourself. Love Your Life. delves deeper into behind-the-scenes secrets from the show, as well as practical advice to revamp your life. With little touches from each of the Fab Five — Karamo Brown, Antoni Porowski, Tan France, Jonathan Van Ness, and Bobby Berk — this book serves as a happy reminder that it's never too late to start living a life that you love.
Patsy is a successful young professor who seemingly has it all — including a problem with alcohol. When she wakes up in jail to find out that she killed four people while drunk driving, Patsy's life suddenly becomes one that revolves around sobering up and trying to find a new way of life. However, decades later, new information turns up that flips Patsy's world upside down yet again, forcing her to once more reconsider everything she thought she knew about herself and her life. Written by Michelle Huneven, Blame is a twisty thriller that takes a dark spin on the notion of starting over.
Their Eyes Were Watching God
Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God is one of the most powerful and poignant American novels to date. Janie Crawford reflects on her life through love, marriage, desire, loss, and, most importantly, self-realization in this engrossing novel about starting over and loving yourself each and every time.
Authors Héctor García and Francesc Miralles interviewed the residents of a Japanese village with the highest percentage of 100-year-olds to gain context for Ikigai. In its simplest definition, ikigai means "a reason for living." The word holds great value to many folks in Japan — and now the secret is yours to behold, too. It's never too late to find your ikigai and embrace a life geared towards fulfillment and happiness!