Fresh Starts: A Display for the New Year

Published Monday, January 23, 2023

Change isn't always as easy as turning a page. Sometimes change isn't even our choice but is forced upon us by unforeseen circumstances. Other times, we jump excitedly into new scenery on our own, ready for an adventure. Whatever the case may be, the arrival of a new calendar year often brings on reflection about beginning again, second chances, and do-overs. This month, we're highlighting fiction and nonfiction books dealing with "life changes" of all sorts. Read about some of the selections below, and find more at EPL on our Fresh Starts display!

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

When his most prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, is stolen, bookstore owner A.J. Fikry begins isolating himself from his friends, family, and associates before receiving a mysterious package that compels him to remake his life.

Check Availability
Set Boundaries, Find Peace : a Guide to Reclaiming Yourself
by Nedra Glover Tawwab

Presents simple yet powerful ways to establish healthy boundries in all aspects of life. Rooted in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), these techniques help us identify and express our needs clearly without apology -- and unravel a root problem behind codependency, power struggles, anxiety, depression, burnout, and more.

Check Availability
When We Were Birds
by Ayanna Lloyd Banwo

Yejide's mother is dying. She is leaving behind a legacy that now passes to Yejide: one St. Bernard woman in every generation must shepherd the city's souls into the afterlife. But Yejide is looking for a way out. Raised in the countryside by a devout Rastafarian mother, Darwin has always abided by the religious commandment not to interact with death. But when his ailing mother can no longer work and the only job he can find is grave digging, he must betray the life she built for him in order to provide for them both. Yejide and Darwin will meet inside the gates of Fidelis, Port Angeles's largest and oldest cemetery, where the dead lie uneasy in their graves and a reckoning with fate beckons them both.

Check Availability
It's About Damn Time: How to Turn Being Underestimated Into Your Greatest Advantage
by Arlan Hamilton

From a black, gay woman who broke into the boys' club of Silicon Valley comes a guide to finding your voice, working your way into any room you want to be in, and achieving your own dreams. Despite what society would have you believe, Hamilton argues, a privileged background, an influential network, and a fancy college degree are not prerequisites for success.

Check Availability
Life After Life
by Kate Atkinson

What if you could live again and again, until you got it right? On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a variety of ways, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war. Does Ursula's apparently infinite number of lives give her the power to save the world from its inevitable destiny? And if she can -- will she?

Check Availability
Less is Lost
by Andrew Sean Greer

Arthur Less, after the death of an old lover and a sudden financial crisis, sets out on a literary adventure across the United States, during which he must finally face his personal demons.

Check Availability
Beginners: the Joy and Transformative Power of Lifelong Learning
by Tom Vanderbilt

A thought-provoking, playful investigation into the transformative joys that come with starting something new, no matter your age.

Check Availability
Virgil Wander
by Leif Enger

Emerging from an accident with damaged memories and compromised language skills, Virgil Wander, a movie-house owner from a small Midwestern town, pieces together his story and the story of his community with help from affable locals.

Check Availability
About the Author

Kristen is a Youth Services Librarian and has been working at EPL since 2013. She is a wannabe gardener who loves movies, the night sky, and avoiding the claws of her cat. Her reading interests tend toward short stories, as well as novels that are a blend of eerie, insightful, and magical.