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Some of the top literature on new beginnings

Some of the top literature on new beginnings


As the chilly winds of January arrive, it’s common to feel a bit overwhelmed. This time of year can be tough, as we try to just make it through each day and also tackle decluttering, detoxing, and organizing. If you’re feeling anxious about the new year, the books listed below may provide some guidance and inspiration, encouraging us to take things at our own pace. After all, there’s no rush to begin a new chapter.

1. My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell
“It was Larry, of course, who started it”, as young Gerry recalls. One day, the Durrell family are variously cursing their catarrh, their acne, and the endlessly grey English drizzle. The next, thanks to the urging of their imperious eldest brother Lawrence, they’ve sold up and are living in a strawberry-pink villa on the island of Corfu. Gorgeous prose and perfect comic timing make this autobiographical novel the ideal read, or re-read, for anyone who needs a vicarious getaway.

2. O Positive by Joe Dunthorne

This debut poetry collection is as vibrant and bold as its bright yellow cover. It delves into the topics of friendship, love, and taking chances. While there is cleverness present, the overall tone is intimate and secretive. Dunthorne invites the reader to join in on the jokes. The subjects covered range from a bizarre encounter with an airport security wand to a poem celebrating the joys of guinea pigs, as well as true crime and the beauty of the sun. This collection is bursting with potential.

3. Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
When it comes to fresh starts, the Victorian novel is pretty much a dead end. Morality and narrative convention dictate that any misdemeanour, however small, must inevitably come to light, causing a full-on snafu by chapter 17. That said, Braddon’s tightly paced tale of reinvention, retribution, and Manor House skulduggery – an 1862 bestseller – will make for a cracking start to your reading year.

“Important items and belongings belonging to Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, such as books, street fashion, and jewelry, are included in the collection curated by Leanne Shapton.”

Can we shift our focus from starting over to considering the marks we leave? This is the idea explored in Shapton’s captivating visual narrative about a couple in Manhattan who fall in and out of love. Presented as an auction catalog, the book documents the objects and memories accumulated during their time together, transforming insignificant items and abandoned lives into something remarkable and poignant. Remarkably clever, original, and unconventional in its structure.

Rewording: The book “Great Second Acts: In Praise of Older Women” written by Marlene Wagman-Geller.

In a society that values youthfulness, it is uplifting to come across a book that honors accomplishments later in life. Wagman-Geller’s extensive compilation of short biographies recognizes women who embark on remarkable endeavors later in their years. From Maggie Kuhn’s transition from retirement to political activism at the White House as a member of the “Gray Panthers”, to the emergence of Anna Mary Robertson Moses as an artist at the age of 70 under the moniker “Grandma Moses”, this book serves as a testament that it is never too late to view oneself as full of potential.

Source: theguardian.com