The best books for those seeking a restart in life

The Books I Picked & Why

Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life's Greatest Lesson

By Mitch Albom

Book cover of Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life's Greatest Lesson

Why this book?

If there is one book out there that I had to read over and over again, I would pick this one without a second thought. A life-changing book that everyone must read at least once in their life. A simple yet compelling story (based on the author’s experience) that is short yet long-lasting in terms of the effect it has on the reader.

Through this book, Morrie teaches you to appreciate your life, feel gratitude for all the little things and live life fully. He teaches you love, faith, acceptance, and laughter. But above all Morrie teaches you forgiveness. Not just forgiving others but forgiving oneself.

My favourite line from the book is, “The truth is, once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.”

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A Man Called Ove

By Fredrik Backman

Book cover of A Man Called Ove

Why this book?

It is a powerful story that starts slow, seems off-putting but eventually something odd happens between the pages. Ove, the protagonist who is constantly disappointed in everything around him, begins to grow on you. His odd charm captures your attention. He is a man shaped by a hard life that has left him bitter and untrusting. When the only bridge between him and other people, his wife, passes away, he decides to stop fighting. He no longer wants to live. Yet, his obsession with doing things the right way does not fade. Just like Ove’s neighbors, you start to feel an unexpected affection for the old man.

I read this book four years ago. Yet, it is one of the top five books on my list. Ove is a character that stays with you for a long time, perhaps forever. 

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Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

By Gail Honeyman

Book cover of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

Why this book?

This book connected with me on different levels. The monotonicity of Eleanor’s life is warm and soothing. Her way of coping with childhood trauma while appearing to be nonchalant is unique and tells a story on its own. I loved her inner monologue the most- deep, cranky, hilarious, and irresistible. Eleanor has a comment about everything she passes by which makes the repetitive sequence of days enlivening. Overall it is an endearing story that is part thriller, part self-reflection, and part romance.

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The Keeper of Lost Things

By Ruth Hogan

Book cover of The Keeper of Lost Things

Why this book?

If you like simple stories built around deep, complex characters, you will enjoy reading this story of an old man who not only collected but treasured ordinary things lost by people in a hope that someday someone would do the same to him and reunite him with his most treasured possession. There is love, there is pain, there is faith and hope. There are some loosely tied ends that make this story so different and special. The best part is the reader here is omniscient. We know the story behind many lost things – a button, a piece from a jigsaw puzzle, an umbrella – while the characters never learn of it even in the end. That leaves behind an unusual good feeling.

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The Four Winds

By Kristin Hannah

Book cover of The Four Winds

Why this book?

The Four Winds is one of the best works of the author so far. A rich story of the Great Depression and the people who lived through it. The story like many of her other popular books portrays the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity.

The story revolves around Elsa – an indomitable woman whose courage and sacrifice come to define a generation. It speaks of relationships, faith, family, and hope.

It is a heart-wrenching story that you will struggle to finish. The book is slightly thicker than usual, but it is the story that will bring up emotions you will have to let settle before continuing to read.

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