The best books for those seeking a restart in life

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an Indian writer and blogger. I post weekly on my lifestyle blog with a main focus on positivity, hope, and healing. Over the last five years of blogging, I have helped many readers find gratitude, solace, and joy in the little things that we often take for granted. When the pandemic broke out, I started writing posts under the blog category – Positivity during Lockdown. Readers loved this and wanted me to write more. In order to help better, I started reading books where characters looked for a fresh start at life. My second novel Gift of Life was born out of this. 

I wrote...

Gift of Life

By Ashwini Shenoy,

Book cover of Gift of Life

What is my book about?

Gift of Life is Shyamala’s story. A seventy-year-old woman living alone in the small coastal town of Perdur, she is simple and relatable. Yet there is something bold and impressive about the way she lives her life alone, refusing to depend on anyone.

Carrying the burden of a tragic past, Shyamala believes that the only way she can survive is to follow a routine that allows her to spend most of her time out of the house that is a constant reminder of the past. But what happens when the whole world is confronted by a challenge that halts normal life and Shyamala is confined to the house that screams of everything she has lost? Does she surrender to her fate, or does she fight back and rediscover herself?

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The books I picked & why

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

Ashwini Shenoy Why did I love 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.”

By Mitch Albom,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Tuesdays with Morrie as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


'Mitch Albom sees the magical in the ordinary' Cecelia Ahern

Maybe it was a grandparent, or a teacher or a colleague? Someone older, patient and wise, who understood you when you were young and searching, and gave you sound advice to help you make your way through it? For Mitch Albom, that person was Morrie Schwartz, his college professor from nearly twenty years ago.

Maybe, like Mitch, you lost track of this mentor as you made your way, and the insights faded. Wouldn't you like to…

Book cover of A Man Called Ove

Ashwini Shenoy Why did I love 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. 

By Fredrik Backman,

Why should I read it?

18 authors picked A Man Called Ove as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?



There is something about Ove.

At first sight, he is almost certainly the grumpiest man you will ever meet. He thinks himself surrounded by idiots - neighbours who can't reverse a trailer properly, joggers, shop assistants who talk in code, and the perpetrators of the vicious coup d'etat that ousted him as Chairman of the Residents' Association. He will persist in making his daily inspection rounds of the local streets.

But isn't it rare, these days, to find…

Book cover of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

Ashwini Shenoy Why did I love 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.

By Gail Honeyman,

Why should I read it?

24 authors picked Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


A Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick

"Beautifully written and incredibly funny, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is about the importance of friendship and human connection. I fell in love with Eleanor, an eccentric and regimented loner whose life beautifully unfolds after a chance encounter with a stranger; I think you will fall in love, too!" -Reese Witherspoon

No one's ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine.

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she's thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of…

Book cover of The Keeper of Lost Things

Ashwini Shenoy Why did I love 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.

By Ruth Hogan,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Keeper of Lost Things as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Full of character, wit, and wisdom, The Keeper of Lost Things is heartwarming tale that will enchant fans of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, Garden Spells, Mrs Queen Takes the Train, and The Silver Linings Playbook.

Lime green plastic flower-shaped hair bobbles—Found, on the playing field, Derrywood Park, 2nd September.

Bone china cup and saucer—Found, on a bench in Riveria Public Gardens, 31st October.

Anthony Peardew is the keeper of lost things. Forty years ago, he carelessly lost a keepsake from his beloved fiancée, Therese. That very same day, she died unexpectedly. Brokenhearted, Anthony sought consolation in rescuing lost…

Book cover of The Four Winds

Ashwini Shenoy Why did I love 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.

By Kristin Hannah,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Four Winds as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"The Bestselling Hardcover Novel of the Year."--Publishers Weekly

From the number-one bestselling author of The Nightingale and The Great Alone comes a powerful American epic about love and heroism and hope, set during the Great Depression, a time when the country was in crisis and at war with itself, when millions were out of work and even the land seemed to have turned against them.

“My land tells its story if you listen. The story of our family.”

Texas, 1921. A time of abundance. The Great War is over, the bounty of the land is plentiful, and America is on…

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The River of Eternity

By Bruce Balfour,

Book cover of The River of Eternity

Bruce Balfour

New book alert!

What is my book about?

1184 BCE. Ramesses III, who will become the last of the great pharaohs, is returning home from battle. He will one day assume the throne of the Egyptian empire, and the plots against him and his children have already started. Even a god can die.

Ray was raised with the teenage children of Ramesses as their friend, but his own mysterious past exposes him to threats inside and outside of the Egyptian court. When a prince is killed, Ray is framed for the murder and must run to protect Bull, the oldest son of Ramesses. So begins Ray’s dangerous journey from the snake pit of royal palace intrigue into a violent world of treachery and enemies that will take years to conquer if he can survive.

The River of Eternity

By Bruce Balfour,

What is this book about?

From the national bestselling author of The Forge of Mars and The Digital Dead, an Ancient Egyptian epic adventure thriller series, based on real events, for fans of Wilbur Smith, Steven Saylor, and Paul Doherty.

This is the first book of a series leading up to the event known as The Harem Conspiracy, the assassination of Pharaoh Ramesses III in New Kingdom Egypt (1184 BCE), which was led by members of his own family. Details were drawn from the first recorded judicial trial transcript ever recovered (Judicial Papyrus of Turin plus other fragments of the original papyrus).

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