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A New Dawn, A New Day

Time keeps moving. It walks, jogs and sprints, always away from us, often to our dismay. The moments that remain are not the “I wish time moved faster” moments but the “I wish we had more time” moments. Time is bittersweet and the things we’ve done and wished we did weigh upon us, piling into strangely scented nostalgia. There is hope in time- the hope of new beginnings, of fresh starts and fresh ends. Here are some books that reflect this sentiment, and show us time as it is lived and treasured. 

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry 

‘The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry’ by Gabrielle Zevin follows an old bookstore owner whose life changes when an unexpected package arrives at his store. The book contains various stories in it, each chapter begins with A.J. Fikry narrating the story of another– existing– piece of literature, from Roald Dahl to F. Scott Fitzgerald. The book is about second chances, life experiences, and the unconditional love for books.

The Alchemist

‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho, originally a Portuguese novel, follows a young shepherd who embarks on a journey to find a hidden treasure near the Egyptian pyramids. His recurring dreams of the treasure lead him to meet various people along the way, including an Englishman studying to be an alchemist and an Arabian woman who lives in an oasis in the middle of a desert. The book reflects on the idea of life as a journey, lived in the pursuit of dreams. 

The Inheritance of Loss 

‘The Inheritance of Loss’ by Kiran Desai takes place at the foothills of Mount Kanchenjunga, and in the United States, following various timelines that look at the passage of time in terms of the formation of identity, through history and socio-political context. It features Sai- an orphan living in Darjeeling; her grandfather- a judge; Gyan- a Nepali insurgency leader; and Biju- an illegal immigrant. Each character battles with external change and its impact on their life experiences. 

Each of these novels are, at their core, about life, as it is lived and changed by people.


  • Coelho, Paulo. 2005. The Alchemist. N.p.: HarperCollins Publishers India

  • Desai, Kiran. 2006. The Inheritance of Loss. N.p.: Hamish Hamilton.

  • Zevin, Gabrielle. 2015. The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry: By the Sunday Times Bestselling Author of Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow. N.p.: Little, Brown Book Group Limited.

(Cover Image: 'New Day' by Maureen Dean. accessed on 24 February )

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