Books for Mature Teens and Adults

Theme: New Year, New Opportunities

A Widow for One Year - (ISBN: 978-0812968576)

by John Irving

This epic novel has characters familiar to Irving fans. This particular tome follows a sister of the family as she makes a new career choice, matures, and falls in love late in life. Not for the faint of heart, this novel has many subplots, and contains serious, humorous, and sexual material. What other Irving books have you read?

Love in the Time of Cholera - (ISBN: 978-0307387141)

by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

A mythic love story, which begins during a memorable year, expands to include nearly all the years of the main character Fermino’s life. Although his loved one marries another, and he indulges in multiple affairs, he keeps coming back, at least in his mind, to the one he really loves, Florentino. Read this entrancing book to find out what happens after Florentino’s husband dies.

One Year to a Writing Life: Twelve Lessons to Deepen Every Writer’s Art and Craft - (ISBN: 978-1600940583)

by Susan Tiberghien

The twelve writing lessons here make for a fascinating read, even if you do not care to become the next novelist sensation. With great examples from the world’s most successful writers, the book offers tips to all kinds of writers, from novelists to essayists, from poets to biographers.

The Gap Year - (ISBN: 978-0307592798)

by Sarah Bird

In a family exploration that all parents and teens can relate to, this novel describes the year of a teen breaking away before she heads off to college. At the same time, you also get insight into what the experience is like for her mother. Shining, humorous, and insightful, in the book, we read the agony and the pride the mother feels, and the daughter’s elation at her new found freedom tinged with love for her home.

The Year of Living Dangerously - (ISBN: 978-0140065350)

by Christopher Koch

This book portrays one year in Indonesia at the time when anything could have happened during Sukarno’s reign. It is told from the perspective of a foreign journalist. The story comes to life in this vivid novel about a strange land. No less strange are the other outsiders on hand to witness an epic changeover; the relationships between the ex-patriots make for a compelling read. Compare this book to its famously successful movie version.

A Family Year Abroad: How to Live Outside the Borders - (ISBN: 978-0910707473 )

by Chris Westphal

A New Start - (ISBN: B004ZN56MA)

by Erin Hartshorn

Chronicle of a Death Foretold - (ISBN: 978-1400034710)

by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

My Year of Meats - (ISBN: 978-0140280463)

by Ruth Ozeki

True Notebooks: A Writer’s Year at Juvenile Hall - (ISBN: 978-0375727610)

by Mark Salzman

Activities for this Theme

Group your list of New Year’s resolutions into three sublists: one for things you are sure you can do, one for things you might do, and one for things that are just dreams.

In Chinese mythology, each year is associated with an animal.To find out what animal year you were born in, check out this site.

Watch the movie: The Year of Living Dangerously

Start keeping a diary to give to your present or future grandchildren, with your initial goal of just keeping it for one year.

Check out some traditional and some not-so-traditional New Year’s Day recipes.