Off the Shelves – February 1


The following items are available at the Hancock County Public Library, 900 W. McKenzie Road. For more information on the library’s collection or to reserve a title, visit

Adult Fiction

“Life After Life,” by Kate Atkinson

“What if you could live again and again, until you got it right? On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a variety of ways, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war. Does Ursula’s apparently infinite number of lives give her the power to save the world from its inevitable destiny? And if she can — will she?

Adult Nonfiction

“Light the Dark: Writers on Creativity, Inspiration, and the Artistic Process,” edited by Joe Fassler

What inspires you? That’s the simple question posed to 46 renowned authors in “Light the Dark.” Writers begins with a favorite passage from a novel, a song, a poem —something that gets them started and keeps them going with the creative work they love. From there, lessons and stories of life-changing encounters with art emerge, like how sneaking books into his job as a night security guard helped Khaled Hosseini learn that nothing he creates will ever be truly finished; or how a college reading assignment taught Junot Díaz that great art can be a healing conversation. “Light the Dark” collects the best of “Atlantic” monthly magazine’s much-acclaimed “By Heart” series edited by Joe Fassler and adds brand new pieces. Here is a guide to creative living and writing in the vein of “Daily Rituals,” “Bird by Bird,” “Draft No. 4,” and “Big Magic” for anyone who wants to learn how great writers find inspiration — or to find some of your own. Contributing authors include: Junot Díaz, Marilynne Robinson, Michael Chabon, Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Jonathan Franzen, Khaled Hosseini, Jane Smiley and Mark Haddon.