Friday, January 28, 2011


I don't usually blog about books because I keep my reviews and book lists on Goodreads. But I finished a book this morning that I just had to share about.

I got a Barnes & Noble gift card for my birthday and this book had been the talk of the book world since it's release in November 2010, so I bought it. I'm a sucker for WWII non-fiction anyway, so I thought this was a good bet.

I read and enjoyed Hillenbrand's Seabiscuit, but I was totally unprepared for the power of Unbroken. Two nights I went to bed just after I put the kids down, just to inhale this book. I dreamed about it. I thought about it even when I wasn't reading it. I took it everywhere with me so when I was waiting for the kids or for appointments, I could sneak in a few pages. It is raw. It is painful. It is meticulously researched. It is unbelievable. It is heroic. I cried my way through the last pages and through the acknowledgements. If you buy a single book this year, make it this one.

And then let me know what you think about it.

"On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.
The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.
Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.
In her long-awaited new book, Laura Hillenbrand writes with the same rich and vivid narrative voice she displayed in Seabiscuit. Telling an unforgettable story of a man’s journey into extremity, Unbroken is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit."


Montserrat said...

Biographies are my favorites to read. This is definitely going on my list! Thanks for sharing.

The FOUR M's... said...

Awesome! I love war stories too, and after I read your post, I placed a hold on the book at my library, expecting to be the bazillionth in line for it, and I'm #1!!! Yay, me! I can't wait to read it. Thanks for recommending it!

Leenz said...

Thanks! I was looking for something awesome for that long flight to Hong Kong. You provide a resolution yet again!

Rosanne said...

Thanks for the suggestion - I'm totally going to get it! :)