Thursday, June 28, 2012
Two to Add to Your List...
New York Times Bestseller Still Alice by Lisa Genova is the compelling story of 50 year old University professor Alice Howland who is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's. What a read! Gripping. Haunting. Full of emotion. Poignant. ALL of the above. At times hard to read, but mostly hard to put down, the story of Alice's descent into the early stages of this insidious disease is frightening, especially for those of us who occasionally feel we are having the odd "senior moment". I'm sure everyone who has read this book has had the same thoughts as I- "Please God, spare me from Alzheimer's." I laughed, I cried, I felt like I was really inside Alice's mind at times... I identified with her children as they learned to cope with her dementia, and their worry over whether they too would eventually have the same fate. I also identified with her husband John as he struggled with the changes this disease brought to their lives. There but for the grace of God....
Still Alice is Genova's first novel, and her second book, Left Neglected, is also a New York Times Bestseller. I can't wait for her third book, Love Anthony, due out in September. Genova holds a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Harvard and is an online columnist for the National Alzheimer's Association.
I highly recommend this book- add it to your "Must Read" list today.
And while the pen is in your hand, add this one too- Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand. OMG! What a book!! I read it over just a few days- it was very difficult to put down. It is the rivetting story of Louie Zamperini, Olympic athlete (Berlin 1932) and WWII bombardier, who survives a crash into the Pacific and over 45 days in a life raft, only to end up in the hands of the Japanese. What he endured in the next two and a half years as a prisoner of war is almost unimaginable. It is truly a story of "resilience of the human mind, body and spirit" (quoted from laurahillenbrandbooks.com).
The stubbornness and determination that grew within Louie as a child as he was bullied, served him well as a POW. "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." (ibid)
Unbroken was many weeks in the number one spot on the New York Times Bestseller list and was named Number One Book of the Year for 2010 by Time Magazine, as well as a host of other awards. Zamperini, aged 95, currently lives in Hollywood California and still works as a motivational speaker. For his 81st birthday in 1998, he ran a leg of the Olympic torch relay for the Nagano Winter Olympics. He was on Jay Leno just a few weeks ago...To say Louie Zamperini is inspirational is an understatement... I think every History student should be required to read Unbroken.
I have to say, Unbroken makes my Top Ten Favourite Books of All Time list.. hands down... Read it. You won't be sorry. Nor will you complain about anything for a good long time...
Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another. The race is not always to the swift--but to those who keep on running.