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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A Life Lived Fully – Biographies and Memoirs that Move



New Year’s resolutions come and New Year’s resolutions go. This is so widely accepted that January 17 is national Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day. So this year, I’m hoping to get a little extra motivation by reading the stories of people who have faced overwhelming challenges with courage, creativity and hope. In the words of the Nobel Prize winner and anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela, “There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” Who knows where inspiration may lead you?

The following inspirational biographies and memoirs are on my reading resolution list. Have a book that inspires you? Let us know in the comments!

March 1 by John Lewis - Inspired by the 1958 comic book “Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story," Congressman John Lewis’s first installment of a graphic novel trilogy details his lifelong history of participation in the civil and human rights movements.

The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism by Naoki Higashida, translated by KA Yoshida and David Mitchell - A thirteen-year old Japanese boy with autism offers his insights into autistic behaviors and his perceptions of the world in this memoir.
Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope by William Kamkwamba - In drought-stricken Malawi, a young boy reads about windmills and dreams of bringing electricity and running water to his impoverished village. Despite ridicule from his neighbors and lack of access to materials, Kamkwamba perseveres with his plan.

Conversations with Myself by Nelson Mandela - This collection of diary entries, letters from prison and recorded reminiscences with former fellow prisoners illuminates the life, struggles and personal love and sacrifices of the iconic South African statesmen and activist.

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand - This riveting account of a 1936 Olympic athlete and World War II prisoner of war survivor is notable not just for Louis Zamperini’s great endurance but for his courage and generosity of heart.

- Rebecca A. Wolff, Centreville Regional Library

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