Taking place in America’s Heartland, nestled in a quiet town along the Mississippi River, Gone Girl is anything but ordinary. This book vividly depicts a broken marriage spiraling out of control in the midst of a murder investigation. It is a captivating page-turner, with an ingenious way of presenting the story from two different perspectives. And while the reader may assume they have solved the mystery within the first one hundred pages; they will think again when they continue reading. Plot twists and unexpected discoveries along the way keep the reader engaged and guessing until the very last page. Gillian Flynn does not miss a beat in detailing this modern-day thriller with its utterly damaged yet disturbingly realistic protagonists, and I would definitely recommend this read.
I just finished my first read of 2013. I know, I know, it took me long enough, but let me just tell you: this book was worth every minute spent reading it. From cover to cover, Unbroken is riveting, shocking, and inspiring. Laura Hillenbrand presents the story (read: unbelievable facts) in a way that engages you and makes you feel as though you are bearing witness firsthand to the atrocities Louis Zamperini and his fellow allies endured. However, laced throughout the stories of absolute horror and tragedy, is an unwavering hope that Louie never lost sight of, and an ultimate peace that he found through Faith.
Pick this book up, seriously.
After an embarrassingly long time, I have finally finished Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers: The Story of Success. This book is just the right mix of intellectual stimulation and cultural relevance to keep any reader engaged and wanting more (even if it takes said reader months to finish it…what can I say? I have ADD when it comes to books, and most things in life, ha!).
In this book Gladwell argues that there is more to the story of success than just the modern day perception of good luck or innate ability. With examples of everyone from The Beatles to Bill Gates, he maintains that success has far more to do with timing, cultural identity, upbringing, and opportunity than it does actual ability. This counterintuitive argument challenges the reader to look at not only success but the culture and heritage from which they are from completely differently. From rice farmers of Southern China to New York law firms, KIPP students to hockey players, there is no individual or group that has seen success that Gladwell won’t challenge.
This book is a delightful read and whether you agree with him or not, Gladwell creates an opportunity to introspectively consider the opportunities that you have been given, the cultural in which you come from, the upbringing you received, and the way in which you use all of these factors to your advantage. Read it and be challenged to reconsider our culture’s perception of success.
Any recommendations for my next read?
Brian and I were in the car for a total of about 11 hours this weekend. While we do enjoy road trips, we’ve learned they are that much more enjoyable when we get a book on tape to pass the time (not to mention they often times spur on meaningful conversation). This weekend was no exception.
Brian bought No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden for our trip and it was a very worthwhile purchase in my mind.
This book is a first-hand account of the weeks and moments leading up to and implementing the operation that took down Bin Laden, as well as the aftermath of the raid. It gives extensive background in to the decade leading up to the mission, The War on Terror, and the daily life of a Navy SEAL; particularly those in SEAL Team Six who were responsible for arguably the single most famous operation of all time. The author, Mark Owen, articulates the sacrifice, endurance, courage, fortitude and determination it takes to be a SEAL with such poignancy and emotion that it is impossible to be anything but utterly Patriotic after reading his narrative of life in the military.
On the eve of the anniversary of 9-11, I have nothing but gratitude to offer towards the men and women who have sacrificed so much–their very lives–to ensure the freedoms that we have in the United States. God Bless our Military.