UNBROKEN by Lauren Hillenbrand, is the inspirational story of a courageous and resilient man, Louis Silvie Zamperini who, after flying a series of dangerous missions during World War II, spent over forty days stranded in the Pacific Ocean on a life raft with two of his buddies. They were scorched by the sun, buffeted by storms, and subsisted on a minuscule amount of food and water. Subsequently, Zamperini was captured and interned in a series of brutal Japanese POW camps where he was treated mercilessly by his sadistic captors. Miraculously, he emerged, battered and emaciated, but still alive. Little did he know that some of his biggest battles still lay ahead.
I was first introduced to Michel de Montaigne (1533 – 1592) about thirty years ago. I was in graduate school. I donâ€™t remember the class, nor the other required readings. But I remember Montaigne. I eventually dropped out of graduate school, but Montaigne stayed with me. It was, perhaps, and I honestly mean this, the most important contribution to my intellectual development from that period. If not the most important, certainly the most long-standing. In fact, when this book came to my attention, HOW TO LIVE, and I received the readerâ€™s advance copy, I happened to be reading Montaigne yet again, as I have done off and on since we were introduced.
WHERE MEN WIN GLORY, by Jon Krakauer, is a book about several things â€“ Pat Tillman, the NFL, the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. army and its role in Pat Tilmanâ€™s death, friendly fire during wars, and the history of our involvement in the Middle East. Each of these topics is covered in a wonderfully page-turning manner, with the reader not wanting to put the book down. At the same time, Krakauer provides a huge amount of information that may be new, surprising or downright horrific.