[This is Day 11 of #Booktober! Stay tuned for more recommendations!]
What It Is: A biography of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic distance runner who is shot down while flying missions in the Pacific theater of World War II and survives 6 weeks adrift at sea only to be captured and held as a POW by the Japanese.
Why You Should Read It: Biographies can be powerful things when they avoid hagiography and give us insight into people as they truly are. In Unbroken, Hillenbrand shares what seems like a fully-orbed story of a man who was heroic and noble but certainly no alabaster saint. His “unbrokenness” is as much stubbornness as courage, and after [SPOILER] surviving such horrific ordeals, he returns to the States psychologically damaged. What the original film version of this story underplays (though I hear this is corrected in the straight-to-video sequel) is that it is through the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that Zamperini is able to forgive his oppressors and find emotional and spiritual healing. That’s why, as great as the film version is (and it is), you should read the book first, because you get a clearer picture of the man in full.