"You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me."

-C.S. Lewis

What we read has such an impact on us, and I am always on the lookout for something that will inspire me to be a better person. Here is a sampling of books that have been in the teetering stack sitting on top of what is rumored to be my bedside table.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Don't Give Up, Don't Give In, by Louis Zamperini and David Rensin

  This is the book I've been waiting for since I finished Laura Hillenbrand's biography of Louis Zamperini, Unbroken.   I loved that book, but it seemed to me that the real story of heroism came after the war, when Zamperini was able to overcome the atrocities that he was subjected to.  

     This book, which was finished just before Zamperini passed away, tells that story.  I felt on reading Unbroken that it glossed over the power of God in Zamperini's life.  Don't Give Up gets more into how instrumental Zamperini's faith was in helping him overcome post traumatic stress and its symptoms.  As his son writes in this book, "miracles happened to [Zamperini] to demonstrate the power of God in his life."  And that's the story that I think most people don't get to hear about outside of this book.

     More than just a testament to Zamperini's faith, this book also tells the lessons that he learned throughout his life's journey.  How do you forgive someone who has deeply hurt you?  How do you stay positive enough to weather the bad times?  How can you maintain your self respect and dignity at all times?  These questions and more are answered in this book.  And in providing us with his wisdom gained through years of unspeakable trial and a life given in service to humankind, I think Louis Zamperini has shown himself to be the kind of hero our society desperately craves.

     I highly recommend this book not just to those interested in Zamperini's story, but also to anyone who feels that there should be more to life than what they have. Life is not meant to be simply survived, but lived.  And Louis Zamperini understood that.

Five out of Five Stars