Summer is undeniably a season for exploration and reflection. Few things ignite the spark to get out of our comfort zone or to move past hurdles than experiencing the real-life stories of others who’ve overcome unforeseen adversity to reach new personal heights. Inspiration abounds through these reads, from the coming-of-age-amid-turmoil story in A House in the Sky to the story of a soldier who refused to surrender to wartime horror in Unbroken.
A House in the Sky
Escaping a violent childhood only to find herself at the mercy of a group of masked men, Amanda Lindhout’s memoir is the story of her eye-opening journey through some of the most remote (and dangerous) places in the world. Overcoming abuse as a child only to be kidnapped and tortured for 15 months in Somalia, her tale is as redemptive as it is harrowing.
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survivial, Resilience, and Redemption
Meet your new hero, Louis Zamperini. At just twenty-six years old, he survived a plane crash and Japanese imprisonment during World War II to become one of the most talented Olympic runners in history. From the same author that brought us Seabiscuit, comes Lauren Hillenbrand’s sophomore debut, and most inspiring story yet.
Brain on Fire
Imagine that one moment you’re a budding reporter for the New York Post, and the next you’re strapped to a hospital bed unable to speak or move. In this gripping memoir, Susannah Cahalan chronicles her sharp decline into a rare, life-threatening illness. Providing insight into the fascinating world of brain science, this personal account will have you captivated from beginning to end.
I Am Malala
Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head at point blank range for refusing to accept the idea that young women shouldn’t be allowed to attend school. Her story of survival, recovery and dedication to the cause of equal rights has made of her global icon for women of all ages.
Life by the Cup
by Zhena Muzyka
The founder of Zhena’s Gypsy Tea Company tells her extraordinary story of struggle, hope, and audacity, inspiring you to overcome setbacks—no matter how daunting—and pursue your dreams. As a twenty-four-year-old single mom, Zhena Muzyka had a young son in need of life-saving surgery and only six dollars in her wallet. But she also had three other powerful motivators: hope, a love of tea, and a dream to share beautiful, aromatic, organic teas with the world. By combining her knowledge of aromatherapy and her gypsy grandmother’s teachings, Zhena started selling custom tea blends from a cart on California street corners. Now, thirteen years later, her son is healthy and Zhena’s Gypsy Tea is a thriving, purpose-driven, fair-trade, multimillion-dollar brand.
The Silver Lining
At once comforting and instructive, realistic and inspiring, The Silver Lining is a visually beautiful, poignant must-read for everyone who has been touched by cancer.