Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken ought to come with a warning label.  Something that reads like:

Reader caution urged.
May cause binge reading, loss of sleep, shock and awe.

At least that’s how it affected me.  As it turns out, many members of the Crandall Public Library Monday Evening Book Discussion Group reported similar symptoms.  Perhaps that’s why a young friend remarked that Unbroken was the illest work he’d read in years…  Bad jokes aside, the festivities began with the presentation of a short video, which served to introduce the cast and creator of Unbroken in a way that the novel did not.  For example, who would have guessed that Ms. Hillenbrand’s own story is one of survival?  That she is capable of such magnificent prose while battling a particularly nasty case of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, renders the work even more impressive in my opinion.  In any case, conversational highlights include:

  • Redemption: Zero to Hero
  • War Crimes, Foreign Policy, and Justice
  • Religion as Psychology
  • POWs and PTSD
  • Suffering as Stimulus   


Laura Hillenbrand’s Home Page

NPR Interview

NY Times Interview

Wikipedia: Louis Zamperini

AAU Oral History

Relevant Reading

Devil at My Heels by Louis Zamperini

Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand

Relevant Video

On the Norden Bombsight

What’s Happening…

Karen “Fireball” Tinney wants to invite you to her Monday November 5, 2012 discussion of Tim O’Brien’s sensational novel The Things They Carried.   This multifaceted tale encompasses the American experience that was the Vietnam War.  Powerful stuff for sure!  But please don’t take my word for it.  No less an authority than The New York Times has called the work a “book of the century,” and went on to say that it:


“[B]elongs high on the list of best fiction about any war….crystallizes the Vietnam experience for everyone [and] exposes the nature of all war stories.”
–The New York Times–

Fine praise indeed, but it’s not just the critics who love this one.  It’s earned over nine-hundred 4.5 star reviews on Amazon.  Crushing crowd and critic alike, The Things They Carried is certain to generate an extraordinarily fine and impassioned discussion.  Copies can be found at the park entrance reference desk.   The festivities begin promptly at 7:00 pm, and are slated for the Crandall Room.     

Parting Thoughts…

I am hoping that you will join us for our November 19, 2012 shindig, when we throw Paula McLain’s The Paris Wife on the chatting block.  Mr. Hemingway has long been a favorite of mine, especially The Sun Also Rises, and I am really looking forward to this feminine take on Papa Hemingway.  The buzz about this one is fantastic, as it has received raves from crowd and critic alike.  I think Town & Country sums it up nicely:

“Told in the voice of Ernest Hemingway’s first wife, The Paris Wife, by Paula McLain, is a richly imagined portrait of bohemian 1920s Paris, and of American literature’s original bad boy.”



1 Comment

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One response to “Unbroken

  1. There is an excellent review of _The Paris Wife_ at the following link:
    The review was written by a Goodreads.com member.
    I hope to join the discussion tomorrow at the library, 11/19/12.

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