Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand - I listened to this one on audible and it is an experience that will change you. It tells the true story of a man who was an extraordinary athlete who became lost at sea and then tortured and horribly mistreated as a prisoner of war in Japan during World War II. I don't know if it was because I was listening to it that made it so powerfully intense but I couldn't stop listening to it. I had to hear what happened to him next, I had to see how he made it out of such a hellish nightmare. This story is sad, it's graphic and violent and most importantly it's true and important and inspiring. I had no idea war could be this horrible, and it really made me rethink some of my thoughts about it. Mostly, why can't we all just be kind to each other? Several times I found myself crying and then being incredibly thankful for all my many luxuries and conveniences. It's an amazing story and I don't think I'm ever going to be able to see a soldier or especially a P.O.W. without bawling my eyes out. I recommend this one a thousand percent.
Bertie's Guide to Life and Mothers by Alexander McCall Smith - if you don't already know, I'm a huge fan of Alexander McCall Smith. He writes so well, with such a quiet grace and loveliness even when dealing with things that are unfair. This series is about the occupants of an apartment building and how their lives intersect and progress. In this book Bertie, the eternal 6 year old boy thwarted by an oppressive mother, finally turns 7! His story is my favorite to read, I feel such strong sympathy towards him! Several things happen in this story, Bertie goes camping, his mother Irene gets misplaced in Dubai and starts a book club, Big Lou becomes a foster mom, Matthew and Elspeth and their triplets move, and Angus and Dominica house their former neighbor and a nun with unextraordinary observations. I love McCall Smith's writing because it inspires me to be kind and friendly and not to take hardships too heavily. I would recommend starting this series at the beginning so you'll know everyone's history and back-story and can better understand their triumphs and victories. You can find 44 Scotland Street here.
Yes Please! By Amy Pohler - I LOOOOOVED this book. It was thoughtful, touching, hilarious, and relatable. I like Pohler's attitude and her outlook on our potential is pretty inspiring. She's so funny, and I loved her telling of her childhood. She shares wonderful stories and advice in a wonderful wise way. I would absolutely recommend this one. If you like anything she's worked on before then it's definitely required reading.