Author Archives: garlandhorwitz

Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand

“An Olympian’s Journey from Airman to Castaway to Captive.” This subtitle perfectly describes Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken; engaging yet shocking yet inspiring at the same time. In this biographical novel, Hillenbrand shares the incredible story of Louis Zamperini. She writes from a third person omniscient point of view, including the thoughts and stories of side characters later interviewed. Her voice is a highlight of the book, as she describes not only Louis’s actions but the actions of those around him and even those not around him. For example, Hillenbrand explains what Louis, his friends, Hitler, a random sailor, and even a dog, are doing at the exact same moment. This powerful effect emphasizes that the entire world was deeply affected by the war. Hillenbrand’s writing has opened my eyes to life’s tragedies, especially those that come with war, and how brave individuals can make a difference.

I also really enjoy the character Phil. Although he was recently introduced, his relationship with Louis seems tantamount to gold. Phil reminds me of Reuven from The Chosen. Both characters are loyal friends and contain astonishing bravery. As the pilot, Phil affects Louis’s life, and will take any step to save him. Reuven is also a strong, courageous friend who took the extra steps to help Danny confront his father, sending him down a bright path.

Usually I am not a fan of non-fiction but so far I have immensely enjoyed Unbroken.  Louis’s determined yet mischievous character makes him loveable, yet leads me to question if he will guide himself down a more troublesome road. I am excited to continue reading and discover where Louis and his crew’s footsteps lead.

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Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom 7/10

Smiling through life is easy, but finding true happiness requires heart.  This is one of the many lessons Morrie demonstrates in Tuesdays with Morrie.  In this heartwarming story, Mitch Albom displays the close bond he had with his old college professor Morrie.  Years after Mitch’s graduation, Morrie was diagnosed with ALS, a devastating disease that slowly overtakes one’s voluntary muscle movement.  After hearing the news, Mitch visited Morrie every Tuesday, where he learned the keys to life from the wisdom of a dying man.

In many passages, I could sense and relate to the love Mitch expressed for Morrie.  Being a man who distributed unlimited care to friends even during medical struggles, Morrie became an inspiration in my life.  Not only was his story captivating, but his lectures as well.   Morrie’s numerous quotes sprinkled into the chapters were truly inspiring and relatable, covering various universal topics.

Along with quotes, every paragraph in the book was drenched with meaning.  Morrie’s messages taught me to appreciate the simplicities in life and to love endlessly.  Although the content of the book was extremely powerful, the author’s writing style was often bland, therefore I rated Tuesdays with Morrie as a 7/10.  This novel is perfect for someone looking for an inspiring story or someone trying to find their place in life.

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