23. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
I can't say enough good things about this book. Hillenbrand did excellent, extensive research in her biographical study of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner-turned WWII airman whose plane crashed in the Pacific Ocean. Weeks later, he and one fellow crewman washed up on a Japanese-controlled beach, where they were taken into captivity and later moved into POW camps. Just when you think things can't get any worse, they do.
While reading this book, I couldn't help thinking about my grandfather, who was a navigator in WWII. He flew missions all over the world. Thankfully, my grandmother plotted all his flights on a map, then later had it framed and displayed on a wall in her house. My daddy has that map now, and he's going to make a copy of it for me. Anyway, I wondered what type of plane he flew in, but I'm not sure anyone knows that. The war just wasn't talked about then like it is now. I never gave it much thought, but they didn't have all the technologically-advanced equipment that we have now. I wish I knew more about it...
It's not a fast read, but it's a good one. In fact, I bought my own copy, which a friend borrowed to read with her husband. They're thinking of getting their own copy as well. I also gave two copies as gifts. Yes, it's that good.
I sort of hope they make a movie about it, but it's going to have to be an extraordinary effort to stay as true to the book as it should be.