Monday, January 16, 2012

Top Five General Reading Books I Read in 2011

Unbroken - Laura Hillenbrand
Harrowing true biography of WW II hero Louie Zamperini retold by the best-selling author of Seabiscuit. From his troubled childhood in California, to becoming an Olympic athlete, to his imprisonment and torture Louie survived it all without breaking. The conclusion comes with a surprising Christian element too. Loved it!

China Road - Rob Gifford
NPR reporter makes one last tour of China before heading home. So he travels the main highway of the nation from Shanghai to the far Western border. Every adventure along the way brings fresh insights on the new China and its values. Gifford happens to be a Christian and even preaches at a tiny church along the way. Loved it!

Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet - Jamie Ford
In this work of historical fiction we follow the story of a young couple - one Chinese and the other Japanese from the days of World War II to contemporary times. Powerfully tells the sad saga of the Japanese in Seattle who are persecuted and incarcerated in the aftermath of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. One particular hotel embodies the tragic events. (Nancy and I visited the Panama Hotel in Seattle this fall.) Poignant.

The Book of Negroes (Somebody Knows My Name) - Lawrence Hill
After seeing this book recommended by so many of my Canadian friends it turned out to be very hard to find because apparently the original title is politically incorrect in the USA. Canadian author Hill writes poignantly about the life of one African slave whose journey takes her to the USA, Britain, Canada and more before eventually finding freedom.

Cutting for Stone - Abrahan Verghese
The opening story of the birth of twins in horrific conditions in an African hospital was told with medical precision and powerful emotions. We follow the story of these twin brothers through fascinating lives of conflict and love. Painted against a wonderful backdrop of the practice of medicine in an international setting.

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