What a novel idea. The State of Connecticut has launched the 2011 Governor's Summer Reading Challenge. Capital Dispatch decided to ask their lawmakers, "What's on your summer reading list"? Two of our past books books turned up on some of the legislators' lists: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.
Laura Hillenbrand's life changed after a car accident in 1987. She was 19 years old. Within days after the accident, she struggled with weakness and a blood test for Epstein-Barr confirmed she had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The disease has left her confined to her home.
After writing "Seabiscuit," she suffered a relapse and did not leave her house for two years. 10 years later after much effort, she released "Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption," about the life of Louis Zamperini, a former Olympic distance runner and bombardier. Most of the story about Louis Zamperini was communicated by telephone and in fact, she has never met him face to face. Laura Hillenbrand has managed to triumph over adversity to write two bestselling and inspiring books about transcending obstacles. Hillenbrand knows a thing or two about overcoming adversity, she lives with it every day.
Read more about Laura's struggles with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in an interview with The Washington Post.
Another interesting article can be found at GoErie's article Hillenbrand's inspiring "Unbroken" recalls authors own struggles.
Steve Oney, from the Wall Street Journal interviews Louis Zamperini and Laura Hillenbrand about the special bond they developed during the writing of Unbroken in his article, The Defiant Ones.
The New York Times Book Review of the novel, UnBroken by Laura Hillenbrand from November 14, 2010 by Janet Maslin begins with a quote from Louis Zamperini's track coach at the University of Southern California describing his young runner as, “The only runner who could beat him was Seabiscuit,” How ironic, many years later the author of Seabiscuit, Laura Hillenbrand writes Louis Zamperini's life story in UnBroken.
I'm an expert amateur or maybe an amateur expert.