Here's a preview of what's coming up and the books that you can read to get you prepared.
The Theory of Everything - If you have yet to see this trailer, watch it. This movie is the first to really tell the story of Stephen Hawking, brilliant scientists extraordinaire. It follows his life and relationship with his wife before and after being diagnosed with a debilitating illness that has left him wheelchair bound and unable to use much more than his mind. Hawking, despite his physical challenges, has changed the
Foxcatcher - This is an incredible story, both disturbing and fascinating. The movie follows the 1988 Olympics US wrestling competitors..... And if that wasn't enough to intrigue you, this movie stars Steve Carrell, Channing Tatum, Vanessa Redgrave, and Mark Ruffalo. Yes, we know, there's little more to say after hearing this crazy line-up of stars. It is going to be incredible.
Wild by Cheryl Strayed came out in print just over two years ago. Since its publication, this book has not left the NY Times Bestseller list, and for good reason. It is brilliant, moving, insightful, and a book for everyone. After the death of her mother and collapse of her marriage, Strayed decides her life needs something...direction, focus, major change, so at the age of 26 and desperate for something new, she packs whatever she thinks she will need and heads to the start of the Pacific Crest Trail. Encountering elements, animal life, and human experiences she was unprepared for, during the journey through California and Oregon, she finds answers. She finds truth. And she shares every bit of this adventure with her readers in the raw, brutally honest way only Strayed can. The film of this adventure, with Reese Witherspoon playing the part of Strayed, comes out in a few weeks. So you have plenty of time to check out the book first.
The Imitation Game - coming out soon starring the incomparable Benedict Cumberbatch is the story of genius British codebreaker/writer Alan Turing. Turing created what today we call the enigma code, but did so ... based on Alan Hodge's book Alan Turing: the enigma will capture you from the first few pages and sweep you away into another era and the life of a man who overcame more than most of us can imagine and changed his life.
And then there is of course, Unbroken - Rather than tell you all about it, I'll let you read what the author has to say about her book (captured from Amazon's author page).
"Eight years ago, an old man told me a story that took my breath away. His name was Louie Zamperini, and from the day I first spoke to him, his almost incomprehensibly dramatic life was my obsession.
It was a horse--the subject of my first book, Seabiscuit: An American Legend--who led me to Louie. As I researched the Depression-era racehorse, I kept coming across stories about Louie, a 1930s track star who endured an amazing odyssey in World War II. I knew only a little about him then, but I couldn’t shake him from my mind. After I finished Seabiscuit, I tracked Louie down, called him and asked about his life. For the next hour, he had me transfixed.
Growing up in California in the 1920s, Louie was a hellraiser, stealing everything edible that he could carry, staging elaborate pranks, getting in fistfights, and bedeviling the local police. But as a teenager, he emerged as one of the greatest runners America had ever seen, competing at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, where he put on a sensational performance, crossed paths with Hitler, and stole a German flag right off the Reich Chancellery. He was preparing for the 1940 Olympics, and closing in on the fabled four-minute mile, when World War II began. Louie joined the Army Air Corps, becoming a bombardier. Stationed on Oahu, he survived harrowing combat, including an epic air battle that ended when his plane crash-landed, some six hundred holes in its fuselage and half the crew seriously wounded.
On a May afternoon in 1943, Louie took off on a search mission for a lost plane. Somewhere over the Pacific, the engines on his bomber failed. The plane plummeted into the sea, leaving Louie and two other men stranded on a tiny raft. Drifting for weeks and thousands of miles, they endured starvation and desperate thirst, sharks that leapt aboard the raft, trying to drag them off, a machine-gun attack from a Japanese bomber, and a typhoon with waves some forty feet high. At last, they spotted an island. As they rowed toward it, unbeknownst to them, a Japanese military boat was lurking nearby. Louie’s journey had only just begun.
That first conversation with Louie was a pivot point in my life. Fascinated by his experiences, and the mystery of how a man could overcome so much, I began a seven-year journey through his story. I found it in diaries, letters and unpublished memoirs; in the memories of his family and friends, fellow Olympians, former American airmen and Japanese veterans; in forgotten papers in archives as far-flung as Oslo and Canberra. Along the way, there were staggering surprises, and Louie’s unlikely, inspiring story came alive for me. It is a tale of daring, defiance, persistence, ingenuity, and the ferocious will of a man who refused to be broken.
The culmination of my journey is my new book, Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. I hope you are as spellbound by Louie’s life as I am."This is a fabulous read, well recommended by the Library staff.