Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken sits atop the NY Times Nonfiction Best Sellers at #3. With seventy five weeks on the list, this story does not disappoint. Olympic track star turned US Army Airman; Lieutenant Louis Zamperini survives a perilous plane crash during WWII. Stranded in the middle of the open sea, he must battle thousands of miles of ocean with one flimsy raft, facing sharks, weather and starvation. As if this weren’t enough terror for a man, add encountering looming enemy forces and becoming a P.O.W. Another amazingly intriguing tale from the author of Seabiscuit, Unbroken is a story of true courage and what happens when one man must use what he has to overcome extreme adversity.
If you enjoyed Unbroken, take these indie suggestions for a whirl…
IRDA winner Untraceable by S.R. Johannes explores the disappearance of wildlife enforcement officer Joe Wells. Assumed dead by most, including Grace’s mother: a shrink named Dr. Head, the search for Joe is given up by the town. His daughter Grace, however, knows he is out there and continues looking tirelessly. Somewhat distracted by Wyn, who works at the police station. And Mo, who she meets in the woods, Grace has two love interests to contend with as she endures this rocky situation. Who will help her in the wake of the discoveries she has made? Suspenseful through and through, Johannes crafts a well written mystery.
Wrecked by Elle Casey chronicles the journey of four high school students with nothing in common; except that their Caribbean cruise has crashed. Jonathan, Kevin, Candi and Sarah intended to take a vacation. What they got was the adventure of a lifetime. Once shipwrecked, the four teenagers must build some kind of life together despite their differences. Love hate relationships are tested in every way possible. Intended for a YA audience, and less life or death than Unbroken; but nevertheless, well-liked by reviewers of various ages. Wrecked shows us how opposites do more than attract—they overcome.
Wool (Omnibus Edition) by Hugh Howey, recently acquired by 20th Century Fox, is a story of survival in a cruel world. Nobody goes outside. Forbidden to talk about it, outside is only the stuff of dreams. Once the thought is voiced, a trend begins and people wonder what exactly goes on out there. Thinking it might be a good idea to find out is not a good idea. However, these brave thinkers will learn the hard way as they are let loose to see for themselves just how harsh the world has become. Wired.com’s Geek Dad’s Review says, “The old assumptions about indie books no longer hold true, and readers need to be prepared to adjust their expectations accordingly. The Wool Omnibus is a great book and deserves recognition as a full-fledged contribution to the science fiction genre.”
We Are Absolutely Not Okay is a compilation of non-fiction stories by fourteen students of Scriber Lake High School. With stunning experiences that no teen should have to endure, these survivors encounter being held at gunpoint by family members, addiction, sexual identity crises and more. This is a real life look at what people go through at a young age and are brave enough to help others by telling their stories. From two of the contributing authors: “If you have ever felt alone, betrayed, confused or angry, this book is for you. If you have ever come to school pretending everything is okay when really everything is absolutely not, we want you to know that there is hope – even in the darkest situations.” Sounds like a raw survivor story to me, why not check it out?
Jungle by Yossi Ghinsberg details the true story of an intended adventure gone wrong. Four backpackers set out on a trek and quickly learn that the jungle is a dangerous place. They must; in fact, fight for their lives. Marcus is a Swiss mystic. Kevin, an American photographer, and Karl the Austrian geologist round out the foursome with Yossi (the author and a self-proclaimed Israeli adventurer) Encountering the most frightening situations in the creepy wilderness of a lush jungle is not something to be taken lightly. Gripping, terrifying and downright disturbing at times, these men forge on where others would lay down and die… or at least shed tears and run screaming in the opposite direction.
If you enjoyed Unbroken, try these adventurous indie survival stories on for size. Bring your bug spray, foodstuffs, knives, life raft and do not forget your gun!