26. Unbroken

Have you ever uttered words similar to the effect of ‘Ugh, my life is so hard / the worst / unfair’ because you had a tough day at work or a fight with your partner or your favourite restaurant was booked out or <insert relatively innocuous first world problem here>?

I know I have (and felt mildly guilty at the time because I’m aware of the ridiculous level of hyperbole).

Anyway, if so, you should read Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. It’s the true story of a WW2 pilot named Louis Zamperini, who prior to the war was preparing to break the 4 minute mile, and finished 8th in the 5000m at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. I won’t give away too much, but suffice to say that his ordeal as a pilot downed at sea and then as a Japanese POW will reshape how you view true human suffering. It’s a truly remarkable tale, and I highly recommend it both as an engrossing page turner but also a reminder that these days, most of us (in the western world at least) live pretty damn amazing lives in comparison to what people went through in the past.


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