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Words of Inspiration?

3ctcoversmall_2 We have an on-going book swap in our extended family. The most recent addition to end up on my nightstand is Three Cups of Tea.

This engaging book recounts the journey of Greg Mortenson from a failed attempt to climb K2 to launching a mission to build schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Needless to say, it is a pretty inspiring read and it has left a lasting impression.

Have you read something recently that has moved you?

What inspiring books do you recommend?

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It's an oldie, but I've always liked "The Prophet" by Khalil Gibran. It's not in front of me now, so forgive me if I misquote, but this line has always stuck with me (even pre-children), "Your children are not your children. They are the future's longing for itself."

An Ordinary Man by Paul Rusesabagina, the man whom the film, Hotel Rwanda, is about. Amazing soul-writing, honest, humane and eye-opening.

Loved Three Cups of Tea. Just finished a novel called The Art of Racing in the Rain -- told from the point of view of a dog, whose master is a race-car driver, and wife is terminally ill. Not something I would have normally picked up (recommended by my uncle), but it was AMAZING. Probably one of the best books I've ever read. Also love The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley (the story of Camelot told from the female point of view.

For anyone who's looking for something along the lines of Three Cups of Tea, I recommend Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder, about the work of Dr. Paul Farmer, who works to bring healthcare to Haiti, among other places. It's one of those nonfiction books that reads like fiction and an inspiring portrait of a man driven to make the world a better place.

I second Mountains Beyond Mountains for inspiring non-fiction! One of my all-time favorite non-fiction books is And The Band Played On, about the rise of HIV/AIDS, dozens of tragic yet inspiring stories. A must-read for anyone in government, health care, or public health. The community activism is just amazing, especially with all of the obstacles they had to face.

For a good novel, I highly recommend The Brothers K, which takes places in Camas. Unbelievably good. I cried more times than I could count.

And for those of us who love mysteries, The Yiddish Policemen's Union and Special Topics in Calamity Physics are just incredibly written and beyond the scope of a 'typical' mystery.

I just read a great nonfiction that got me all fired up. Urgent Message from Mother - Gather the Women Save the Wrold by Jean Shinoda Bolen. I was feeling low lately. not wanting to becoming the disgruntled stay at home mom who gets pissed at dirty dishes and laundry and needing to find the fire that I usually have. It's not a man hating book but instead celebrates our maternal and nurturing side. too much good stuff to try to put in a little snipit here. I seriously reccomend reading this book.

I just read "The Glass Castle" by Jeannette Walls. It's a memoir, and it's AMAZING. i tore through it in a day and a half. you should read it!

I second The Brothers K - it's a great story. I don't read much non-fiction, so I don't have a recommendation in that genre. But I love a good fiction story, just something you can really lose yourself in for awhile. I recently re-read "In the Time of the Butterflies" by Julia Alvarez - I highly recommend it, and anything else by her really. (I tend to read by author). I loved "Shantaram" by Gregory David Roberts - the best book I've read in the last 5 years. I realize the Phillip Pullman trilogy ("The Golden Compass", etc) is supposed to be for kids, but I just loved it and found it endearing. I am currantly reading Michael Chabon - I saw a few of his books already recommended. I would also recommend Christopher Moore for anyone who needs a laugh.

I really enjoyed The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down. Nonfiction book about a Hmong child who has epilepsy and the cultural struggles between her family and its outlook on health care and traditional Western medicine. VERY interesting! And a window into a culture that is fairly prevalent in Portland.

Oh yes, Sarah! Christopher Moore wrote Lamb, the Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal. VERY funny.

Love a little Christopher Moore as well. I have been hard up for books these days so this is a great post. Water for Elephants was a favorite a few years ago. I also loved the River Why for those of you who loved the Brothers K. I am no fisherman but it was a great book, I have read it at least three times. Non Fiction not for the faint of heart, I loved Stiff: the Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, Bonk is her second book about the study of sex Roach is her last name. David Sedaris is always great. Naked is my favorite laugh and read out loud. I Thought My Father Was God is short stories from NPR. And Middlesex by Jeffery Eugenides.

Loved both "3 cups of tea" and "Glass Wall." They were both very inspiring. A current favorite -- and one I'm recommending to anyone who will listen to me -- is Wrestling With the Goddess. Very inspiring story of someone who whose spinal cord was nearly severed at birth and who is mentally challenged as a result. That has not stopped him from a full life, including speaking engagements, though he requires life support systems to stay alive. He even says that he forgets he is disabled sometimes, that "normal" people remind him of his disabilities. This is a story of courage, faith, perseverance and an unflinching belief in oneself despite countless verdicts to the contrary. You will be absolutely inspired.

Expecting Adam by Martha Peck. An amazing journey of a pregnancy and beyond. It's a memoir by a very intellectual, academic mama who learns that she is having a baby with Down syndrome, decides to keep it, and is launched onto an incredible metaphysical journey, not necessarily in that order.

I just read it for the second time, and found myself as riveted as I was two years ago reading it for the first time.

These all sound fabulous and I have put holds on many of them at the library. Thanks! My latest fav is Water for Elephants.

abby, I agree about Expecting Adam. I am usually very impatient with anything that smacks of woo-woo, but this book was really compelling. (I also enjoyed Beck's more recent memoir, Leaving the Saints, about her past with the Mormons.

yeah, I usually don't head for the "woo-woo" myself, but a friend sent the book just after my daughter was born, and I was drawn right in. I think the author's skepticism helps. I will have to look for her new book.

read "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy. i couldn't put it down. it is thankfully fiction and intense and dark and hopeful and definitely stays with you. i read it in three days.

Thank you Zinemama and others who put "Mountains Beyond Mountains" on my reading list. I finally got to is and I burned through it.

It was overwhelming and maddening at times but extremely moving and inspiring.

"The Lord provides but he doesn't share" indeed - that's up to us...

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