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Unbroken: A World War II Story by Laura Hillenbrand

On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood.  Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared.  It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard.  So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.

The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini.  In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails.  As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile.  But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.

Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater.  Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion.  His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.

In her long-awaited new book, Laura Hillenbrand writes with the same rich and vivid narrative voice she displayed in Seabiscuit.  Telling an unforgettable story of a man’s journey into extremity, Unbroken is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit.

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  • Haydee L.

    Hi Jenny thank you and Maggie for this get together, good choice of restaurant. Hope you'll make it next month.

    October 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Loved this book! i would recommend it to anyone who wants to learn about an imporatnat part of our history. Great story.

    October 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I truly enjoyed last night as well and look forward to our next meeting. Thank you again for organizing.

    October 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    It was so nice to meet everyone tonight! Thanks for making me feel welcome to the group. Looking forward to meet up next time.

    October 2, 2013

    • Brenda C.

      It was fun to talk with everyone tonight and we learned new things about each other as we introduced ourselves to you! Thanks so much for coming!

      1 · October 2, 2013

  • Brenda C.

    Such a good book!

    October 2, 2013

  • Maggie W

    An outstanding story which everyone enjoyed; the conversations about various topics raised by the book were interesting and thought-provoking. A great read.

    October 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    A wonderful, absorbing book. I'm not done yet. Just about to be introduced to Watanabe. And where are we meeting? I'd be fine with The Counter or Macaroni Grill.

    October 1, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Up until midnight the last two evenings and now at the point where Louie meets Cynthia.

      October 2, 2013

  • Maggie W

    The Old Spaghetti Factory is at 2107 Broadway, Redwood City (the corner of Broadway and Jefferson). There is usually lots of street parking which is free after 6:00 or you can go to the underground car park (the entry is on Jefferson) and get the first 90 minutes free and a small sum after that.

    We have the banquet room in the back so just tell the hostess you're with the book club.

    October 2, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thank you Maggie. I really do appreciate you helping out ...I needed it. :)

      October 2, 2013

  • Sue W.

    Spaghetti factory sounds great.

    October 1, 2013

  • Maggie W

    The spaghetti factory in redwood city has a private back room, parking underneath (where the first 90 minutes is free and it's inexpensive after that), and a fairly extensive menu. It's on the corner of Jefferson and Broadway so it's easy to find.

    October 1, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Maggie, would you be so kind to book it for us? I made a reservation at The Counter, which I will cancel.

      October 1, 2013

  • Doug A.

    The spaghetti factory is the perfect palace for us. Didn't know one was up there.

    October 1, 2013

  • Maggie W

    The banquet room is available tomorrow if you would like me to "book" it.

    October 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I like the Counter (great burgers!), or Macaroni Grill is ok too, and especially like the idea of easy parking. Looking forward to join the group for the first time!

    October 1, 2013

  • Doug A.

    I think a Chinese or Indian buffet restaurant would be great for this group as everybody could find something that they would like.

    October 1, 2013

  • Brenda C.

    I'm fine with either of these.

    October 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Either of those locations seem good to me (easy parking!), but I truly do not mind.

    October 1, 2013

  • Sue W.

    Jenny, how about going back to one of our previous venues like the Counter at San Mateo, or Macaroni Grill? What do people think?

    October 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I just heard about this book and really want to read it! If I can check it out in time and finish it, I will be there! Otherwise, for sure the next one!

    September 24, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Even if you dont finish it, you can still come! :)

      September 27, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I am looking forward to meeting all of You! i hope nothing makes me this meeting.

    Thanks!

    September 24, 2013

    • Brenda C.

      We look forward to meeting you, too!

      September 24, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Looking forward to meeting you too!

      September 27, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm a big fan of getting books at the library and so far have been able to get every book we've read at the San Mateo Library (where I also volunteer.)

    September 11, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      "Unbroken" and the next 2 books arrived within a couple of days. I dived into "Me Before You" firs (bad girl!), so now I'm pushing to read "Unbroken" before it's too overdue!

      September 23, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    So sorry; been dealing with a flu I couldn't shake and turned into asthma- been really ill- completely forgot about oct 2nd marry up- need to cancel

    September 23, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Sorry to hear that.

      September 23, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      So sorry

      September 23, 2013

  • Sue W.

    Glad everyone's enjoying the book. I'm not so sure about discussing it at a Japanese restaurant. If we want to talk freely about Japanese war crimes and treatment of POWs, this could be awkward.

    September 17, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Yes, that does make sense. A change in venue would be good.

      September 23, 2013

  • Haydee L.

    I'm truly enjoying this book, looking forward to our get together

    September 16, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Yay, see you soon!

      September 23, 2013

  • Doug A.

    I had the same experience. Cause me to do hour an hour and half on the bike when I had to get off. :) Read the rest at Starbucks afterward. Is there a Japanese restaurant where we could meet at for this one?

    September 16, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      That is a great idea ...something different! I will look into it.

      September 23, 2013

  • Sue W.

    I couldn't put this book down. Looking forward to discussing it at our next meet up.

    September 12, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Wow, I am glad the reviews lived up to it!

      September 23, 2013

  • Doug A.

    There are ten copies of the book at the Sunnyvale library, books on tape, and e-books.

    September 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I love the sound of this book- I'm in.

    1 · July 9, 2013

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