I've always been grateful for my friends, and the more my world shrinks, the more I appreciate them. These are the people who entertain and enlighten me. They keep me engaged in the world despite my physical limitations. They make me want to go on.
One such person is Laura Hillenbrand, who serves me regular helpings of food for thought and makes me laugh at least once a day. She is such a presence in my life, it's surreal to think that we haven't been in the same room since our high school graduation, more than 25 years ago.
Like me, Laura is largely homebound due to ill health. Unlike me, she spends her time and talents productively, finding history's forgotten stories and telling them as only she can. Her first book, Seabiscuit, spent months atop the New York Times bestseller list (and gave me one of my favorite phrases ever: mighty shit Godzilla). It was such a good read that I worried whether she could match it when she started working on her next book. I should have known better.
Unbroken, which hit bookstores today, is the wildly improbable story of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner turned bombardier who survived a plane crash and 47 days at sea only to become a Japanese POW. Knowing that books are hard for me to handle, Laura kindly sent a digital copy, and I was delighted to find that her storytelling skills are sharper than ever. Unbroken is truly riveting -- and God knows I'm not given to idle praise. I've been hooked since the preface and had to tear myself away to write this. Now go buy a copy so we can talk about it.