What I’m Reading Wednesday: 2/1/2012

Today’s book: “Gabby” by Mark Kelly and Gabrielle Giffords

This was the first book I read in a while that I really, truly enjoyed. Despite being incredibly sad, the story was inspirational and uplifting.

If you follow the news at all, you’ve heard of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Last January, she was holding a Congress on your Corner event in her home state of Arizona when a mentally disturbed man opened fire. Congresswoman Giffords was shot in the head at close range. She survived, but with grave critical injuries. And horribly, six people were killed.

This book is the memoir of Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly. Kelly wrote most of the book, which talks about everything from the couples’ childhoods to careers to how they met and fell in love. Of course, he also discusses what their lives have been like since that fateful day.

To be honest, I got this book along with several others and didn’t think I’d be very interested in it. But the storytelling is addictive. Readers are hooked by the drawn-out retelling of the shooting and Giffords’ recovery, interspersed with information about the couples’ pasts. It’s emotional and uplifting; you put the book down feeling like you really got something out of it.

By the end, we are amazed at the magnitude of Giffords’ recovery; I just wanted to fly to Houston and give her a giant hug and high five. Also, not knowing much about politics, the book offered a new perspective of how legislators make and vote on laws. Since it just came out that she will be resigning her position in Congress, this book makes the announcement particularly sad. Giffords was in the midst of an enviable life as an enamored wife, an admirable politician, and a hopeful mother – and it was all disrupted by the actions of one incredibly disturbed young man. However, her story is inspirational to everyone. It also made me want to become an astronaut; Mark Kelly’s recounting of space travel is pretty exciting.

Bottom line: Close to a must-read.
7/8 slices.

Looking for something to read? Get advice from other What I’m Reading Wednesdays:

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling
Red Mist by Patricia Cornwell
11/22/63 by Stephen King

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