Throughout winter break, I saw and read plenty of things that got me inspired in all sorts of ways.
First, Wild. The book by Cheryl Strayed has been on my reading list since Julie at PBFingers.com posted a book review about it a while ago. I didn’t get to it before the movie came out, but after seeing Reese Witherspoon’s performance of the true story, I can’t wait to read the book for more detail. This story is incredible (Reese’s nominations are certainly deserving!) and I was inspired by the fearlessness of Cheryl.
The film didn’t exactly spark my interest in backpacking and I won’t be crossing the Mojave on foot any time soon. But I liked the idea behind her journey and the fact that she challenged herself to make a healthy change.
Another Reese flick…..The Good Lie was possibly even better than Wild. I enjoyed this movie so much, I could’ve turned around and watched it twice in one sitting. We rented this to watch before it is released but I can’t wait til it comes on DVD to rewatch. The story of the “Lost Boys” follows three young men whose tribe in Sudan is massacred during the civil war. They, like many others, travelled on foot for months to Kenya where they live in refugee camps. Years later, many are granted residence in the United States to restart their lives with a job and a home. However many have never experienced electricity, modern businesses and stores, or even telephones. This movie highlighted how foreign our American culture is to these refugees and how assimilating to American life isn’t necessarily the right way to help them. I thought the actors did a fantastic job. Watching their reactions to our commonplace items like utensils, toothbrushes, and light switches was a great reminder to appreciate even the ‘simple’ daily conveniences we get to enjoy.
The latest novel I was able to finish over winter break was American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld. The fictional first-person memoir of a first lady covers her childhood in the 1940’s, high school in the 50’s, love and marriage in the 70’s and entrance into the public eye in the 90’s. The author attributes Laura Bush with her inspiration for the main character Alice. Alice was an inspirational character for how kindly she treated everyone. During a time period when segregation was still prevalent, Alice defied her mother-in-law’s disapproval and invited the “help” to family events and theater performances. She treated everyone equally. She kept everyone’s secrets. She supported her husband even though his political agenda was completely different from her values. She bought books and read to underprivileged children. And she made several sacrifices to care for her aging parents and grandmother.
All equally entertaining and inspirational :) Let me know if you’ve seen or read anything especially great recently!