Friday, June 24, 2011

Unbroken: A world War II Story of Survival, resilience, and redemption - Highly Recommended

This is one of those books that are very difficult to put down once you get past the size of the book. It is a big book and if you listen to it as an audio, a long book.  However, it is worth every second that you spend reading/listening to it.

First - The detail is graphic but not stomach turning.  However, keep in mind that this book outlines the horrific details that the POW's endured through during WWII.  
Second - There are a few bouts of foul language (but again, this book is about a terrible time in history). 

Last year I decided that I wanted to read more books on the life of historic people and when I saw this book listed as a highly recommended book on, I decided to give it a try.  Immediately, the book grabs the readers attention with the central figure fighting off sharks after a plane crash.  (During this plane crash, Louie Zamperini makes a promise that he later forgets but through the power of the Holy Spirit, is brought to remembrance, ultimately changing his life for the better.) After this quick introduction, the author sends the reader further back in time to build the foundation for the characters of the book.  

Details of the capture and the brutal details of prison camp are written in a way to engage the reader enabling the mind to paint pictures of what took place.  After the war and the prisoners return to their native home land, many cannot get rid of the nightmares that haunt them from war.  However, Louie Zamperini (the main character) runs into Evangelist Billy Graham during a crusade in California, changing Louie's life forever.

Many times during the book, I cried imagining the pain and suffering that the POW's endured.  However, the tears of sorrow are replaced with tears of joy as I continued learning how the power of the Holy Spirit changed Louie's life for the better.  In addition, the change impacted many troublesome youth as Louie poured his life into others.  As of today, Louie is still living (age 94) long after he was declared dead but the war media but never in the hearts and minds of his family.

I highly recommend this book.  However, keep in mind that this book is not a touchy, feel good type of book.  It is a mind and life changing book that will impact your life (for the better), challenging you to look at life in a different manner.

Beautiful White Church in Mississippi

Country Church Mississippi
While in Memphis, I had the opportunity to travel to a beautiful setting in Mississippi.  This church is located on the grounds of Bonne Terre and I immediately fell in love with the lines and how it looked against the beautiful evening sky.

I did not have my tri-pod with me or I would have captured this as an HDR image to pull in more details of the sky.  While on the property I captured Tippa and Jamey sitting on a bench near a beautiful lake basking in the sunset.

Couple on Bench Sunset
I have another image of a very unique looking duck that wanted to be in the image.  It had a face that appeared to have a mask on it.  I never saw a duck like this before but did not include it in this post.

This lake is opposite of another lake that would be great for sun rise images.  Obviously, this lake is west facing which created a beautiful warm glow on the water.  The opposite lake which sits behind the guest house is beautiful and calm.

Foggy Lake
In this photograph, I processed it in a manner how it might look with a morning fog over the beautiful reflections.  This lake is calm but had a small family of geese swimming through the center of it toward the trees that bordered the lake on the east side. 

On the grounds is a beautiful reception hall which looks toward the church.  The next image is from this vantage point. No doubt this is a near perfect setting for a wedding.  While we were walking around the grounds, I continued to think how nice it would be for something similar near Pittsburgh.  A nice country church with a simple but colorful stroll to the reception hall with nearly unlimited photo opportunities.

The final image is taken inside the reception hall.  It has multiple framed mirrors and this mirror had a base of marble like material sitting along the brick wall.  I could not pass up this fun shot.

I would love to photograph a wedding at this location!  Wait, I am, next spring.  :-D

Till next time, get out and enjoy the beauty of life and all that it offers to us!

Bonne Terre
Reflections of a bride to be