Thrive in Chapter Five, Embrace Your Journey

Self-discovery and Inspiration

Winter Hygge Reading List

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After the hectic holidays, nothing is more Hygge  than good books by the fire in the winter.  (Well, having Bailey’s in coffee while reading books is good too!)  I did a lot of searching for book recommendations and here’s what I will be doing for the next several weeks during this cold winter chill.

Winter Reading List

1.   The Paris Architect  by Charles Belfoure

A 2015 NY Times best seller. The Paris Architect  is based in 1942 Paris, where architect Lucien Bernard accepts a job that will bring him a great deal of money – but also potentially get him killed.  If he can outsmart them, he’ll avoid any trouble. All he has to do is design a secret hiding place for a wealthy Jewish man, a space so invisible that German officers won’t find it. He desperately needs the money, and outwitting the Nazis is a challenge he can’t resist.

But when one of his hiding spaces fails horribly, and the problem of where to hide a Jew becomes personal, Lucien can no longer ignore what’s at stake. The Paris Architect questions what we owe each other, and just how far we’ll go to make things right.

Many reviews claim this story becomes more gripping with every soul hidden and every life saved.

2.  The Sun Does Shine: How I found a Life and Freedom on Death Row  by Anthony Ray Hinton

Oprah book club choice and NY Times Best Seller, The Sun Does Shine: How I found a Life and Freedom on Death Row is the life story of Anthony Ray Hinton who spent nearly thirty years on death row for crimes he did not commit.  He now speaks publicly on prison reform and the power of forgiveness.

Hinton was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder in Alabama. Hinton was only twenty-one at the time and knew that it was a case of mistaken identity.  He believed that the truth would prove his innocence and ultimately set him free.

But being a poor black man in the South, he wound up being sentenced to death by electrocution. He spent his first three years on Death Row at Holman State Prison in agonizing silence—full of despair and anger toward all those who had sent an innocent man to his death. However, as Hinton realized and accepted his fate, he resolved not only to survive, but find a way to live on Death Row. For the next twenty-seven years he was a beacon—transforming not only his own spirit, but those of his fellow inmates, fifty-four of whom were executed just feet from his cell. With the help of a civil rights attorney and author, Hinton won his release in 2015.

“Despair was a choice. Hatred was a choice. Anger was a choice. I still had choices, and that knowledge rocked me. I may not have had as many Lester had, but I still had some choices. I could choose to give up or to hang on. Hope was a choice. Faith was a choice. And more than anything else, love was a choice. Compassion was a choice.” – Anthony Ray Hinton 

Reviews claim this book to be an extraordinary testament to the power of hope through horrific times. Hinton’s memoir shows how you can take away a man’s freedom, but you can’t take away his joy.

3.  The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

A NY Times best seller, The Invention of Wings is a novel of two unforgettable American women.

This book was inspired by the historical figure of Sarah Grimke that explores wounds in American history, through women who struggle for liberation, empowerment and expression.

Hetty “Handful” Grimke is an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston who dreams of life beyond the walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is destined to do something big in life, but is restricted by the limits imposed on women.

Kidd’s novel is set in motion on Sarah’s eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership of ten year old Handful, who is to be her handmaid. The story follows their journeys over the next thirty five years, as both strive for a life of their own, while shaping each other’s destinies and forming a complex relationship marked by guilt, defiance, estrangement and the uneasy ways of love.

Handful suffers loss and sorrow, but finds courage and a sense of self in the process. Sarah experiences crushed hopes, betrayal, unrequited love, and ostracism before leaving Charleston to find her place alongside her fearless younger sister, Angelina, as one of the early pioneers in the abolition and women’s rights movements.

Have you read any of these books?  If not, what you are you reading?  Please comment and share below:




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