11 Books Based On Inspiring True Stories
Following the journey of someone who has overcome adversity can help us learn to appreciate what we have, and inspire us to seize the day. We've compiled a list of books that put on display all the emotion and hard work that goes into even common experiences, and the knowledge that comes on the other side. If you need some help getting started on a tough challenge, check out this list of the best motivational books.
11 Books Based On Inspiring True Stories
- "The Monk of Mokha" by Dave Eggers
- "The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun" by Gretchen Rubin
- "On Gold Mountain" by Lisa See
- "The End of Your Life Book Club" by Will Schwalbe
- "The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother" by James McBride
- "The Best of Us: A Memoir" by Joyce Maynard
- "The Misfit's Manifesto" by Lidia Yuknavitch
- "Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster" by Jon Krakauer
- "Brother, I'm Dying" by Edwidge Danticat
- "Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail" by Cheryl Strayed
- "Can I Let You Go?" by Cathy Glass
Dave Eggers and Mokhtar Alkhanshali On "The Monk of Mokha"
If you're looking for a piece of literature that will do more than just entertain you, we have some real-life accounts that are uplifting and insightful. In no particular order, here are 11 books that tell surprising, touching, and inspiring true stories.
#1: "The Monk of Mokha" by Dave Eggers. This is the third book in a series about immigrants in the United States. The first two books are "What Is the What" and "Zeitoun." Each book has its own charm.
"The Monk of Mokha," tells the story of Mokhtar Alkhanshali, who was born in San Francisco and worked as a doorman. The son of immigrants, he traveled back to Yemen and tried to build his own coffee business. He was determined, but face many challenges before he finally found success. The story will give readers a window into the lives of those struggling in a new land.
#2: "The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun." The author, Gretchen Rubin, is a mom who one day realized she needed a change in her life.
That is why she started "The Happiness Project," an endeavor she shares in her writing. Each month, she explains one lesson and her personal reflections. Her realizations have helped others who are struggling to find joy.
#3: "On Gold Mountain" by Lisa See. The book tells the story of Lisa's Chinese-American family over the span of 100 years as they immigrated to America, struggled with a culture that didn't allow interracial marriage, and eventually her own journey to becoming a writer. The sprawling narrative is an eye-opening tale of the perseverance of a family.
#4: "The End of Your Life Book Club" by Will Schwalbe. This book is all about the author's mother, Mary Anne, and her struggle with pancreatic cancer. But instead of feeling sorry for herself, she decided to start a project with her son, Will. They started a book club and shared their love of reading.
This little activity gave them the opportunity to grow closer, and the book is a beautiful tribute to Mary Anne, as her stories and wisdom are imparted.
#5: "The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother" by James McBride, which focuses on his mother, Ruth. The author tells the story of how his mom left her Jewish family and met the love of her life, a black minister named Andrew McBride.
James' mother raised him to be religious, but he he got involved with drugs and violence. The title was inspired by what Ruth always taught her kids, that "God is the color of water." This is a thought-provoking story that tackles race, childhood, and family.
#6: "The Best of Us: A Memoir" by Joyce Maynard. Divorced and in her late 50s, Joyce still strove to be independent and not need anyone. The author shares the story of how she unexpectedly found a real partner and fell in love again.
However, when her husband, Jim, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, she learned how strong their bond was. Though this book details a difficult struggle, the author manages to shine a light on what it means to be a true partner, and to have one.
#7: "The Misfit's Manifesto," by Lidia Yuknavitch. Fitting into society was never Lidia's specialty. She's a self-proclaimed misfit whose 2016 TED Talk, "The Beauty of Being a Misfit," gained a lot of attention.
Her book, inspired by this successful TED Talk, strives to motivate people who are having trouble finding their place in the world. She urges everyone to love themselves, no matter how different they are, and to never be afraid to tell their unique stories.
#8: "Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster." If you're someone who has always wanted to try climbing the tallest mountain on Earth, then you might want to read this chilling narrative about the 1996 expedition to the Mt. Everest summit, which the author was a part of. Jon Krakauer gives a harrowing retelling of the expedition that claimed the lives of 8 people and the difficult memories that come with being a survivor.
#9: "Brother, I'm Dying," by Edwidge Danticat. The author is an immigrant from Haiti whose parents made sacrifices with the hopes of providing a better life for their kids. The events that followed show the tough choices that must be made and how sometimes family members are left behind.
#10: "Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail" by Cheryl Strayed. This memoir details the physical challenges that she encountered during her 1,100-mile hike. Cheryl also talks about her decision to trek alone, even though she had no experience, and the realizations she came to along the way.
#11: "Can I Let You Go?" Cathy Glass shares the story of Faye, a 24-year old girl who has learning difficulties due to her mom's alcoholism. She lives with her grandparents, and when Faye got pregnant, her social worker asked Cathy to take the pregnant girl into her home.
This emotional story details Faye's struggles, and the difficult choices she makes so her baby can have a better life. Both parents and children can relate to how a mother's love is something worth fighting for.