Courage shines in inspirational tales

If you are looking for inspirational stories to read as we head into the new year, you might want to check out these 11 books that tell the stories of ordinary people who have succeeded in the face of adversity.

Books from Billy Connolly, Dick Smith, Sonny Bill Williams and more will help motivate you to overcome any challenge you face next year and keep working towards the life of your dreams.

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1. Can’t Hurt Me

Can’t Hurt Me shares the story of how David Goggins overcame poverty and prejudice in his childhood to become “The Fittest (Real) Man in America.” He is one of the country’s top icons within the U.S. Armed Forces and showcases how anyone can use self-discipline and hard work to change their life.

2. First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers

Loung Ung grew up living a privileged life in Phnom Penh, but at five years of age, this all changed. First They Killed My Father shares the story of how she overcame adversity after being sent to a labour camp and continued to show courage and love throughout her childhood and into her adult life.

3. Windswept & Interesting: My Autobiography

While Billy Connolly is well known around the world today, you might not know he was orphaned at the tender age of four. Surviving abuse from his own family, Windswept & Interesting shares his story of success despite the odds which were stacked against him.

4. My Adventurous Life

If you aren’t familiar with Dick Smith, he’s a proud Australian who is known for his work within business and innovation. In My Adventurous Life, we learn how Dick was branded as useless at academics at school and grew up with a speech impediment and became one of the country’s most respected citizens.

5. You Can’t Stop the Sun from Shining

As the first Muslim to play for the All Blacks, Sonny Bill Williams shares his incredible story in You Can’t Stop the Sun from Shining. He has always been driven by his moral compass and uses his newly found platform to encourage change in the world around him.

6. Breathe – A Life in Flow

Rickson Gracie is a familiar name to anyone who is familiar with Jiu-Jitsu. In Breathe – A Life in Flow, we learn how Rickson was inspired to defend himself growing up in Rio and the tragedies that he overcame on his path to success.

7. In Order To Live: A North Korean’s Journey To Freedom

Yeonmi Park shares the harrowing story of growing up in North Korea. In Order to Live offers us an insight into her childhood, where she was sold into slavery at the tender age of 13. Her resilient spirit shines throughout the book.

8. The Sound of Gravel: A Memoir

Ruth Wariner grew up in a family of 42 children in Mexico, and as the 39th child, she faced extreme poverty and violence growing up. The Sound of Gravel shares the story of living in a polygamist family and how she strived to maintain loyalty to her family after leaving them behind.

9. The Nazis Knew My Name

For anyone who is inspired by the story of Auschwitz and those who survived, you’ll want to pick up The Nazis Knew My Name by Magda Hellinger. She is an Australian Slovakian Holocaust survivor who saved multiple lives in Auschwitz through her acts of kindness and courage.

10. Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness

Susannah Cahalan shares her story of a misdiagnosis that almost ended her life. In Brain on Fire, we learn how one intelligent doctor saved Cahalan’s life and discover some of the hard truths about the medical industry.

11. My Story

Elizabeth Smart shares her life in My Story, where we learn about her abduction at 14 years of age. She was held captive for almost a year by a religious fanatic, and we learn how she escaped from this terrible situation. People around the world now find inspiration from hearing her speak as an advocate for victims of similar crimes.

Inspiration in courageous tales

When you read any of these books, you’ll be inspired by the courageous tales which showcase how overcoming adversity in most situations is possible.

If you are struggling to find motivation in your everyday life, learning about the struggles that others have faced is often what you need to hear.

The more you read about the world around you, the more you’ll be able to show compassion and mental toughness in any situation you face in the future.

Or, do you prefer crime and mystery novels?

If reading crime and mystery novels are more your style, check out these titles the list of Top 10 most borrowed adult fiction titles in 2020 from Fraser Coast Libraries.

Readers love crime and mystery

The top 10 most borrowed adult fiction books in 2020 from the Fraser Coast Libraries reveal users’ love of crime and mystery stories with Lee Child novels taking out three of the top five positions.

Councillor David Lewis said crime and mystery writers also featured strongly in the list of the top 10 most popular authors of 2020 with James Patterson in the number one position.

“Female writers hold an equal number of spots in the top 10 list of most borrowed authors,” Cr Lewis said.

“Romance and fantasy writer Nora Roberts appears in the number two ranking and again in the ninth slot under her crime-writing pseudonym of J.D. Robb.

“It’s also good to see a children’s book author in the top 10 with Daisy Meadows in eighth place.”

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Council’s five library branches were inundated during the first week of the New Year with borrowers returning more than 41,000 items.

During the opening week, borrowers also took home almost 17,000 items, Cr Lewis said.

The busy start to 2021 followed a major jump of 49 per cent in the use of the e-Library last year.

“Fraser Coast Libraries recorded more than 63,000 eBook loans and reserves in 2020, along with 48,000 eAudiobook loans and reserves, as the community felt the impact of COVID-19,” he said.

“The e-Library proved invaluable during the time when the physical library branches were closed during the early stages of the global pandemic.

“People were able to, and still can, join online and start borrowing ebooks and e-audiobooks for free within one-and-a-half hours.”

Top 10 most borrowed adult fiction titles in 2020

  1. Past Tense by Lee Child
  2. Blue Moon by Lee Child
  3. The Night Fire by Michael Connelly
  4. The Midnight Line by Lee Child
  5. Khaki Town by Judy Nunn
  6. Fifty Fifty by James Patterson and Candice Fox
  7. Camino Island by John Grisham
  8. Sanctuary by Judy Nunn
  9. End Game by David Baldacci
  10. The Fix by David Baldacci

Top 10 most popular authors in 2020

  1. James Patterson
  2. Nora Roberts
  3. Danielle Steel
  4. Clive Cussler
  5. David Baldacci
  6. Lee Child
  7. Michael Connelly
  8. Daisy Meadows
  9. J.D. Robb
  10. Anna Jacobs

If reading true stories of inspiration are more your style, check out the Top 11 Inspirational Books of 2021.