Five Inspiring Books about People Who Overcame the Odds

by | Sep 23, 2021 | Book List | 0 comments

Adversity is one of the most powerful forces in life. It can bring out the best or the worst in humanity. But, ultimately, it is up to you how you will handle these obstacles. Many have found a way to jump hurdles and navigate around roadblocks that would stop others completely. Some of these people are sharing their stories to shine a light for others like you. Through storytelling, these writers connect everyone through unique life circumstances while rooting for you and your success. So without further ado, check out these compelling memoirs of great people to inspire your transformation and life journey. 

Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela

The Long Walk to Freedom is an interesting yet inspiring account of the historical figure, Nelson Mandela. Straddling two worlds, he was exposed to the Tembu culture and the hostile reality of a white-dominated nation. The horrors in his community hardened his resolve, motivating him to advocate against racial oppression in the land that was once theirs. This movement led him to prison for years, but even after his release, his spirit remained; he went on to become president and continued his fight for the remainder of his days. His book remains relevant, especially with today’s continuous fight against racism. 

Overcoming Adversity: Resetting Goals by Nelson Fowlkes

Take an inspirational stroll in this compelling journey from splintered childhood, adverse adulthood to a successful and meaningful retirement on Nelson Fowlkes’ book. Life for the author was filled with barriers and setbacks, but his unwavering faith, perseverance, and internal fortitude led him to rise above it. Now, he shares his story to help you realize that you aren’t alone, that he has been in a similar predicament and made it out alive. What Nelson Fowlkes subconsciously implies in his book is that adversity fuels greatness. If there’s no adversity, there’s no growth. 

A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah

A Long Way Gone is a heartbreaking tale of Ishmael Beah’s experience as a child soldier. Like any child, Ishmael has goals and dreams but being a soldier was not one of them. And once drafted, his eyes were opened to the cruelty and idea of war, drugs, death, and violence. Becoming a child soldier and killing was easy as drinking water, but after being rescued by the UNICEF, he found that what he went through was inhumane and that things must change. A Long Way gone memoir offers a first-person point of view of the pain of being a child soldier. 

In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park

Yeonmi Park was one of the many defectors of the Kim dictatorship in North Korea. The author vividly describes the poverty, starving masses, forced labor, and cruel living conditions of most North Koreans. From growing up in a brutal environment leading to her escape, Yeonmi candidly shares her story through her debut book, In Order to Live. But her struggles didn’t stop there; at the hands of traffickers, they were fed, but it came with a price which she was willing to take just, so she isn’t returned to the hand of their “Great Leader.” This book serves as one of her humanitarian work and a cry for others to help others and themselves. 

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sing by Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou is one of the many renowned poets of our time. She has won accolades and Nobel laureate for her amazing work. However, before her success was a dreadful experience. Her debut memoir captures the joys and pain of childhood during the peak of the great depression in poignant detail. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings translates to her longing as a lonely child, the brute insult of bigotry, and the wonder of words can bring. Additionally, this book is Maya’s means to address molestation, assault, and racism, which remains a problem in today’s society. 


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