The best stories about resiliency

The Books I Picked & Why

The Glass Castle

By Jeannette Walls

Book cover of The Glass Castle

Why this book?

This is my all-time favourite book because it’s such an incredible story of a girl’s resilience and ultimate success after an insane childhood. And it’s SO well-written—despite Jeannette’s horrific circumstances, I laughed as often as I shook my head in wonder. This is the book that made me finally start writing my own memoir after decades of thinking about it!

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Angela's Ashes: A Memoir

By Frank McCourt

Book cover of Angela's Ashes: A Memoir

Why this book?

I’m a sucker for crazy childhoods, and Frank’s story of abject poverty left my jaw hanging open on nearly every page. But what makes the book amazing is how he manages to tell the story with so much charm and humour, and how he refuses to give up on his family or himself. Frank is truly one of the most resilient humans on the planet.

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Man’s Search for Meaning

By Viktor Frankl

Book cover of Man’s Search for Meaning

Why this book?

When a friend gave me this thin book, it sat on my shelf for ages because I find Holocaust stories so hard to read. But when I finally cracked it, I read the whole thing in one sitting. Again, the key to this story is the author’s ability to find humour and optimism during his horrible circumstances…and I love how he turns it into a self-help book of sorts at the end.

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The Call of the Wild

By Jack London

Book cover of The Call of the Wild

Why this book?

Humans are not the only animals on the planet who can be resilient. I read this as my first real chapter book when I was 8, and I remember bawling my eyes out in my secret tree fort at least once while doing so. The funny thing is that I’m not even really a dog person, but Buck’s story of survival and heroism touched me like no other.

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Diary of a Wimpy Kid

By Jeff Kinney

Book cover of Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Why this book?

I read this entire series on my son’s recommendation and literally cried from laughing so hard. Resiliency might not be the first word that comes to mind with these books, but to me, Greg’s story is a classic example of how this trait comes into play in the everyday lives of children and their families. Even though Greg rarely triumphs, he keeps leaning into life and new experiences. And that’s what resiliency is all about—we don't have to experience horrific poverty or a war to develop it within ourselves :)

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