"Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story" by Ben Carson, M.D.

I loved this book. So much that I'm not even sure there's much for me to say except this: Learn as much as you can about Dr. Ben Carson!

Seriously. I don't know what else to say. This man is amazing and his story is truly inspirational. If you aren't a book reader (strange for you to be reading this blog if so), then at least watch the movie.

I really want to be more like Dr. Carson. I want to overcome my trials, dedicate my life to the things I'm passionate about, and never deviate in my devotion to God.


"The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr." edited by Clayborne Carson

I finally read The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. Jesse bought it for me several years ago, knowing how much I love biographies and even more, how much I admire Martin Luther King, Jr. This book has been sitting on my shelf, waiting until I finished school so I could read it and be fully engaged, instead of fighting the distractions of homework, school books, and papers to write.

That day finally came, but it took me longer to get through MLKJ than I thought it would. Not because it wasn't vastly interesting, but because it was also vastly overwhelming. Martin Luther King, Jr. has been a hero of mine for a long time and I am happy to say that my opinion of him was not diminished by reading this book. Clayborne Carson did a wonderful job (with lots of help from other King scholars) of compiling Dr. King's writings into a psuedo-autobiography. I have to assume that if he had lived long enough to write a book meant as an autobiography, he may have done it a little differently, but I am amazed by the sheer volume of writing that he did throughout his life. There is so much detail in this book about King's various activities, causes, and trials. He worked tirelessly to advance the cause of Civil Rights in America and was both loved and hated by people throughout the world. Reading this book opened my eyes to how many interesting and incredible things he was able to accomplish in his life. I love his speeches more than anything else - I truly believe that he was given a gift when it came to public speaking. His writing is good, but his speeches are spectacular! My very favorite quote from this book, however, was not given in a speech.

Martin Luther King, Jr., one of the greatest advocates of equality to ever live, once wrote: "I would rather be a man of conviction than a man of conformity." I love that. And I love that no matter how much criticism he received, he refused to back down from his beliefs and his convictions. He admonished his fellow men to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and he never once shrank from his adherence to nonviolence.

When you have some time to spare, read this book. It will make you realize that MLKJ was, like the rest of us, human. He had weaknesses and vices and imperfections. But he tried his very best and proclaimed on the eve of his assassination that all he wanted to be remembered for was that he gave all he had to the pursuit of equality and justice. That, to me, is truly heroic.