Overcome Obstacles With 7 Stories on Facing Adversity

Can’t seem to find your creative spark? Or maybe a sudden life change has left you feeling lost and helpless? Whatever difficulties you face, it’s completely normal to feel stuck at times. After all, we’re humans not robots. But when inner inspiration runs dry, it’s time to consult outside sources—and at Literati, we have the perfect solution.

Renew your fighting spirit with seven of our best inspirational books. From celebrity picks to bestselling memoirs, each read shares the trials and triumphs of facing our adversities.

The Dancing Girls of Lahore – Louise Brown

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The Diamond District of Lahore holds a rich Islamic community, full of long-held cultural traditions, one being the daily rituals held at local mosques. Another being the services of “dancers”—or more accurately, prostitutes.

Over four years, sociologist Louise Brown studied this curious coexistence of religion and its sins in Pakistan. Speaking with Lahore dancers, she uncovers the societal pressures and systems that trap these women in brothels, from lack of education to sexist standards.

A compassionate report, The Dancing Girls of Lahore brilliantly encapsulates the straddling of faith, culture, and poverty. As one of our Luminary Books, this Malala Yousafsa pick will open both your eyes and heart.

A Most Beautiful Thing – Arshay Cooper

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Arshay Cooper had never steered a boat in his life. But after seeing a poster to sign up for “Crew Team,” he takes a chance on a new sport—one that would change his entire life.

Defying stereotypes, Arshay leads the nations’ first all-black high school rowing team to success. Meanwhile, he and his crewmates resist the tumultuous violence that rocks their Chicago neighborhood and home lives, braving the waters together.

Uplifting and invigorating, A Most Beautiful Thing shares how one high schooler can break down economic and racial barriers. If looking for a true story to raise the spirits, this Stephen Curry book selection will do the job.

Untamed – Glennon Doyle

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The “good girl.” It’s a standard thrust upon many women, reeking of discipline and agreeability. Some may see it as a badge of honor. But to Glennan Doyle, being a good girl shrunk and contained her identity—until she decided to break her shackles.

In passionate reflections, Untamed captures one woman’s sexual, emotional, and spiritual awakening. After years of following the “right” path, Doyle dares to trust her inner voice and deviate from her so-called perfect life. The result? True happiness, unbridled by gendered expectations.

If seeking a spark of courage, Untamed is the perfect kindle. Follow Doyle’s brave journey to self-discovery for some life-shaping inspiration.

Salvage the Bones – Jesmyn Ward

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Billowing clouds, blustery winds, and a dark, dark sky—something’s brewing on the horizon of this Mississippi town. But to fourteen-year-old Esch, the real storm resides within her home.

Set in the days before Hurricane Katrina, Salvage the Bones plunges into the depths of a motherless family already struggling to survive. Secretly pregnant, Esch must help her brothers find enough food before the hurricane hits—even if it means sacrificing her own wellness.

Flinchingly raw, Jesmyn Ward’s novel never holds back in its biting depiction of poverty. But despite its dark edges, this story upholds the endurance of our most human quality—familial love. Selected by acclaimed writer Susan Orlean, Salvage the Bones will restore your belief in unconditional compassion.

Educated: A Memoir – Tara Westover

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One of the best books of 2020, Educated isn’t a typical scholarly memoir. Instead, Tara Westover leads us down memories of her unconventional childhood in an Idaho survivalist family—a household completely devoid of education.

Isolated and subject to abuse, young Tara never knew the world was so different from her home. That is, until she breaks family ties and attends university. After learning of the outside world, can she ever truly reconnect with her family?

In Educated, Westover manages to universalize her unique experience, plunging into the messiness debating loyalty versus self-identity. Prepare for a pensive, captivating story of creating one’s life anew. 

Troop 6000 – Nikita Stewart

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In New York City’s overcrowded shelter system, normal life can seem like a faraway dream. But for Giselle Burgess and her five children, giving up was never an option.

Desperate to provide her kids a community, Giselle established Troop 6000—the first Girl Scouts troop for homeless girls. Journalist Nikita Stewart shares her year with these young ladies, capturing the immense difficulties and joys that drive their lives. 

From coming-of-age struggles to the strain of poverty, Troop 6000 delivers a powerful look at the lives of homeless families. A Stephen Curry selection, this read will help you recognize the unstoppable power of comradery. 

Dare To Lead – Brené Brown

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Brene Brown has earned critical acclaim for her sociological work—and for good reason. Her dissection of shame has transformed lives, compelling readers to live with compassion and vulnerability.

Dare to Lead rounds out Brown’s sage advice with a touch of courage. By breaking down leadership into four essential skills, she creates a tangible way to defy self-doubt and tap into your authoritative voice.

Ignite Your Inspiration with Literati

Every now and then, we all need an emotional uplift. But there’s a reason saccharine fairytales aren’t go-to inspiration sources. To find inner confidence, we need real stories that cover the light and the dark.From defying poverty to claiming identities, our inspirational books provide a dose of reality alongside inspiration—a surefire recipe for kickstarting your own transformation. And if you want more impactful reads, take a peek at Literati’s Luminary Book Club!

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