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Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope

4.09  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,104 Ratings  ·  343 Reviews
Read by Mark Kelly with a final chapter read by Gabrielle Giffords.

As individuals, congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, showed Americans how optimism, an adventurous spirit, and a call to service can help change the world. As a couple, they became a national example of the healing power to be found in deeply shared love and courage. Thei
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Audio CD, 10 pages
Published November 15th 2011 by Simon & Schuster Audio
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Kristal Cooper Absolutely. There's lots to talk about after reading this book. It's an emotional rollercoaster: heartbreaking, romantic, dramatic, inspirational.…moreAbsolutely. There's lots to talk about after reading this book. It's an emotional rollercoaster: heartbreaking, romantic, dramatic, inspirational. Your members will learn something about the businesses of politics and aerospace and also about human qualities such as integrity, determination and commitment. Please do pick this book and meet Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly, a couple of true American heroes.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Victoria_Grossack Grossack
I have so many reactions to this book, many of which are based in personal experiences.

First, let me state that I vote in Tucson. Giffords is my representative. I rarely get involved in politics, as I’m so often out of the US, but I happened to be in Tucson for the 2010 election and did some GOTV work on her behalf.

The tension in Tucson before the election was extremely high, and I felt nervous around some of those supporting the tea party candidate opposing her. They were loud and threatening.
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Jean
pg 89
“I also think back to the time, after my second space flight, in 2006, when Gabby and I got to have lunch with the legendary British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, who is paralyzed due to a form of Lou Gehrig’s disease. It takes him an excruciatingly long time to say anything, and I pretty much gave up on conversing with him beyond a few pleasantries. But Gabby was just incredible. She intuitively knew what to do.
After my failed attempt at interacting with Dr. Hawking, she kneeled down i
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Cindy Knoke
Dec 19, 2011 Cindy Knoke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was suprised by this book. I expected the usual sugar-coated we went through hell, but all is rosy, sort of, book.

It was not such. It was a brave, honest, many times painful, but ultimately trandescendant, factual recounting. I was also surprised by the depth of layers in this book.

You get to learn details about NASA. Management seems as bad there as everywhere. You get to learn what you have to do to command, launch, dock in space and return the shuttle with a pluperfect score. You get to h
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Nancy
Dec 29, 2011 Nancy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I finally understand why I took so long to finish this book – HOPE. Something that is in short supply of during these times and I found that Gabrielle Gifford’s most challenging moment offers hope to the rest of us. The gunshot wound that she received to her head would have killed most people, but she fought, her husband fought, her parents fought and every one of her loved ones fought. This is a person that is loved and because of that love, we saw a miracle happen.

On January 8, 2011, while in
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PoligirlReads
Nov 20, 2011 PoligirlReads rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's unfortunate that I never gave much attention to either of these individuals before tragedy hit. Like most, I've been following Gabby's improvement in the news, most recently with the 20/20 interview. The book reveals that the backstory given in the interview was only a small sampling of what their life has been like this year.

Quick verdict: I highly recommend this book. Her amazing struggle to recover from being shot in the head (THE HEAD!) is book-worthy, but I also find the level of comm
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Ann Tracy
Feb 08, 2013 Ann Tracy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ann by: Patricia from the book club
in the end i suppose i'm glad that i read this, but as a tucsonan it was a very difficult read (emotionally). i was thankful for the last chapter done in gabby's own voice, and that she still has hope.

the main criticism i've heard about this book was that it was too much about mark kelly but i'm unclear how it could be otherwise. it wasn't billed as a biography. true there is a lot in the book about NASA and kelly's last space shuttle, but it was interesting.

i really do hope that one day gabby
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Shomeret
Dec 26, 2011 Shomeret rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-reviews, memoir
When I was reading about Gabby's rehab, I thought of people in my life who hadn't gotten an adequate rehab and had lost their mobility as a result. The issue goes well beyond the brain injured. Anyone who spends enough time confined to a hospital bed needs rehab afterward. I'm sure Gabrielle Gifford is determined to help other brain injured people who don't have her coverage, but what about the 99% who need rehab, and aren't brain injured?

I actually do have a friend with a brain injury which hap
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Gina
Feb 27, 2012 Gina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
After Gabby Giffords was shot in an incident that left others killed and her gravely injured, I was curious about her. I had heard of her husband, Mark Kelly the astronaut, but was unfamiliar with Congresswoman Giffords. I picked this up on impulse from the library in order to learn more. This book is a celebration of her life, including photos from infancy to present day. There are numerous details about her relationship with Mark from their meeting, to wedding, to his help with her recovery. T ...more
Eric
Feb 05, 2012 Eric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My interest in this book was of course (1) the courageous and fascinating personal story of a remarkable couple and (2) I wanted to read what they had to say about Gabby's rehab course and see how they presented it. I've had the privilege and challenge of overseeing the medical and therapeutic care of many patients with injuries like those described in this book. The authors present a realistic picture and do a pretty good job at describing the roller-coaster that rehab often is. The way they de ...more
Naomi
Dec 09, 2011 Naomi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an incredibly, beautifully written book by a husband (although, I could def. see Zaslow's input)re: his wife's rise to public office and her incredible comeback from being shot in the head.

I must say that when it came across the news, that Gabby had been shot in the head, I broke down crying (I tend to remember the news had at first stated she died). I couldn't figure out the sense of the crime, particularly against this woman. I had seen her interviewed numerous times on Greta Van Sustern
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Shannon Renee
Jun 01, 2012 Shannon Renee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Like many, without the tragic shooting in Tucson I would have never heard of Gabrielle Giffords. There would be no reason to. I live in Kentucky, I'm a republician (don't frown like it's an evil thing!), and I do not follow Arizona, or the NASA program.

Tucson changed all of that.

I though this book was an exremely up-close and honest take on that day, and the days that follow. I am a bit biased, as a Speech Therapist (Speech and Language Pathologist for the proper title :) I was concerned how th
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Christie Bane
Jan 09, 2013 Christie Bane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book that I scored this high not because of the writing (which was competent and engaging but not particularly moving) but because of the story.

I'm a Tucsonan and love Tucson, and even though Gabrielle Giffords was not MY Congresswoman (I'm in Grijalva's district), I have been a fan of hers almost as long as I've been in Tucson. I've followed her story in the Weekly and always admired her for being young, athletic, attractive, devoted to Tucson, and known for being a "nice" politician
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Erin
Jan 11, 2012 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I won this from a Goodreads First Reads giveaway. I have to say, I am so happy I did.

This was an emotional book.

I, like many others, hadn't heard of Gabrielle Giffords until January 8, 2011. Since the shooting that day in Arizona, I have been following her story very closely. That is why I was happy to receive this book.

The book is written by Gabby's husband, Mark Kelly, with help from Jeffrey Zaslow. He tells the story from his point of view, which is interesting and emotional at times. The boo
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Aaron
May 09, 2012 Aaron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was truly an amazing and inspiring story. Gabrielle Giffords was a Congresswoman from Arizona who was shot in the head while doing a public event in her district on January 8, 2011. Six people also at the event died, and 19 others were also seriously wounded. This is her story and that of her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly. It shares their lives before the event and what has happened since.

I have always been intrigued by Gabby Giffords. She had her traumatic brain injury just a week before R
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Debbie
May 20, 2012 Debbie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is very aptly titled. It truly is a story of courage and hope. I expected something a little more medically-oriented, which would have been fine, but this is a wonderfully-told, full, real-life story. The balance of long ago and more recent, tragedy and comedy, his career and hers, sorrow and joy is beautifully done. I'm a bit biased, having real-life connections to both Mark and Gabby, but I feel that I can honestly put that aside and say that this book is truly wonderful. It tells us ...more
Kristy
Feb 16, 2012 Kristy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There were a few pages in this book that I dogeared, for the sole purpose of going back and reading the passages because they touched me so deeply. However, I gave it three stars because there were MANY unnecessary astronaut-y details. The book also was very much about Mark Kelly, and his life. He talked WAYYY too much about himself. I can't say I'm surprised; astronauts are supposed to be full of themselves.

Despite all of this, I am still forever moved by the story of Gabrielle Giffords, and he
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Heather Fineisen
Jun 09, 2012 Heather Fineisen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Middle and High School students
Shelves: women
As a student in Mr. Pfeffer's High School Civics class I learned about "Free Cheese" and how sitting in the back of class with the B's, C's and D's (alphabetically-not grade wise) was way cooler than sitting in the front. That said, I wish this book would have been available way back then as it is a readable discourse on civility and serving your country. In addition, it touches on how congress works, blended families, and reaching your goals. Oh, and it has space travel and a shooting, too.

Rega
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Tanya
Jan 26, 2012 Tanya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-books
I really liked this book and it is a testament to Gabby's spirit and ideas. I was struck by her realization that she represented all people of her district, not just the ones who voted for her and was sympathetic to them when she was an active member of Congress and not "full of herself" as is my perception of others in public, government service. She made herself so accessible and really seemed to care about her constituents.

I wish the level of care she received is available to all head injury
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Bernadette
May 22, 2016 Bernadette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle (Gabby) Giffords in January 2011 at a Congress on the Corner event in Tucson, Arizona, Americans throughout the nation were clamoring for information about this energetic, dedicated woman's effort to recover from major brain damage. It is quite amazing that this high quality book was published within a year of the shooting. The can-do attitude of her husband astronaut Capt. Mark Kelly and fine work of cowriter Jeffrey Zaslow make this a well balanced ...more
Taylor Brown
Mar 04, 2016 Taylor Brown rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gabby is a book written to tell the story of Gabrielle Giffords. Mark Kelly, author, husband, and astronaut of the beautiful, kind, loving, and courageous Senator of Arizona, tells of her life, his, and their journey through recovery of a shot through the brain. Gabby is a self-acclaimed, hard worker from a small town in Arizona. Mark is a twin, both of them astronauts, born in Orange, New Jersey. How they met each other being from such different places and married having such different hectic l ...more
Karen
Jun 02, 2015 Karen rated it really liked it
I had some mixed feelings about this book. I listened to the audio CD version and can't say that Mark Kelly is my favorite narrator ever. I also thought the book kind of bounced around in a hard to follow fashion. I couldn't always follow where the story was going or what point of life was being described. This was more pronounced for me towards the beginning but became much more clear as the book went on. I was also conflicted regarding the authors' choice to leave the attacker's name and, more ...more
Kristal Cooper
Dec 26, 2015 Kristal Cooper rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Absolutely loved this book, while it was causing me to cry from beginning to end.

Some reviewers weren't happy that Mark Kelly was so involved in the writing of this book, but it was a plus for me. I've been a fan of the Space Shuttle program since Day 1, so I was star-struck to hear Commander Kelly's first-hand experiences. I'm also a Gabrielle Giffords-era Tucsonan who recognized her as one of the few good and honest politicians out there. News of her attack nearly wrecked me -- and the detail
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Kb
Jan 14, 2012 Kb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am a sucker for books about women in political power.

While there were times the book lost me, the final chapters and the message Giffords wrote made me love her even more.

So yeah, it's more 5 stars for Gabrielle Giffords and not the book.
Gabby
Jun 21, 2014 Gabby rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars. I did enjoy this book and was really amazed at the steps toward recovery that Gabby has taken.

But, my beef (and the reason for 3.5 stars) is with the fact that, even though her name is first, this book was actually written/told by her husband (except for the last chapter). And maybe I might not have minded much, except he brought a lot of himself (childhood, space missions, etc.) that had nothing to do with Gabby. I guess we needed to get some perspective, but ... then perhaps this b
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Kris Neri
Nov 21, 2011 Kris Neri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A moving and uplifting account of Gabby Giffords' and Mark Kelly's struggles since she was shot.
Chris Seals
Dec 29, 2011 Chris Seals rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book a lot. Easy to read, and a remarkable love story as well.
Ann Tracy
Feb 16, 2016 Ann Tracy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
20/20 was wonderful tonight; i've got to read this book.
Megan
Nov 19, 2011 Megan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amazing people, incredible story.
Carrie Luciano
Jun 25, 2012 Carrie Luciano rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing story. Amazing woman.
Taylor Nicole
This book was one of the "recommendations" based on others that I had purchased. The sample chapter that I read caught my attention, so I decided to go ahead and purchase the full book for my Kindle.

I am one of many who watched the news reports about the shooting in Tucson, Arizona. The fact that Gabrielle Giffords survived at all is a miracle, and that she has come so far so quickly in her recovery is equally astounding. I have spent a significant amount of time in the hospital for various med
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“The Congresswoman was depressed by the fact that a woman of her standing could no longer count on making it to the rest room "in time" during the extensive rehabilitation that followed her shooting. Her husband, commander of a space shuttle crew, encouraged her by identifying with her limitation. Even revered astronauts, he revealed, have bodily limits and have to rely on Huggies during extended launch exercises.” 13 likes
“Pursue your passion, and everything will fall into place. This is not being romantic. This is the highest order of pragmatism.” 5 likes
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