Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Book Review : Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

Morrie Schwartz was a college professor in philosophy at Brandeis University for many years. One of his students in the 1970's was Mitch Albom. Morrie and Mitch became good friends over those years. Then Mitch graduated and went on with his life, too busy to keep in contact with his professor.

Almost twenty years later, Mitch is now a sports newscaster and writer. He and his wife are part of America's fast lane of life, doing well and striving for yet more. Then he watches Nightline one night. Ted Koppel is interviewing Morrie. And Mitch is surprised to discover Morrie is dying. Morrie is dying from Lou Gehrig's disease, a crippling illness that diminished his activities daily. When in college, Mitch met with Morrie on Tuesdays. So he, takes the initiative to reconnect with his long lost friend.

Morrie is delighted to hear from Mitch again, and immediately invites him to visit. Thus begins a fourteen week meet, every Tuesday, visit and life lesson. Morrie tells Mitch that in life you have to find out what is important to you, and not let society make those choices for you. Mitch realized that society puts a value on stuff that shimmers and glistens, not on the things that really matter. Morrie is able to take a look at life not only from the philosophical view he has taught over the years, but now also from the "end of life" viewpoint. He is a peace with himself and can share that peace and knowledge with Mitch and the others around him. This made Mitch see how Morrie was a man of great wisdom and valued the little thing in life. He taught Mitch so much, and allowed him to see the things that usually go unnoticed.

This book is a collaboration between Morrie and Mitch. They taped their visits each time Mitch visited. They discussed the big questions of life (what is love, living, death, marriage, a relationship) to the small ones (what's for lunch, how's your wife, how's your son, and the war in Bosnia). Mitch rediscovered the relationship that had never been broken. Morrie rediscovered his old friend. Also, Morrie was able to use this time to do what he loved, teach.

This book is a wonderful chronicling of friendship and life questions. Mitch is able to portray Morrie so that the professor once again is alive (and dying) for the reader.

This beautiful little book will remind you of the importance of counting your blessings daily and having the wisdom to honor life’s simplest pleasures no matter how busy your life becomes.

Mitch Albom is the author of the international bestseller The Five People You Meet in Heaven as well as six other books. A nationally syndicated columinist for the Detroit Free Press and a nationally syndicated radio host for ABC and WJR-AM, Albom has, for over a decade, been named top sports columnist in the nation by the Sports Editors of America, the highest honor in the field. A panelist on ESPN’s Sports Reporters, Albom also regularly serves as a commentator for that network. He serves on numerous charitable boards and has founded two charities in metropolitan Detroit : The Dream Fund, which help under-privileged youth study the arts, and A Time to Help, a monthly volunteer program. He lives with his wife, Janine, in Michigan.

Reviewed by Komathi Somasundaram, Taylor’s College Sri Hartamas Library.

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