Book #1: Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
I haven’t read a lot of books by Albom but The Time Keeper got me engaged into his work and just the other day I bought a copy of Tuedays with Morrie. I started reading it and right after I finished the first chapter, I could not get myself to put it down. Some of you might find it slightly mawkish but it touched me in so many ways possible.
Mitch Albom is an American author, journalist, screenwriter, playwright, radio and television broadcaster and musician. His breakthrough book Tuesdays with Morrie was published in 1997. This book has sold over 14 million copies and has been translated into 41 languages. Also, it is regularly taught in high schools and universities around the world.
The narrator (Mitch Albom) tells us the story of Morrie Schwartz, his old Sociology professor from Brandeis University. Mitch happens to lose contact with his favourite professor after graduating. Sixteen years after his graduation, Mitch is in a place where he seems utterly frustrated with the kind of hectic life he’s living, wrapped up in materialism. He comes across Morrie’s feature on the television programme “Nightline” in an interview with Ted Koppel. Mitch contacts his dying professor and travels to Detroit to see him.
That’s basically when the story unfolds and the last class begins.
Morrie has a terminal neurological disease and despite that he has such a great deal of humour in his attitude towards life and all the other important aspects of it. The book is a captivating compilation of Albom’s time with Morrie Schwartz, before his death. The ‘last class’ as it was referred to in the book, takes place every Tuesday in Morrie’s house. The subject of the class is the meaning of life. Of course, that comes from experience and it’s not something that is taught in school. The lessons may seem slightly cliché but it portrays the loving bond that the author shared with his teacher. It’s not a heavy read at all, in fact I found myself laughing every now and then as Morrie was amazingly upbeat and witty through it all.
I absolutely loved the way it was written and it also had a very interesting layout. In addition to the fourteen lessons, the book also included these old memories from the author’s college days in Morrie’s classes. It kept me engaged and the most important part is that it made me think about so many things. That is one of my favourite parts when it comes to reading. It demands to stimulate a thought process and that’s when I feel truly satisfied about reading a good book or a poem or whatever. I feel like I’ve gained something.
I would give this book a five out of five.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book that inspired me. (I love highlighting the parts that I would like to remember or just go though when I open the book.)
-“If you hold back on the emotions–if you don’t allow yourself to go all the way through them–you can never get to being detached, you’re too busy being afraid. You’re afraid of the pain, you’re afraid of the grief. You’re afraid of the vulnerability that loving entails. But by throwing yourself into these emotions, by allowing yourself to dive in, all the way, over your heard even, you experience them fully and completely.”
-“You see, you closed your eyes. That was the difference. Sometimes you cannot believe what you see, you have to believe what you feel. And if you are ever going to have other people trust you, you must feel that you can trust them, too–even when you’re in the dark. Even when you’re falling.”
– “Well, for one thing, the culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. We’re teaching the wrong things. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it. Create your own. Most people can’t do it.”
– “In the beginning of life, when we are infants, we need others to survive, right? And at the end of life, when you get like me, you need others to survive right?… But here’s the secret: in between, we need others as well.”
-“Love wins, love always wins.”
-“I give myself a good cry if I need it, but then I concentrate on all good things still in my life.”
– “Be compassionate and take responsibility for each other. If we only learned those lessons, this world would be so much better a place.”
– “As you grow, you learn more. If you stayed as ignorant as you were at twenty-two, you’d always be twenty-two. Aging is not just decay, you know. It’s growth. It’s more than the negative that you’re going to die, it’s the positive that you understand you’re going to die, and that you live a better life because of it.”
So basically, I could go on and on with the quotes but these are some of my very favorite ones. I suggest everyone should read this book at some point.