on October 14, 2009
Mitch Albom has been one of my favorite sportswriters for years; his style is eloquent, yet concise and very witty. His words are well-chosen when he writes and this particular effort is no exception. It's terrific.
This is a remarkable, true story of contrast, of two men of God; one an aging rabbi, and the other, an African American pastor working in a ghetto. Two men---two different faiths; two entirely different backgrounds. In the end, the message is clear: Faith ties us closely together and can give us the chance to accomplish things we never dreamed possible.
Albom's anecdotal tale of his own personal experience with faith---losing it and regaining it---carries an inspirational message for anyone, regardless of religious affiliation, or lack thereof. We come away with a better understanding of how life can be so meaningful, if we'll only give it a chance.
Read this book; you'll be moved, as I was.
on October 30, 2009
As an agnostic, a book titled Have a Little Faith had so little interest to me. But since Mitch Albom is my favorite author I figured how bad can it be and if I read it with an open mind, just maybe I'd be able to get something from it. Clearly, I made the right choice. Like all of Mitch's books, Have a Little Faith is brilliantly written. He captures the reader from page one and takes the reader on his journey with a dying rabbi (Reb) and a man who turns his life around (Henry). The only bond between the two is there faith in God -- one being Jewish and the other being Christian. In between a couple of other characters are introduced -- particularly Cass who has a beautifully defined role in the story. This book does not preach nor does it favor either religion. It merely suggests (as it does to Mitch) to look at yourself and perhaps refocus on the important things in life -- whether it be family, friends or faith. In a time where the world seems to be in a frenzy -- loving one another doesn't seem like a bad thing.
Mitch: please keep turning out these masterpieces.
on October 7, 2009
This is one of the only books that I've ever read that I couldn't put down! Really! If it had not been for the normal demands of life I would have finished it in one sitting. Instead, I had to put it down for an evening and spend the next day waiting to be able to get my hands on it to finish it. Mitch Albom is blessed with an incredible ability to capture thoughts and stories that touch the soul. Have a Little Faith is one of the books that should be required reading for life; particularly now with so much going on in the world around us. His conversations with two great, yet unknown, men of God are lessons in how to deal with the normal challenges and struggles of life. Don't read this book if you're afraid to feel the urge to shed a few tears of joys but read this book if you want to understand the answers to the questions that you ponder daily from the perspective of two men who have answered them from paths of life that, although divergent, were filled with experiences that captured the essence of what life is all about.
on October 13, 2009
"Will you do my eulogy?"
This is the question that Rabbi Al Lewis asks Mitch Albom at the start of his first nonfiction book since TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE. And this question is the start of an eight-year relationship between Albom and the good rabbi.
After years of going through the motions attending synagogue on high holidays with his family, Albom is surprised one day to have "Reb" tap him for the ultimate honor of delivering his eulogy when the time comes. As a child, Albom performed all the rituals of the Jewish religion by rote, all the while praying for a dog and rewriting the Ten Commandments to include "Honor thy older siblings" with his younger brother in mind. As an adult, he married a Christian and declared himself an atheist. But rekindling his relationship with the rabbi brought back a flood of memories from Hebrew schools and services. And Albom intersperses these often humorous childhood reflections throughout his book as he describes how his reconnection with the rabbi evolves.
Strained, almost perfunctory visits morph over time into happily anticipated and cherished exchanges. As they meet over the court of the next four years, the "larger-than-life man of God" who stood at the lectern each week "was shrinking down to human size." Albom learned the history of the man who for so long had been a mysterious figure in the hallway at school. The Reb shares how he became a rabbi (in a line of many rabbis in his family), how he met and wooed his lovely wife Sarah, how they tragically lost a child, and how he nurtured and loved his congregation, flaws and all. He revealed to Albom all the nuggets he had gleaned from 60 years of ministering his people: that ritual IS religion; that "From generation to generation, these rituals are how we remain...connected"; "it is far more comforting to believe God heard you and said no, than to think that nobody's out there"; and (my personal favorite) the meaning of happiness is to "be satisfied," "be grateful."
During this time, Albom met another man of faith, Henry Covington. Henry is the pastor at the "I Am My Brother's Keeper" ministry in Detroit, Michigan, a poverty-stricken church and shelter that ministers to the homeless and downtrodden. His path to his congregation and service couldn't have been more different from Rabbi Lewis's. Henry was a drug dealer, a criminal who one night found himself hiding behind a bush, holding a gun, fearing for his life (and that of his family) and praying to God to let him make it through the night. And when he did, Henry committed his life to helping others. He helped Albom get over his own prejudices and skepticism, and he shared his gems of faith: "You are not your past" --- words Henry knew all too well to be true.
These two men --- so different in their experiences, their upbringing and their religions --- shared the common threads of faith and hope. And their convictions, their love, and even their senses of humor remind Albom of what it means to be "in love with hope." His note at the end offers that his book is a "hope that all faiths can find something universal in (this) story." Albom writes, as he always does, with a loving hand, revealing great intimacies that touch the heart. Like TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE, HAVE A LITTLE FAITH reminds us that, despite our differences, we are all human beings experiencing life, love, hatred and death; with any luck in our lifetimes, we will "be satisfied," "be grateful."
--- Reviewed by Roberta O'Hara
on September 29, 2009
I am in LOVE with HAVE A LITTLE FAITH! I've been a fan of Mitch Albom's books since TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE, and have been anticipating this - his first non-fiction book - since its release.
In a nutshell, Albom profiles two people: a rabbi who he has been asked to write a eulogy for, and an inner-city convict turned pastor. Two very different worlds, two very different religions, but one strongly shared similarity : FAITH.
This book REALLY made me think about my OWN spirituality and what faith means to me these days. The question Albom asks is: "what if faith wasn't what divided us, but what brought us together?" In a world where SOOO many wars are started in the name of religion and holier-than-thou attitudes prevail amongst so many different groups, it seems like all of our problems would be solved if only we could just say, "Hey, I have faith, you have faith...however we get there doesn't matter. What matters is that we both BELIEVE." Doing good for others is sometimes the greatest way to experience pure joy. If we all gave a little more of ourselves unselfishly, I do believe that peace would prevail.
HAVE A LITTLE FAITH is REALLY a good read. Beyond the story and the characters (which in true Albom style, jump off of the page and into your heart), the message is deep. It's a book that will stay with you for quite awhile. You'll want to highlight parts and dog-ear pages like I did. It's found a home next to my other perennial favorites like THE FOUR AGREEMENTS, THE ART OF HAPPINESS and THE GAME OF LIFE. It's very, very good.
on October 20, 2009
I enjoyed 'Tuesdays with Morrie' written 10 years ago, not really was a fan of 'The Five People You Met in Heaven', so when I saw this new book by Albom, I was a bit hesitant to be quite frank.
I started the book at 6pm, and by 9 pm I had read it cover to cover. I was intrigued, mesmerized, inspired, and content with the read. I think Albom again has captured what he has always had the ability to do: write about the human spirit.
I highly recommend the book to all. Give it a try.
on October 24, 2009
Have A Little Faith is one of the most meaningful books I have read on God in our everyday lives and how others strive to make this happen in theirs.
The book is readable, persuasive and heart warming. It comes at a very meaningful time for me in my revisiting of my faith and spirituality. But it will touch a chord in all those who read it.
The author shares himself with us and the characters so we feel right there when everything is happening. It is focused on Reb, a Rabbi and his Christian counterpart, and the sameness in the path of all religions is very comforting.
Dont stop writing now, Mr. Albom - you have a lot to give! Thank you.
on October 11, 2009
I have just finished reading this work of art, and I must say that it will be one of those books that I know I will re-read in the years to come.
From when we first meet the people within the story who will guide us through the journey that the book will take us on to the last page. There were many passages that I found within the book that I wanted to really remmember, there are parts of that book that have my own notes.
I would highly recomend this book. If this is your first read by Mitch Albom, to a returning reader, this is one o those works of literature that will stay with you.
on November 19, 2009
A book to lead you towards believing in something bigger than yourself - where spreading faith and hope and making a difference in the lives of others is what it's all about. This is a warm-hearted, inspiring book where the talented author Mitch Albom examines how faith shines differently in people's expressions. Mitch writes about the spiritual journey of two holy men, one a rabbi close to death and the other an inner-city pastor. Each of these holy men express their faith in different ways but, none the less, their faith supports and sustains many of their congregation through trying and difficult times. And of the author's own journey, well that evolves into one of grace, compassion and meaning in his own life.
While reading Mr. Albom's work I was reminded of Ariel and Shya Kane's book "Being Here: Modern Day Tales of Enlightenment". The Kanes' book is also rich in real life stories filled with compassion, inspiration and sharing of life's magical moments. Both of these wonderful books hold a place of honor on my bookshelf. I know they would be a gift to anyone who reads them.
on October 7, 2009
I've read all of Mitch Albom's books. I must say that I really love all of them and I really enjoyed reading "have a little faith". Couldn't put it down. The author brings two different religions, one from the rabbi (who want the author to do his eulogy) and an inner-city convict who found faith and was saved (his faith brought the best in him). This book makes you reflect and see what is really important. I was very moved by their stories. It made me think of my own beliefs and see people in a different light.