Book Beginnings and Friday 56 – Have A Little Faith (November 9)

I was on the road last week, having to travel to London (ON) to get our car which had been repaired after someone decided their red light was only a suggestion, so I missed out on these memes last week. The car is fine now, after $5,600.00 of repairs.

For this week’s meme combo I have chosen Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom. I picked this book up at a library book sale a couple of weeks ago for $0.50. I have read a couple of Albom’s books before, and enjoyed them, so now I’m making a start on this one, which looks fairly interesting. The following comes from the jacket of the book:

In Have a Little Faith, Mitch Albom offers a beautifully written story of a remarkable eight-year journey between two worlds–two men, two faiths, two communities–that will inspire readers everywhere.

Albom’s first nonfiction book since Tuesdays with Morrie, Have a Little Faith begins with an unusual request: an eighty-two-year-old rabbi from Albom’s old hometown asks him to deliver his eulogy.

Feeling unworthy, Albom insists on understanding the man better, which throws him back into a world of faith he’d left years ago. Meanwhile, closer to his current home, Albom becomes involved with a Detroit pastor–a reformed drug dealer and convict–who preaches to the poor and homeless in a decaying church with a hole in its roof.

Moving between their worlds, Christian and Jewish, African-American and white, impoverished and well-to-do, Albom observes how these very different men employ faith similarly in fighting for survival: the older, suburban rabbi embracing it as death approaches; the younger, inner-city pastor relying on it to keep himself and his church afloat.

As America struggles with hard times and people turn more to their beliefs, Albom and the two men of God explore issues that perplex modern man: how to endure when difficult things happen; what heaven is; intermarriage; forgiveness; doubting God; and the importance of faith in trying times. Although the texts, prayers, and histories are different, Albom begins to recognize a striking unity between the two worlds–and indeed, between beliefs everywhere.

In the end, as the rabbi nears death and a harsh winter threatens the pastor’s wobbly church, Albom sadly fulfills the rabbi’s last request and writes the eulogy. And he finally understands what both men had been teaching all along: the profound comfort of believing in something bigger than yourself.

Have a Little Faith is a book about a life’s purpose; about losing belief and finding it again; about the divine spark inside us all. It is one man’s journey, but it is everyone’s story.

Now for this week’s excerpts:

Book Beginnings is hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader, who invites anyone to join in, saying: ‘Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.  Please remember to include the title of the book and the author. Leave a link to your post.  If you don’t have a blog, but want to participate, please leave a comment with your Book Beginning.’

The beginning of Have A Little Faith:

In the beginning, there was a question.

“Will you do my eulogy?”

I don’t understand, I said.

“My eulogy?” the old man asked again. “When I’m gone.” His eyes blinked from behind his glasses. His neatly trimmed beard was gray, and he stood slightly stooped.

Are you dying? I asked.

“Not yet,” he said, grinning.

I like this kind of intriguing beginning to a book. I really need to read on now and see where this goes!

The Friday 56 is a book meme hosted by Freda’s Voice and the rules are as follows:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.

It’s that simple.

From page 56 of Have A Little Faith:

Besides, I had witnessed the alternative. Eight years earlier, I’d watched an old and beloved professor of mine, Morrie Schwartz, slowly die of ALS. I visited him on Tuesdays in his home outside Boston. And every week, although his spirit shone, his body decayed.

Albom is writing here about what he recorded in another of his books that I have read, the wonderful Tuesdays With Morrie. If Have A Little Faith is as good as Tuesdays With Morrie then I won’t be disappointed. Hopefully I’ll get it read this weekend as I’m at one of my daughter’s swim meets and there tends to be lots of spare time to read between her events.


14 thoughts on “Book Beginnings and Friday 56 – Have A Little Faith (November 9)

  1. I just recently ‘discovered’ Mitch Albom at all, by reading The Time Keeper. After that I went on to read The Five People You Meet in Heaven. Now I’ll be adding this one to my list as well.

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