Mitch Albom’s books have struck a chord with the world. Since Tuesdays with Morrie in 1997, his books have collectively sold more than 35 million copies worldwide, been translated into 42 languages, and been adapted into critically acclaimed movies. It’s no wonder why. His books—from novels to memoirs—all have a central focus on faith, humanity, and kindness. The message may be similar in each, but the stories are varied and heart-wrenching. Here are just five of Mitch Albom’s most inspiring books.
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
Mitch Albom had the glorious luck to reconnect with Morrie Schwartz, his college professor from two decades prior, in the last few months of the man’s life as ALS took over his body. Mitch always felt inspired by Morrie’s lectures, and he wanted to keep the old man company, so he made a point to meet with him every Tuesday. Their meetings were in Morrie’s study, just like when they had met twenty years ago. Morrie continued teaching—this time, lessons on how to live a life worth living. Tuesday’s With Morrie is Albom’s most beloved book for good reason: the messages in these lessons ring true for all humans.
When Eddie, a wounded war veteran whose job is to fix rides at an amusement park, dies as he tries to save a little girl from a falling cart, he discovers the real meaning of his life. He always assumed his life story was boring, bland, and uninspired. But when he gets to Heaven, he finds that it's a place where you meet five people—some strangers, some not—whose lives intertwined with your own. Eddie learns that in his acts of kindness, he truly created a ripple effect and changed many lives over the course of his 83 years. The Five People You Meet in Heaven is a lovely little novel to remind us all that we touch lives all the time, whether we notice or not.
Father Time is the first man on Earth who counted the hours. He invented the world's first clock, and as punishment for trying to measure God's gift, he is banished to a cave. He's there for centuries, listening to withered voices who come to him asking for more time. It nearly breaks him. When he's set free, into a world ironically dependent on his time-keeping, he has to teach two people the true meaning of time: a teenage girl who's about to give up on life and a wealthy businessman who wants to live forever. The Time Keeper is an inspirational Mitch Albom novel to get readers thinking about their time on earth and how to best spend it.
In his first nonfiction book since Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom shares the story of his eight-year journey between two worlds and two faiths. When an 82-year-old rabbi from Albom's hometown asks him to deliver his eulogy, he sets out to get to know the man better. At the time, he's also involved with a Christian pastor—a reformed drug dealer and convict—who preaches to the poor and homeless in a church that's falling apart. Albom bounces between these two worlds and finds they're not so different after all. In Have a Little Faith, Albom explores the ways men work through life with the help of faith, and how we all need to believe in something bigger than ourselves in order to survive.
As a kid, Charley was told he could either be a mama's boy or a daddy's boy. Not both. A child of divorce, he really had to choose—and chose his father, only to be left in the dust before he even became a teen. Charley grows into a broken man, alcohol and regret crumbling his life. The family he started begins to fall apart, his daughter keeps him out of his wedding, and he decides to take his life. Somewhere, between this world and the next, he goes to his hometown and finds that his mother, who died almost a decade earlier, still lives in their old house and welcomes him with open arms. For One More Day centers on the question we all wonder: What would you do if you could spend one more day with a lost loved one?
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Ashley Holstrom is a book person, designing them and writing about them for Book Riot. She lives near Chicago with her cat named after Hemingway and her bookshelves organized by color.