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Have a Little Faith  by Mitch Albom Books in Review
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Have a Little Faith
by Mitch Albom
ISBN 978-0-7868-6872-8
Published September 2009 - Hardcover - 254 pages - $23.99

I love these little books.  There's something inviting about them; real little page-turners.  I remember the hullaballoo Tuesdays with Morrie caused, and I remember buying a copy of the book and lending it to someone and subsequently losing it.  I don't usually lose books, and having lost this one, really played on my mind.  I didn't know much about author Mitch Albom, but I've seen him on television a few times.  I know he also wrote the book-made-into-a-movie The Five People You Meet in Heaven.  I didn't know he'd had so much religious studies as a high school student, writing papers on the Kabbalah, the walls of Jericho, on arks, and manna.  He even learned Aramaic.  So, gleaning this, I loved (and sympathized) his "cynical edge" and these two sentences: "People who seemed too wild-eyed with the Holy Spirit scared me.  And the pious hypocrisy I witnessed in politics and sports—congressmen going from mistresses to church services, football coaches breaking the rules, then kneeling for a team prayer—only made things worse".  My sentiments precisely.  He goes on to introduce us to his Rabbi and a preacher named Henry Covington.  Two very different people.  Actually three very different people, from my point of view.  We get to learn about these two men's lives, their experiences, where they lived, what they did, all the while Albom getting more and more involved and discovering their religious roots.  By the time he met Henry, Henry had moved on to run a church.  The Rabbi was ailing, eighty-nine-years old (Albom had been visiting him for eight years, preparing his eulogy per his request), and this story is how he combined friendships with both very different men.  I love Albom's turn of phrase throughout his book.  This is why I don't agree with organized religion per se, Detroit notwithstanding: "Covering sports for a living—and living in Detroit—I had seen my share of bad behavior: drugs, assault, guns,  I had witnessed "apologies" in crowded press conferences.  I interviewed men so adept at convincing you the trouble was behind them, that I would write laudatory stories—only to see the same men back in trouble a few months later".  We've all witnessed this over and over again, and if that doesn't convince you that religion is problematic, then I don't know what will.  I agree that all religions are just different interpretations of one bottomline—God and love—and that we all have to be tolerant, curious, and accepting of each other.  All of us.
Conclusion - Spiritually moving and uplifting.  Good for the soul.

book cover

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