I read Tuesdays with Morrie as a 14-year-old. I reread it when I was 16. Then once again, now, when I am 21. This is a book that has stayed with me – I have underlined paragraphs that have settled in my heart, I have done the crime of folding the pages that were too good to be read only once, and I have left a sob mark on the pages that have left me in tears.
If you choose to read only one book a year, I would recommend that let this be it.
Our narrator is Mitch Albom, the author, and our hero is Morrie Schwartz, his professor. Mitch used to call him “Coach” and they were the “Tuesday people” because they often met, talked about life, and worked together on Tuesdays. After college, Mitch becomes lost in the maze of the adult world and loses touch with Morrie. They reunite, thanks to Morrie’s ALS condition, which has led him to be on Nightline. He is battling the last stages of his life, and his student is here to take notes.
Mitch does justice to the character of Morrie. The reader ends up knowing him, loving him. He loves to dance. He spills food when he eats (“The whole time I have known him, I have two overwhelming desires: to hug him and to give him a napkin” is one of my favorite lines in the book). He cries openly. He loves wholeheartedly. He listens to you like you are the only person in the world. He is unafraid to ask for help.
All the lessons that Morrie has taught Mitch are condensed in ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’. Mortality makes things clearer, like suddenly getting the right glasses to see, and that has what has happened to Morrie, and in turn, Mitch. The lessons have been said for far too long and too many times: spend time with your loved ones, don’t chase materialistic chasms that don’t bring true happiness, love & be vulnerable, listen more, contribute to your community, find your meaning.
Simple calls to action like this are placed throughout the book. We keep migrating between Morrie and Mitch in college and both of them now in Morrie’s living room as the professor lives his last days.
This is also the reason the book has been accused of being too sappy and generic, repetitive with not a catchy enough narrative. And to be fair, that is true. These lessons have been spoken too many times by too many people and the way they have been spoken in this book is not different or creative.
But these lessons bound repeating. I read Tuesdays with Morrie at a young age, and it definitely left an impact on the way I see the world now, on how I operate while making choices, on what I value in my life. I still believe that this book is an essential read for children, teenagers, and young adults.
I agree that it might be uninteresting for someone who is used to reading intermediate or advanced literature. It also might be a ‘same old, same old’ book for someone who is set in their ways in life.
But if you are a beginner to books, or looking for an easy-breezy beach read (that can also make you weep if you are a serial crier like me), or simply searching for a purpose and want to be reminded of the right questions in life, give this book a shot.
Find this book on Amazon here.