Books can often teach us about love, loss and friendship. Books allow us to hear the amazing stories from those who have overcome incredible obstacles in life. There are certain books that once you pick up you can’t put down and others that you will pick up many times over and over again throughout your life. Books take us away to other worlds, allow us to escape our own reality and sometimes teach us valuable lessons about how we should treat others and how unjust the world can be at times. There are books that make us happy and books that make us sad but they all serve a purpose. I wanted to share with you five books that I have read throughout my life that I think everyone should read before they die, at least once. Each one of these books have taught me something and left an impact on my life and I would encourage you to read them as well.
The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
For anyone out there who has at one time or another felt that their life is meaningless and that they have served no purpose, this is the book for you. Often we impact someones life without even realizing it. That is the case for Eddie. Eddie is a wounded war veteran who works at am amusement park. He felt that he lived an uninspired life and a meaningless life. On his 83rd birthday a tragic accident kills him and when he wakes he finds himself in heaven. In heaven you are greeted by 5 people who explain your life to you. He learns of the encounters and interactions with those 5 people on earth and learns about his so called “meaningless” life. An eye opening book that everyone should read. Although religious based, you do not need to be religious or believe in Heaven to enjoy or understand the message the author is trying to portray.
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
A book that is filled with life lessons that will teach you so many things. A story about a young man who reconnects with an old college professor, who is dying from a terminal illness, in the last months of his life. Every Tuesday Mitch visits Morrie in his office in what turns into one final class. A class on how to live life. Each Tuesday Mitch and Morrie discuss life, love, living to the fullest and everything in between. A book chronicling those visits and life lessons and an important book for everyone to read at least once in their life.
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
A book that was a required read in high school but ended up in my own personal collection later in life. A book I have read numerous times. The tale of Lennie and George is one I imagine many people have read or at least heard of but if you haven’t you need to pick this book up. A story of two outsiders just trying to make it in the world while everything seems to be against them. A story of two men who had a dream, just a simple dream of wanting to own their own land one day. A story of a life long friendship that has faced its own struggles due to Lennie and his mild mental disability which often gets him into trouble. A book that will lead you on the ups and downs of their travels and will have you smiling one minute and crying the next.
Night by Eli Wiesel
In high school we were required to read this book. I remember everyone else complaining but I never understood why. In fact I actually purchased this book for my own collection later in life. I have always found books and movies about the Holocaust very interesting…incredibly heartbreaking and makes your heart hurt for the people who went through such terrible experiences…but interesting none the less. Night is an autobiography that tells the story of a teenager who was imprisoned in a Nazi death camp. It is a difficult read and one that leaves you feeling incredibly angry that anyone ever had to endure the absolute terrors described in this book but it is a must read.
A child called it by David Pelzer
This is by far the most heartbreaking, gut wrenching book I have read in my lifetime. I read this in high school and when I was finished I had to read the following books in this series because I needed to know everything turned out OK. A very real raw book about child abuse and events that should never happen to any child. A book written by the child himself…a book written about how a young boy was brutally beaten and starved by his mother while even his father looked away. A child that was tossed aside and forgotten and yet somehow still kept hope that he would one day escape. This book is not an easy read, there are times you will need to stop and put it down and want to walk away, there are times you will find yourself reading while tears stream down your face and anger builds up inside you as you realize the horror this child went through. But I still recommend it….I still think it is important to read, if for no reason other than to understand the abuse that some children have to endure. To possibly recognize the signs of an abused child and also to give you hope that even when all seems lost it is possible to still come out stronger in the end.
I would highly encourage anyone who has not read these 5 books to pick them up today. They are truly worth the read. Do you have any books on your list that you feel others need to read? I would love to hear what they are!
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