In 1997, Mitch Albom wrote Tuesdays with Morrie about a friendship that changed his life. Why? To pay for said dear friend's medical bills. He didn't do it to reach the top of the New York Times Best Sellers list, nor was his goal to see millions of copies printed in fifty editions worldwide (though both of these things happened). Heck, he didn't even write it so we could tell you all about it years later (shocking, we know). Despite Albom's modest intentions, however, the book exploded onto the scene.
Here's why: At the heart of this little book is the fierce assertion that we're all in the same boat when it comes to living and dying. Though it's the story of a deeply important personal friendship, what emerges are a series of lessons about what counts in life that are relevant to all of us. Morrie and Mitch dig deep into the Big Questions, and as they do, it's pretty much impossible not to roll up your sleeves with them. The stuff they're sorting through is just that universal.
Is it a little cheesy? You betcha. But it feels oh so good, too.
Question: What does it mean to be human?
Having trouble coming up with a tidy little answer to that one? We don't blame you. It's one of the big questions in life, and the more we think about it, the more confused we become. It's so big, in fact, that it's arguably easier to just leave it alone—to be like Mitch when the story begins, and just follow dominant culture's script for how our lives should be. Wake up, work, come home, repeat.
Tuesdays with Morrie is an invitation to hop off the hamster wheel and do some serious thinking about who we are and the legacy we want to leave in our wake. If this seems daunting, worry not: Morrie is here, dropping pearls of wisdom from his death-bed perspective throughout the pages, sharing his 20/20 hindsight with Mitch and readers alike. His way may not be exactly the way for you, but he definitely sheds some light on alternate paths, and you just might find yourself rethinking how you want to approach your existence as he does.
Not too shabby for a book you can read in an afternoon.
So we know how Morrie inspired Mitch during his last few weeks on earth, but on Mitch Albom's website you can check out all the other cool things that Mitch has been busy with ever since. Interviews, charity organizations, other books… it's all here.
Now Showing: Tuesdays with Morrie (1999)
Starring Jack Lemmon and Hank Azaria, you can watch Mitch and Morrie's story come to life in this movie made for television by ABC in 1999.
Tuesdays with Morrie (the Play)
Sadly you can't actually watch it on screen, but Tuesdays with Morrie was such a hit that it was also made into a play in 2002. Here you can check out an article, some reviews, and the various pics from the original New York production, as well as shows around the country.
Mitch on Morrie at the Augie's Quest Bash
Listen to Mitch recap and discuss his journey with Morrie. It's not technically an interview, but it definitely illuminates their friendship—and the book's story—in more detail for us.
CNN Interactive's Tuesday Book Chat
Mitch discusses his life and thoughts since Morrie's death with CNN. Fun fact: He still talks to Morrie every day.
Lessons on Living with Ted Koppel
Here you can check out Ted Koppel's interviews with Morrie, with actual footage from the Nightline Interviews. Talk about a story coming to life.
The Morrie Tapes
Here, on Albom's website, you can actually listen to the recordings that Mitch took during their last class. It's like we can actually be right there in the story with Mitch. We get goose bumps thinking about it.
Here is Morrie
This is totally how we picture Morrie in our head—ALS to the wind—and we think he'd be pleased.
Here is Mitch
The author, the narrator, the transformed student.
Mitch and Morrie Forever
This is what true friendship looks like, yo.