Have a Little Faith: A True Story

by Mitch Albom

Book, 2009

Barcode

123456815

Call number

201 ALB

Publication

New York : Hyperion, 2009.

Description

When an eighty-two-year-old rabbi from Albom's old hometown asks him to deliver his eulogy, Albom goes back to his nonfiction roots and becomes involved with a Detroit pastor--a reformed drug dealer and convict--who preaches to the poor and homeless in a decaying church with a hole in its roof. A timely, moving, and inspiring look at faith: not just who believes, but why.

Media reviews

Albom writes, as he always does, with a loving hand, revealing great intimacies that touch the heart. Like TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE, HAVE A LITTLE FAITH reminds us that, despite our differences, we are all human beings experiencing life, love, hatred and death; with any luck in our lifetimes, we will
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“be satisfied,” “be grateful.”
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User reviews

LibraryThing member browngirl
Mitch Albom's latest nonfiction book examines faith via the sometimes parallel and sometimes paradoxical lives of two men of God. Rabbi Albert Lewis had lead a life on the straight and narrow and very willing to be of service to others. Henry Covington had been a selfish criminal most of his life
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until he felt he was being given his last chance by God to get his act together. The author is inserted in their personal lives for different reasons. Albom is asked to complete what seems for him a very intimidating task: eulogizing Lewis, his rabbi. Covington is the pastor of a Christian church that Albom, at first, visits to hopefully make a financial contribution to its homeless shelter.

From start to finish this story moved me. Albom is gifted at endearing his subjects to the readers. I found Rabbi Lewis to be a sweet, humorous man so devoted to others and selfless in a way that's rarely seen. Meanwhile, Pastor Covington is close in age to Albom and their backgrounds are sometimes compared. The differences are at once apparent. Albom is from a Jewish middle class family from New Jersey and he went on to college and has had a successful writing career. Covington is Black from a working class family of New York and he turned to a life of crime at an early age then became a minister of a crumbling inner city church in Detroit.

Both Lewis and Covington's journeys are presented in short, effective vignettes. Albom captures the essence of both of these extraordinary men. Albom absolutely leaves the reader questioning what faith means to them and concluding that religion is not the big deciding factor. Faith transcends religion. Have a Little Faith is a great, heartwarming story that everyone can gain something from, no matter what their belief system may be and I think it's a perfect holiday gift.
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LibraryThing member deadgirl
Very touching, and strengthened my faith.
LibraryThing member missesK
This latest book by Albom was a quick read not unlike his other books. That was the good part. I liked the overall message of the book which, as the titles states, is to "have a little faith." We get so engrossed in our lives that we forget the big picture. We forget that this universe is vast and
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we are but a speck in it. Our belief in religion helps us define our miniscule place in this. Our faith takes us through the most ordinary and the most trying.

Beyond that, the writing was a little simplistic. Albom could easily have written an essay and conveyed the same message. The various shifts in voice between the 2 religious figures makes you wonder where the book is going. When you get the to the point, there is nothing that revelatory.

With that said, it is still worth a read for the message it conveys. We do need to have a little faith.
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LibraryThing member MargaretdeBuhr
An inspiring true story centered around a rabbi's request of a male congregant of his synagogue to write his eulogy for his funeral. During the following eight years the author renews his contact with the rabbi in order to get to know him better - in the procress much is learned about faith.

I did
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feel some disconnect between the parallel stories in this book and felt the book was very similar to the style and storyline of his book "Tuesdays with Morrie". I would have like more originality but still felt the the book achieved its purpose.
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LibraryThing member gljeanne
This is the first Mitch Albom book I've read, but I will certainly be picking up more now! His character descriptions of the rabbi and minister make you feel like you know them yourself - or would like to - and the contrast between the white suburban temple and the black inner-city church was the
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perfect tool to show the commonalities of faith. As a religious Jew, I felt like I learned something about myself, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I've already ordered a copy for our temple library!
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LibraryThing member dragonb
Excellent!
At first I didn't like the narrative style. He quotes others buy not himself, and the only way you know if he said something outloud is by context.
But, if you judge a book by if you can't put it down... I read through this in one sitting, even though I had to get up early. If it was
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fiction, it wouldn't be quite as gripping. But to read the story of these almost larger than life individuals, but somehow totally normal is intriguing to say the least and possibly life changing.
I dare anyone to read it and not want to donate to the church.
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LibraryThing member koalamom
No one should be judged by first impressions. Mitch Albom had this image of his rabbi as something bigger than life. This is how he perceived the man when Mitch was a child growing up and learning in Rabbi Albert Lewis's Temple. The Rabbi was six foot tall and Mitch was a kid - of course he seemed
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big. But when Rabbi Lewis asked Mitch to read his eulogy at his funeral, Mitch had, first no idea why and second, how does one eulogize a man who is bigger than life?

His impression of Henry Covington was similar yet different. Henry had led a life of crime until one day near death's door, he turned to God and never looked back. But when Mitch met him was loomed in front of his eyes was the "bad guy" - one who was now devoting his life to helping others, but still there was this stigma.

As Mitch learns more about these men, he sees similarities and he sees that they are only human with good and frailties just like anyone else.

And that's how we should lead our lives too.
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LibraryThing member rrnicovich
Have a Little Faith is a wonderful little book. Mitch Albom explores the subject of faith in his casual, easy style reminiscent of Tuesdays with Morrie. After being asked by his rabbi to deliver his eulogy he begins an eight year journey exploring many of life's big questions, such as Why do we
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believe? and Is there life after death? He meets Pastor Henry along the way whose life could not have been more different than his rabbi's, but the threads of similarity are strong--their deep faith and loving ways. I highly recommend this book for people of any faith. It would make a great gift.
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LibraryThing member srfbluemama
Having read and enjoyed several of Mitch Albom's other books (Tuesdays with Morrie, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, and For One More Day), I was thrilled to receive an ARC of this book.

Have a Little Faith was moving, intelligent, and profound. Similar to the setup of Albom's Tuesdays With
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Morrie, this time he recounts his visits with his childhood rabbi, who asked him to give his eulogy. In what started as a few visits just to get to know the man better for the purpose of writing the eulogy, Albom is drawn to the funny and giving man, developing a friendship that helps him to begin to examine his own faith and faith in general. The book also tells the story of a former drug dealer and thief turned preacher, who gave up a life of crime to dedicate his life to the homeless and hungry in Detroit. Two very different men are thus profiled in the book, but there is a connecting theme: their lives demonstrate their faith as manifested in loving and serving others.

I found myself giggling at the book at times, and at others crying. The book is emotional, and it underlines the ways that faith can provide a common dialog of love and service, even among people of different faiths.
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LibraryThing member KinnicChick
In Mitch Albom's first non-fiction book since Tuesdays with Morrie, he writes about the process he goes through over eight year's time of getting to know his Rabbi on a personal level, a human level, so that in the end he can fulfill the Rabbi's request of writing his eulogy. In parallel, he also
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writes the story of minister Henry Covington, a large black man who as a young man, lived a life of crime but now devotes his life to helping the homeless and addicted in Mitch's current home of Detroit.

As I read the book, I found myself somewhat annoyed with Albom on various occasions. My main annoyance was probably in the simplistic questions he brought to his Rabbi (who I absolutely loved, by the way) about other religions and about Heaven, etc. Was he sounding so unknowing because he really didn't know or because he wanted to make the book available to everyone? At any rate, it felt too simplistic at times.

I was also somewhat put off by an editorial decision made in the book. When Mitch is speaking to the Rabbi, asking him questions, there is no use of quotation marks. But when The Reb answers, quotes are used. Maybe this is a common technique, but it is one I've never seen before, and I found it rather confusing until I finally grew accustomed to it.

Another annoyance was his description of Henry Covington. He could have told us about his being a large man without going on and on about it. It was off-putting to me.

But those are a couple of smaller annoyances in an overall larger picture. The book as a whole? When I got to the end, I decided that overall, it was a good book. Albom had written the eulogy and given us the life of two men in parallel; two men who were larger than life and had been on two very different paths but who had set a course to work for god, whichever god they believed in.

What worked: Rabbi Albert Lewis (The Reb). What a character! He loved to sing and as a result, frequently sang responses to questions people asked him, using showtunes for the melody. He was a humorous man (6 feet tall, but I could never picture him so tall, in my mind he was a little old man) with a wonderful outlook on life throughout his final years. He was dying of untreatable cancer and could not have been always comfortable, but his mood was almost always sunny. I favored the chapters that were about him. His wisdom was immense.

The point of the book? Showing that we could all use a little more faith in our lives, especially in this day and age. Here is one man of god who has always had faith and lived faith. And here is another man of god who has lived a life of crime and only come to god in his deepest, darkest hour and has been living his faith ever since
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LibraryThing member MaryC22
Mitch Albom did it again. I found myself slowing down to read this one. It's a quick read, but so full of quotes and short life stories, I found myself revisiting parts of it, even before I was finished reading it. Eight years of visiting a family rabbi in New Jersey and an African American pastor
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in Detroit gives Mitch Albom three things, the eulogy for his beloved Rabbi, multiple columns about he Detroit parish and this book. I've read the eulogy, included in Have a Little Faith and the book, both are excellent, I'm sure the newspaper columns were excellent also since they led to people responding to the plight of an inner city parish with donations and volunteers. Albom writing style is conversational and open. Anyone who enjoyed his other works will find this a delight. Great gift book for those who are interested in other people's journeys.
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LibraryThing member chainreader
An uplifting tale of Mitch Alboms' interactions with two men of faith. Both men have arrived at their faith in different ways
LibraryThing member NQTBradyBunch
Like many of Albom's books, this one is compact in size, but enormous on impact. It shares a story of his journey as he comes to know two very different, yet very similar men over a period of years. The lessons learned are told in vignettes; excerpts from sermons, etc. and are all very poignant.
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His journey continues, and leads him to a place of understanding, compassion, and hope.
It can be a quick read, but it's one that you'll rather choose to savor and read slowly; I can't recommend this one enough!
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LibraryThing member kellanelizabeth
While I'm not usually a fan of "pop lit", Albom does a great job here of simplifying a really complex subject--religion. His style is quick and easy to read, which make the book easy to get through; however, I wonder if I might have been more attached to his characters if the book was a bit longer.
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There seems to be so much history that he might have shared with us that he simply glossed over.

Also, Henry Covington is fascinating, but as a character, he seems to have been stuck into the book because a publisher suggested it. It seems contrived and forced, and Albom bangs the reader over the head with the parallels between the two men.

Towards the end, the book did feel a bit like Albom was simply bragging about the eulogy he wrote (which was rather anticlimactic). I should have cried--but I didn't.

Decent, interesting, but nothing too earth (or heaven)-shattering.
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LibraryThing member rollout4u
Mitch Albom allowed us to journey with him as he reunited with his New Jersey, family rabbi, Reb, and prepared himself to write his eulogy. Told with a over-riding sense of how all faiths strengthen the community, Mitch highlights his eight-year talk with Reb that included snap-shots of his
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thoughts on life, death, faith, and the lack there of. Paralleling the wisdom and wit of Reb is another man-of- the cloth, a Detroit inner-city Pastor that Mitch happened upon at his struggling homeless shelter, a run-down church. I enjoyed getting to know the man Reb and learn how he became such a giver to his fellow-Jews and the entire community. I was distracted by the parallel developed by the two men's stories however. I felt Albom wanted every thing even and unified. Reb impacted Albom by challenging his safe categories and muddied perceptions about his faith and its role in his life. Reb was such a devout yet authentic man that offering the other theme about all faiths contributing to the community took away from the core of the story which for me was this unique individual. I know the politically correct thing is to coexist. But I felt Albom stressed the theme to the detriment of the Reb story. Yes, the fact that similarities exist and all faiths nurture the community is true. Albom showed this fairly, underscoring that with actions of how the two men had similar goals within their flock, their family and how they both lived to help others. Though beautifully told, more focus would have been a stronger approach for me.
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LibraryThing member BONS
Mitch Albom's latest non-fiction provided insight with his spending time with two very different men of God. The author allows the reader to see how he becomes more comfortable with faith in general.

Mitch is asked to write the eulogy of his childhood Rabbi. Of course, I immediately thought how in
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the world would that be possible for me to write for my pastor?

Mitch is also placed in the path of another man of God during this time and the comparisons are insightful, unique and about as "human" as you can get.

In order to be careful of spoilers, there is one favorite part that offered me great comfort (regardless of which faith you are) but it pretains to the Reb's sermon on when a child dies. The book was worth just these two pages alone.

I won't be surprised if others want to compare it to Tuesdays with Morrie...but hopefully many will allow it to stand alone on it's own merit.
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LibraryThing member Jmonte39
'Have a Little Faith' is the first book by Mitch Albom which I have read and it certainly did not disappoint. Albom tells of his 8 year journey rediscovering his South Jersey roots and rethinking his attitude towards faith after his childhood Rabbi asks him to perform the eulogy at his funeral.
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This is a very quick read that keeps the reader intrigued throughout. I would recommend it to anyone.
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LibraryThing member samezm
Mitch Ablom's books are always heart-warming and this is no exception. I enjoyed this book, as it resonates with me personally in my walk with God. It tells the story of a lapsed Jewish writer/eulogist, who discovers truths about himself and others of different faiths, when he takes the time to get
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to know 2 very different men of God; both who have a lot to say about the journey, which is always personal, but universal as well. After reading this, I was inspired to re-read "The Five People You Meet in Heaven".
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LibraryThing member allenkl
The telling of the story of the ordinary life is the secret of Mitch Albom's best writing. He is able to reach across all religions and all cultures to speak of what we humans all share; love, loss, fear, family and the great question of what lies beyond. Have a Little Faith is both comforting and
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uplifting. It is a little book full of truth and shared humanity. It is a thoughtful and thought evoking little book. Read it!
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LibraryThing member Rloveutionary
Have a Little Faith shows the beauty of faith in the modern world. Many cynics write off religion, but Albom shows why religion is still an important part of many people's lives. Even if you're not very religious, or even completely devoid of any religious inklings (as I am), Albom explains to
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readers the appeal. He also demonstrates the less prominent type of religious folks: those who are willing to accept others regardless of their beliefs or actions. In a world were everyone is trying to push their beliefs onto everyone else (whether it be a religious, political, moral, etc.), Albom writes of religious figures whose love and desire to help knows no religious bonds, making it very easy for people of all faiths and backgrounds to find the appeal in this book.
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LibraryThing member dlweeks
Albom tends to write a lot of interesting thoughts regarding end-of-life experience. So, I went into this book thinking that it would be just another rendition of Tuesday’s with Morrie. I was not disappointed. have a little faith combines two stories into one book, juxtaposing an aging rabbi with
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an upstart preacher. Albom is asked to give the eulogy for his rabbi, by his rabbi. Throughout the course of an eight year friendship, Mitch develops a better understanding of what faith means to him. The meetings between two sometimes verge on lecture, while at others it seems like two friends chatting about the weather. The story is of how a powerful man like the Reb maintains his faith during the final years of his life, and how that touches Albom.

As a counterpart, Albom introduces Henry. Henry was a drug-peddling, drug-using failure. Then he found Jesus. His story is one of redemption and what someone can do with his life if they have faith in the Lord. Henry has taken over a run-down church in Detroit, which he uses to care for homeless people in the area. Throughout the course of this friendship, Albom realizes that Henry is not that different from his own Reb. Both came from humble beginnings, struggling to make their house of worship work. Both inspire their congregants with powerful words. Both do great deeds, while asking very little for themselves.

The two stories take place at the same time and the reader is treated to an insight into how the author changes during this time. On that level, it’s just another Tuesday’s with Morrie. However, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad read. It’s actually rather moving and inspirational, despite being, at times, a bit overdone. Also, some of the best bits are the wisdom on life passed on by the Reb and by Henry. Albom learns a lot about his man-of-the-world lifestyle might not be the thing most worth striving for in life. The two men of God challenge his belief system in such a way that he transitions into a faithful, if not God-fearing, man.
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LibraryThing member crishaynes
He did it again! This book was very well written. His delivery is flawless. The chronology was well implemented to really bring the reader in. I felt he touched very similar emotions in me. Although, I am not Jewish, I can relate to all he said in straying from religion. I have not exactly strayed
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from what I believe so much as found myself removed from the congrgation and becoming busy within your life. This book reminded me of many fundamentals I do still carry and should rekindle. Great book. Thanks for the gentle and heart warming rekindling.
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LibraryThing member bookdiva19
Mitch Albom's newest book, is sure to be a hit for anyone that has enjoyed his others. On a personal note I'm not a huge fan of this book, beacause it's a little too preachy for my taste, but I'm not really a religious person. The books was given to me through Librarything.com so of course I had to
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review it, so I will just review the content of it and not my take on it.
Mitch is asked to do a eulogy for his old Rabbi, and like Tuesday's with Morrie, he visits and on each visit he learns something new. We learn about what made him become a Rabbi, and why, and other things like that.
Mitch's writing style is unique, and I noticed it from the first book of his that I read. He doesn't put his replies in quotations. I really like that and think it adds more of a personal touch to the stories.
It's a short heartwarming story, that I'm sure his fans will love. He's a great author and really knows how to capture his ideas to tell the world his stories.
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LibraryThing member xmaystarx
Have a Little Faith is the newest from author/sports writer Mitch Albom. It was a fast and enjoyable read that centers around his 8 year journey, from the day his childhood rabbi asked him to write his eulogy to the day he delivered the eulogy. During that time he also befriended an inner city
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pastor who had redeemed himself from a life of drugs and crime. Although the book is centered on religion and faith, I am not a religious person, I do not practice and don't often think about my own religion, and yet I still found the book very readable. It has the same feel and coziness of Albom's past books so if you enjoyed those, you are sure to enjoy this one. It is thought provoking, and leads the reader to think about their own life in an introspevtive way. For others, Have a Little Faith may be too spiritual and not action packed enough to be considered a good read.
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LibraryThing member jaredbyas
Mitch Albom’s new book, have a little faith, is a story about a faith journey that one man takes but that two men help construct. Mitch is on a quest to write the eulogy for his childhood rabbi and after eight years of conversation he gets a little perspective. And while these conversations are
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happening in suburban New Jersey Mitch has found another narrative to join, the story of Henry Covington, an ex-drug addict pastor in Mitch’s current place of residence, Detroit. Both of these men, Henry and Reb, have stories to tell. Henry’s is miraculous and extravagant while Reb’s is quiet and unassuming. But both loudly proclaim the importance of faith and community in the lives of people. As a pastor, it was an inspiring book that allowed me to see the importance of investing in individual’s lives, not just for the sake of the individual, but also for the sake of the community.
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Original publication date

2009-09-29

ISBN

0786868724 / 9780786868728

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