“Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life’s Greatest Lesson” by Mitch Albom
Mitch Albom said he felt guilty when he learned Morrie Schwartz was dying from Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Morrie was a sociology professor at Brandeis whom Albom admired and had never intended to drift apart from. But life got in the way and it was travelling 100 miles per hour for Albom. He decided to fly to Boston every Tuesday to reconnect with the professor, gleaning pearls of wisdom from the old sage. Albom emphasized the virtue of forging a culture of one’s own as a methodology to transcend the tyranny of pop culture. This memoir from those visits has sold over 20 million copies since it published in 1997.
“The Five People You Meet in Heaven” by Mitch Albom
Like Morrie, Albom’s next book was inspired by someone he knew: his uncle Eddie Beitchman. It’s a fiction novel that explains heaven as not a location, but rather a place where five people reveal how your life affected them and vice-versa. Albom explained in a private interview with CBS that we never really know how much even the little things can trigger great events in people’s lives. Talking to Albom in a quiet room almost takes on a spiritual quality – his warmth and sincerity radiate charisma which penetrates the body and moves directly to the heart. Albom’s next book, due out in the fall, is a fable involving the spirit of Father Time.
“Middlesex” by Jeffrey Eugenides
Middlesex” is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel inspired by the diary of Herculine Barbin, a French convent schoolgirl who was intersex (hermaphrodite). In “Middlesex,” Barbin’s story is expanded and overlays the rough depiction of three generations of the Eugenides family. The Royal Oak International Book Club has chosen this book for its monthly discussion meetup (this is an excellent organization to join if you are a bibliophile). Detroit-born Francis Ford Coppola is The Cultural Beacon’s first choice to adapt this book into a film.
“Out of Sight” by Elmore Leonard
Out of Sight” is a novel by Elmore Leonard and also a film based on the novel. In this story, we learn the life lesson “Don’t brag about how rich you think you are.” The film was nominated for two Academy Awards, and stars George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez. Entertainment Weekly voted it as the sexiest film ever on its “50 Sexiest Movies Ever” poll. Leonard is known as “The Charles Dickens of Detroit” because of his portrayals of Detroit characters. He has written more than forty novels, and lives in Bloomfield Village.
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The Hours of the Virgin (The Amos Walker Series #14)” by Loren D. Estleman
In the esteemed galleries of the Detroit Institute of Arts, the tempera on vellum manuscript “Apocalypse Miniatures: The Dragon Waging War and The Beast of the Sea” is a magnificent display of art circa 1295. In the High Middle Ages, books were usually commissioned by royalty and noblemen in English courts; they were ornately decorated in lapis lazuli, silver, gold and copper. In Estleman’s fiction novel, the curator of the Detroit Institute of Arts asks detective Amos Walker to help him recover a medieval illuminated manuscript from the 16th century. It finishes with solving the murder of his partner and mentor many years before. In this book, Amos learns the life lesson of finding closure and letting go. An author of over 65 books, Estleman recently received the Western Writers of America Owen Wister Award for lifetime achievement.
What are your favorite works by Detroit authors? Share them in the comments section below.