World Book Day

I’ve always enjoyed reading and it’s something I’ve always wanted S to enjoy too. It builds your vocabulary, improves your conversational skills and of course has the ability to transport you to another world (depending on what you’re reading). It also builds your imagination and I’d like to believe makes you a better writer (gets those creative juices going!).

When I was a child I read to my hearts content. First it was books like Mr. Pink Whistle and all the Enid Blyton books. As I approached 11-13, it was Sweet Valley High, Goosebumps and any of the RL Stein books. From 13-20 I loved Sidney Sheldon, Marian Keyes, Sheila O’Flanagan, Cathy Kelly and Cecilia Ahern (I went to school in Dublin, that might explain it). Since then I’ll read anything that catches my fancy. Self help (Mitch Albom, Deepak Chopra and Brian Weiss), page turners (Jodi Picoult, Dan Brown, Chetan Bhagat) and then easy to read feel good books which could be by any author.

I started reading to S every night from the age of 6 months. He may not have understood it but he liked looking at the pictures and now he can hold a book the right way and loves flicking through the pages and pointing to the things he knows. His favourite is The Gruffalo. In honour of world book day, his nursery asked the parents to dress the kids up as their favourite characters. His class did it yesterday and S went in Gruffalo theme.

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The teacher at his nursery also tells me he loves Maisy. We do have one Maisy book at home but we’re off to the library this weekend to get some more.

What book are you reading at the moment? I just started Philomena by Martin Sixsmith.

The first phone call from Heaven by Mitch Albom: A review

I heard about Mitch Albom’s new book, The first phone call from Heaven, only a few weeks ago. As I’d loved his previous books Tuesdays with Morrie, The five people you meet in Heaven, For one more day, etc. I was very excited about his new one. I pre-ordered it on Amazon and waited patiently until it’s release yesterday, the 12th of November.

As with his other books, I devoured it and finished reading it in a day. Mitch writes in a way that is very easy to read and the suspense kept me turning each page faster than the last.

The question you ask yourself throughout the book is “What if the end is not the end?” One morning, in a small quiet town in Michigan, people start receiving phone calls from their loved ones…in heaven. Right from the first few paragraphs, the hairs on my arm were standing alert.

As with most Mitch Albom books there was an underlying theme of life after death, regret, compassion and love. He takes us through the story of about 5 people in this town who receive these calls and the following media frenzy that ensues. What I liked about this book is the easy way it’s written, the connection I could instantly feel with the characters and the message he was trying to put across. That what we think of as the end is in fact not the end and that heaven exists in all our hearts and minds.

Despite the title and inclusion of the Church in the book, I didn’t find it religious or preachy. In fact I quite resonated with the message he was trying to portray. There wasn’t much that I didn’t like about The first phone call from heaven (I finished it in a day!!). But I don’t want to spoil it for anyone so I’m going to end here with a few of my favourite lines from the book:

“Fear is how you lose your life…a little bit at a time…What we give to fear, we take away from…faith.”

“Knowing Heaven is what heals us on Earth.”

“Sometimes, love brings you together even as life keeps you apart.”

“There are two stories for every life; the one you live, and the one others tell.”

“Heaven…is the same feeling…no fear…no dark. When you know you are love…that’s the light.”

“Desire sets our compass, real life steers our course.”

I’d love some recommendations for any good books you’ve read lately.