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University Library: “The Stranger in the Lifeboat” by Mitch Albom | Community






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The clock is ticking and many of us want to snuggle up under a blanket with a good book. If you’re looking for your next read, Mitch Albom’s latest novel, “The Stranger in the Lifeboat,” comes at the perfect time.

On November 5, University Book Store, along with several other independent bookstores, such as Books & Books in Miami, Tattered Cover Book Store in Denver, and Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center, Vermont, hosted an event with author Mitch Albom and Jim Axelrod. , chief investigator and senior national correspondent for CBS News.

A bestselling author known for his memoir, “Tuesdays with Morrie,” Albom introduced his new book, “The Stranger in the Lifeboat.”

A story of hope and healing, this book aims to bring comfort to its readers.

“This book, ultimately, is about belief, but not belief in religion or belief in any particular dogma, but belief that there is order in the universe,” Albom said. “And in the end, your life will have meaning.”

Pam Cady, the head of the University Book Store department, expressed her thoughts after reading portions of the book.

“I thought it was really interesting,” Cady said. “[Albom is] always very witty and uplifting, and I think in an atmosphere where there’s so much division and argument, it’s really nice to have these books where you can just go and know it’s going to be uplifting, and it’s one of those people who does this.”

This book became a way for Albom to deal with his grief after losing Chika, a little girl he cared for. Instead of focusing on the seemingly cruel way Chika was removed from her life, Albom tried to turn her pain into acceptance and relief.

“It was as much me writing to myself as anyone reading the book,” Albom said. “Don’t ask, ‘Why was Chika taken from us?’ Ask yourself what we did to deserve, in the late 1950s, to have a chance to be parents? … Yeah, we cry because we miss her, but she doesn’t cry.

Albom concluded the book talk by talking about his relationship with failure. Although he is a bestselling author, he still fears that his new adventures will not be well received.

“The failure is absolutely there, and it motivates me and scares me,” Albom said.

The past two years have forced many of us to acknowledge past failures, but also to move beyond them and imagine new ways of staying in the present. According to Grace Rajendran, events producer at University Book Store, to figure out how to reach readers during the pandemic, that’s exactly what the bookstore needed to do as well.

“Zoom events have been absolutely wonderful…and during the early stages of the pandemic, it’s enough to be able to come together as a community on a global scale and share that beauty and comfort of loving great books together and great authors,” said Rajendran. “It was beautiful to see how we were all coping with the pandemic around the world and how many books really brought us all together.”

Going forward, University Book Store hopes to be able to do a mix of in-person and online events, as well as continue its partnership with UW. Several upcoming events to look forward to are a book launch with Brené Brown, Emerald City Comic Con, and a visit from internationally acclaimed author Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai.

Contact Contributing Editor Lea Wilson at [email protected] Twitter: @leaswilson

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