Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

The Navi-Gator: a Gator's Guide to Library Resources

Recommended Fiction: Five People You Meet in Heaven and Catherine Called Birdy

by Pamela Tarajcak on 2021-11-29T13:49:13-05:00 | Comments
Cover ArtThe Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
Call Number: FIC ALBO (Steubenville)
ISBN: 9781401308582
Publication Date: 2006-03-01
Pages: 194 
"This is a story about a man named Eddie and it begins at the end, with Eddie dying in the sun.  It might seem strange to start a story with an ending.  But all endings are also beginnings. We just don't know it at the time."
Eddie is a lonely man working in a seaside carnival until a tragic accident causes his death.  At first not knowing he's dead, Eddie learns of a pre-heaven trial he has to endure.  He has to meet five souls who were crucial to his earthly life.  Through them he learns how worthy he was of love and of heaven's joys.  He also learns the point of some of the heartrending episodes of his life from his traumatic childhood to a terrible experience in the Vietnam War.
This novel is filled with heartwarming and heartrending characters and moments.  Through the plot structure of Eddie learning from the Five Souls--the novel's pace is quick as it feels like a series of interconnected short stories instead of a novel.  The depth in which Albom is able to go is also surprising given the novel's short length of under 200 pages.  The reader really gets to know Eddie and the people who have touched his life in good ways and bad.  The prose is simple yet profound as well.  
In short, the Five People You Meet in Heaven is a perfect read for December when one looks back to contemplate last year and for the holiday season when one thinks back in gratitude for all the people in our lives.  
This book does have some trigger warnings.

Cover ArtCatherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman
Call Number: FIC JUV CUS (Steubenville)
ISBN: 0064405842
Publication Date: 1995-12-31
Pages: 169
"Corpus Bones! I utterly loathe my life!" Thus begins the journal of Catherine, daughter of a medieval knight.  Throughout this book the reader is introduced to Catherine and her family, including a brother in Religious Orders who gives her the blank journal to foster a spirit of contemplativeness in his sometimes spoiled sister.  Through her eyes, we see the life in her English village, the tasks women usually worked (confining for Catherine who wants a more varied existence than just embroidering another altar cloth), worries over her parents' health, and observations about Saint's Lives. The diary style entries span a year or two until a crucial and irrevocable change happens in young Catherine's life...hint, the front cover depicts a suitor coming to call.
As the book is first person narration, Catherine's voice is the only one we hear.  Though not a nuanced voice it is witty and filled with shrewd observations of daily life.  There are some funny and sad moments to cue the reader into some of realities of Medieval life, including her mother's increasingly difficult pregnancies.  As this is a book aimed at Middle Grade readers, it enlightens them to the realities of the time (not all of them harsh) and allows them to empathize with a fictional girl who lived so long ago.  Yet because of Catherine's shrewd observations and her noting of Saints Days, an adult can also find an entertaining yet enlightening read.  And it is entertaining!  As the Flaming Chicken Incident proves (just trust me on this). 
This book is perfect for young and old to have a truly good domestic historical romp!  Great for the holidays when hanging out with the family, and them driving you crazy is just what happens.

 Add a Comment


  Recent Posts

Recommended Fiction: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
In Recommended Fiction, I suggest some books in our physical collections. June brings us the perfect book for Pride month while being a delightfully breezy summer read.
Recommended Fiction: Above Suspicion by Lynda La Plante
In Recommended Fiction I suggest fiction housed in our two physical collections. For May we have a great, beachy thriller housed in Steubenville.
Recommended Fiction: The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
In this series, I highlight physical books in our collections. This April brings us a poignant and unexpectedly timely look at immigrants, war refugees, and their children, in The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan which is in our You
Recommended Fiction: Fledgling by Octavia E. Butler
There are a healthy selection of fiction in our physical campus collections and I highlight one or two a month here. As Women's History Month is March, I present this Steubenville housed book that was written by one of the Great Women of Science Fiction.
Recommended Fiction: Soulless by Gail Carriger
Our Campus's physical collection have some great fiction. This month, February, being the month of Valentines day, made me think of a good romance story. Here's a light and fun paranormal one from Gail Carriger titled Soulless.


Enter your e-mail address to receive notifications of new posts by e-mail.


  Return to Blog
This post is closed for further discussion.