BOOK: THE NEXT PERSON YOU MEET IN HEAVEN by MITCH ALBOM


GOODREADS:  Fifteen years ago, in Mitch Albom’s beloved novel, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, the world fell in love with Eddie, a grizzled war veteran- turned-amusement park mechanic who died saving the life of a young girl named Annie. Eddie’s journey to heaven taught him that every life matters. Now, in this magical sequel, Mitch Albom reveals Annie’s story.  The accident that killed Eddie left an indelible mark on Annie. It took her left hand, which needed to be surgically reattached. Injured, scarred, and unable to remember why, Annie’s life is forever changed by a guilt-ravaged mother who whisks her away from the world she knew. Bullied by her peers and haunted by something she cannot recall, Annie struggles to find acceptance as she grows. When, as a young woman, she reconnects with Paulo, her childhood love, she believes she has finally  found happiness.  As the novel opens, Annie is marrying Paulo. But when her wedding night day ends in an unimaginable accident, Annie finds herself on her own heavenly journey—and an inevitable reunion with Eddie, one of the five people who will show her how her life mattered in ways she could not have fathomed.

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Yes, this is a sequel to one of my favorite books, The Five People you meet in Heaven. No, it’s not what I expected. Yes, I was disappointed. No, I don’t recommend it. Mind you, I LOVE the books of Mitch Albom — ALL of them. But this one, really. I was down to page 40 already but there’s no compelling urge to finish the story. It was just more of how did we meet and all.

Nonetheless, here are some worthy lines from the book:

  • All endings are also beginnings.
  • No story sits by itself. Our lives connect like threads on a loom, interwoven in ways we never realize.
  • When we build, we build on the shoulders of those who came before us. And when we fall apart, those who came before us help put us back together.
  • Have you ever wondered how many living things there are on earth? People. Animals. Birds. Fish. It makes you wonder how anyone could feel lonely. Yet humans do. It’s a shame.
  • We fear loneliness, but loneliness itself does not exist. It has no form. It is merely a shadow that falls over us. And just as shadows die when light changes, that sad feeling can depart once we see the truth. The end of loneliness is when someone needs you.
  • Don’t divine things happen everyday?
  • No act done for someone else is ever wasted.
  • This is the disarming power of children, their need makes you forget your own.
  • Did you ever think about getting a moment back? A moment where you can’t believe how unimportant what you were doing was, and how critical the thing you missed would be?
  • Just because you see things straight doesn’t mean you see them in time.
  • What’s time between a mother and her daughter? Never too much, never enough.
  • We embrace our scars more than our healing.
  • When you truly love someone, you’ll find a way back.

 

I’ll always love Mitch Albom. I didn’t like this current book but it’s not enough for me not to want to read his next one. 😀 Mitch, I’ll look forward to your next book. ❤

BOOK: FOR ONE MORE DAY by MITCH ALBOM


Have you ever lost someone you love and wanted one more conversation, one more chance to make up for the time when you thought they would be here forever? If so, they you know you can go your whole life collecting days, none will outweigh the one you wish you had back.

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There’s just a bigger, heavier and harder tug in your heart when it’s about parents, right? I don’t know about you but I usually don’t get affected easily in movies or in books whether if there’s an accident or a tragic event — but when they start talking about parents, count on my tears.

Book Highlights: 

  • There’s only your life, how you mess it up and who is there to save you.
  • I seem to be aging while standing still.
  • When you’re rotten about yourself, you become rotten to everyone else.
  • All that happens when your dreams come true is a slow, melting realization that it wasn’t what you thought.
  • Education is what you’ll make something of yourself.
  • When someone is in your heart, they’re never really truly gone. They can come back to you even at unlikely times.
  • Life goes by pretty quickly. It’s such a shame to waste time. We always think we have so much of it.
  • You can find something truly important in an ordinary minute.
  • You need to keep people close. You need to give them access to your heart.
  • That’s the thing when your parents die, you feel like instead if going into every fight with backup, you are going to every fight alone.
  • When you’re young, you nest in your parent’s plans, not your own.
  • My mother loved me through vomit and snot and bloody knees. She loved me coming and going, at my worst and at my best. She had a bottomless well love for me.
  • Kids chase the love that eludes them.
  • Kids are embarrassed by their parents. Sometimes, kids want you to hurt the way they hurt.
  • You do what you gotta do to hold your family together.
  • You have to work at your marriage together. You have to love each other, your children and your marriage. There are times that you fight, sometimes you won’t even like each other, but those are the times you have to love your marriage. Look at your memories together, they will pull you back together.
  • You count the hours you could have spent with your mother. It’s a lifetime in itself.
  • When you look at your mother, you are looking at the purest love you will ever know.
  • Sticking with your family is what makes it a family.
  • I believe that if parents love you, they will hold you up safely, above their swirling waters, and sometimes that means you’ll never know what they endured and you may treat them unkindly, in a way you otherwise wouldn’t.

 

Times my Mother stood up for me / Times I failed to stand up for my Mom:

  • Mom: visiting chick in school just to have milkshake with him, showing up in every baseball game, smears ice cream just to make chick laugh, tickles him and lets chick tickle her back, impersonates cartoons, tucks him in every night.
  • Mom: Posey scaring the dog away that was chasing charlie.
  • Mom: Posey maid a mummy costume for chick’s first Halloween but it rained so the costume was soaked.
  • Charlie: He yelled ‘You ruined my life’ after being soaked in the rain, ruining his costume.
  • Mom: When posey helped her son finish his homework.
  • Mom: ‘Never, ever tell a child that something is too hard! and never, NEVER this child’. — when the librarian didn’t allow charlie to take the book he wanted.
  • Charlie: ‘It’s not right’, charlie says to his mother’s cooking of baked ziti.
  • Charlie: He revealed that their Mom was pretending to be Santa while she tries her best to make Roberta happy.
  • Charlie: yelling to her mother, ‘You make me sick’.
  • Mom: Posey supported chick when he wanted to invest in a sports bar.

 

Sometimes the stories are simple, sometimes they are hard and heartbreaking. But behind all your stories is always your mother’s story, because hers is where yours begins. 

P.S. Read this to appreciate your parents better. ❤

BOOK: TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE BY MITCH ALBOM


Do I wither up and disappear or do I make the best of my time left?

Are you giving to your community? Are you at peace with yourself?

Are you trying to be as human as you can be?

This, I believe is a straight up classroom type life lessons as portrayed by Mitch himself and his tuesday conversations with his previous professor who is currently battling cancer. Here, Morrie asks Mitch to accompany him to his last days as he teaches each and everyone of us how to live by learning how to die.

*** second book to re-read! ❤

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Accept what you are able to do and what you are not able to do. Accept the past as past without denying it or discarding it. Learn to forgive yourself and others. Don’t assume that it’s too late to get involved.

Dying is only one thing to be sad over. Living unhappily is something else.

The culture that we have does not make people feel good about themselves. We’re teaching the wrong things. And you have to be strong enough to say it the culture doesn’t work for you, don’t buy it. Create your own.

The tension of opposites? Life is a series of pulls back and forth. You want to do one thing but you are bound to do something else. Something hurts you, yet you know it shouldn’t. Most of us live somewhere in the middle. So which side wins? Love wins. Love always wins.

So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half – asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they are chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning to your life is to devote yourself to loving others, to your community and to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.

I. WORLD

Death is the great equalizer, the one big thing that can finally make strangers shed a tear for one another. The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love and to let it come in. Love is the only rational act.

II. FEELING SORRY FOR YOURSELF

I give myself a good cry when I need it. But then I concentrate on all the good things still in my life. A thing is only horrible if you see it that way.

III. REGRETS

Is this all? Is this all I want? Is something missing? We all need teachers in our lives.

IV. DEATH

Everyone knows they’re going to die. but nobody believes it. If we did, we would do things differently. To know you’re going to die and to be prepared for it at any time. That way, you can actually be more involved in your life while you’re living. Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.

V. FAMILY

There is no foundation, no secure ground upon which people may stand today if it isn’t the family. Family is not about justt love but letting others know there’s someone who is watching out for them.

VI. EMOTIONS

Don’t  cling to things because everything is impermanent. Detachment doesn’t mean you don’t let the experience penetrate you. On the contrary, you let it penetrate you fully. That’s how you are able to leave it. Wash yourself with emotion. It won’t hurt you. It will only help.

VII. FEAR OF AGING

It’s like going back to being a child again. We all know how to be a child. It’s inside all of us. It’s just remembering how to enjoy it. Aging is not just decay. It’s growth. It’s more than the negative you’re going to die, it’s also the positive that you understand you’re going to die and that you live a better life because of it. You have to find what’s good and true and beautiful as it is now. Looking back makes you competitive. How can I be envious of where you are — when I’ve been there myself?

VIII. MONEY

Money is not a substitute for tenderness, and power is not substitute for tenderness. Know what really gives you satisfaction? Offering others what you have to give. Devote yourself to loving others, and devote yourself to your community and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning. Only an open heart will allow you to float equally between everyone. Do the kind of things that come from the heart. When you do, you won’t be dissatisfied, you won’t be envious, you won’t be longing for somebody else’s things.

IX. LOVE GOES ON

Love is how you stay alive, even after you’re gone. As long as we can love each other, and remember the feeling of love we had, we can die without ever really going away. All the love you created is still there. You live on — in the hearts of everyone you have touched and nurtured. Death ends a life, not a relationship.

X. MARRIAGE

In marriage, you get tested. You find out who you are, who the other person is, and how you can accommodate or don’t. If you don’t respect the  other person, you’re gonna have a lot of trouble. If you don’t know how to compromise, if you can’t talk openly about what goes on between you and if you don’t have a common set of values in life, you’re gonna have trouble — and the biggest one? your belief in the importance of your marriage.

XI. CULTURE

The big things — how we think, what we value– those you must choose yourself. You can’t let anyone or society determine those for you. Every society has its own problems. The way you do it, is not to run away. You have to work at creating your own culture. No matter where you live, the biggest defect we human beings have is our shortsightedness. We don’t see what we could be. We should be looking at our potential, stretching ourselves into everything we can become. We all need others.

Be compassionate. Take responsibility for each other. If we only learned those lessons, this world would be so much a better place.

XII. FORGIVENESS

Forgive yourself before you die and forgive others. Make peace.

 

BOOK: THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN BY MITCH ALBOM


I’ve read this when I was in first year college and noticed that it’s not in here so I re-read it again. No problem, always a good read..

Mitch has an enchanting way to draw you in, make you feel guilty, teach you about life and make you crawl inside a cave, listen to your thoughts and come out of it renewed and feeling like you know so much about life.

Goodreads: ‘Eddie is a wounded war veteran, an old man who has lived, in his mind, an uninspired life. His job is fixing rides at a seaside amusement park. On his 83rd birthday, a tragic accident kills him as he tries to save a little girl from a falling cart. He awakes in the afterlife, where he learns that heaven is not a destination. It’s a place where your life is explained to you by five people, some of whom you knew, others who may have been strangers. One by one, from childhood to soldier to old age, Eddie’s five people revisit their connections to him on earth, illuminating the mysteries of his “meaningless” life, and revealing the haunting secret behind the eternal question: “Why was I here?”‘
The succeeding lines will reveal everything about the book. So if you’re planning to read it blind, please skip this post as this will be a serious spoiler.
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The Five People he meets in heaven and why: 
1. The Blue Man
The Blue Man was not in Eddie’s life, only in passing. Let me first explain why he’s named such. As obvious as it can be, he simple has a blue ash skin. When he was a kid — he overdosed on silver nitrate and as a side effect, gave him a blue skin. As he got older, his only escape in life is to be with the other freaks, the unique people — in the freak show of Ruby Pier. 
He’s connected with Eddie because when eddie was a kid and playing ball, the blue man had a car accident because he tried to avoid hitting the kid on the street. Eddie was the kid. 
 
Blue Man Lesson: There are no random acts. That we are all onnected. That you can no mmore separate one life from another.Fairness does not govern life and death. All lives intersect. Death doesn’t just take someone, it misses someone else, and in the small distance between being taken and being missed, lives are changed. Strangers are just family you have yet to come to know. No life is a waste. The only time we waste is the time we spend thinking we are alone. 
 
2. The Captain
The captain was Eddie’s commanding officer when joined the army and went to war. Eddie was captured together with 4 other soldiers and the captain in the Philippines. They suffered and witnessed so many things together. On the day of their escape, the captain shot Eddie’s leg to save him from the burning nipa hut. 
 
The Captain Lesson: Dying? not the end of everything. But what happens on earth is only the beginning. Sacrifice is a part of life. It’s not something to regret. It’s something to aspire to. That’s the thing. Sometimes when you sacrifice something, you’re not really losing it. You’re just passing it on to someone else. 
 
3. Ruby
Ruby was a stunningly beautiful waitress back in the day. She captured a lot of hearts but she was bound to marry Emile. Emile was the founder of Ruby Pier. But one day, the park was engulfed with fire and the trauma haunted Emile and his wifef, affecting their lives. Emile and Eddie’s father shared the same hospital room. Ruby explained the death of his father. 
 
Ruby Lesson: Things that happen before you are born still affect you. Holding anger is a poison. Hatred is a curved blade. The harm we do, we do to ourselves. 
 
4. Marguerite
Marguerite is Eddie’s puppy love, wife, one true love, best friend and everything good about his life is her. They met and danced at the park. She waited for him when he was at war. They got married but never had children. After the war, Eddie is a changed man. One night, they fought and Marguerite was in a car accident on her way to see Eddie and apologize to him. 
 
Marguerite Lesson: Lost love is still love. Life has to end, love doesn’t.
 
5. Tala
Tala was the little girl hiding during the war. On the day she hid inside a nipa hut, the four soldiers, Eddie and the captain escaped. As part of their plan, they burned the nipa hut, not knowing there was a little girl inside the hut. 
 
Tala Lesson: Everything that we do has a reason. We are all bound to do good on this earth. Eddie was miserable all his life because he thought that his life was so useless, doing the same thing everyday, checking the rides, making sure it was safe. Tala taught him that although he accidentally killed her during the war, he was doing good by keeping people safe. We often neglect our purpose in life, but those little things means a lot if we only appreciate and look at the bigger picture. 
 
And soon, Eddie will also be someone else’s second, third, fourth or fifth person in heaven. 
 
Each affects the other and the other affects the nexxt, and the world s full of stories, but the stories are all one. 

BOOK: THE MAGIC STRINGS OF FRANKIE PRESTO BY MITCH ALBOM


I’ve always loved Mitch Albom as do everyone I know. And I’m not surprised, really. The way he writes, you know there’s some research involved, hours and hours spent in writing & rereading chapters. It can’t be just imagination with him. I always, always learn something from his books, may it be a new phrase, a new song, a new place, history and so much more. It’s not just life lessons (which he’s great at) but he never fails to input a metaphor that captures the essence of his books.

 

We all join a band in life. And it will affect you as much as you affect it! 

 

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GOODREADS:  ”This is the epic story of Frankie Presto—the greatest guitar player who ever lived—and the six lives he changed with his six magical blue strings

Frankie, born in a burning church, abandoned as an infant, and raised by a music teacher in a small Spanish town, until war rips his life apart. At nine years old, he is sent to America in the bottom of a boat. His only possession is an old guitar and six precious strings. His amazing journey weaves him through the musical landscape of the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s, with his stunning playing and singing talent affecting numerous stars (Duke Ellington, Hank Williams, Elvis Presley) until, as if predestined, he becomes a pop star himself.

He makes records. He is adored. But Frankie Presto’s gift is also his burden, as he realizes the power of the strings his teacher gave him, and how, through his music, he can actually affect people’s lives. At the height of his popularity, tortured by his biggest mistake, he vanishes. His legend grows. Only decades later, having finally healed his heart, does Frankie reappearjust before his spectacular death—to change one last life. With the Spirit of Music as our guide, we glimpse into the lives that were changed by one man whose strings could touch the music—and the magic—in each of us.”

 

Highlights from the book:

  • This is how talents are bestowed. Before newborns open their eyes, we circle them, appearing as brilliant colors and when they clench their tiny hands. they are actually grabbing colors they find most appealing and those talents are with them for life.
  • You cannot change your past no matter how you craft your future
  • Sometimes I think the greatest talent of all is perseverance.
  • In every artist’s life, there comes a person who lifts the curtain on creativity.
  • Talent is a piece of god’s shadow and under that shadow, human stories intersect.
  • You cannot write if you do not read, you cannot eat if you do not chew and you cannot play if you do not listen.
  • Do not cry over losing blood, not for something that you love.
  • Money is a mystery. While it clearly means a great deal to humans, it seems to me an enormous burden.
  • Truth is light. Lies are shadows.
  • Can i be both? — Being both means being neither.
  • Every loss leaves a hole in your heart.
  • The secret is not to make your music louder, but to make the world quieter.
  • I’m scared. — Yes, and you will be scared again. All your life. You must conquer this. Face them and pretend they aren’t there. You can do it. Always remember I said you can do it.
  • Where you are going, you need to listen. When you listen, you learn.
  • Music allows for quick creation. But it is nothing compared with what you humans can destroy in a single conversation.
  • Le duy vas xalaven pe — the hands wash each other.
  • Rerum cognoscere causas — to know the causes of things
  • Thank you. — For what? —- For not giving up
  • I can’t do anything without you either. Marry me. Please? — Santa and Mr. Bingle are always together. — Always. — No matter what. — No matter what. — All right. I’ll marry you.
  • We heal a wounded heart with an oath that reassures it.
  • The less you humans can solve a mystery, the more interesting it becomes to you.
  • This is life. Things get taken away. You will learn to start over many times — or you will be useless.
  • First rule of friendship mates, learn how to keep a secret.
  • The point is, you have to decide who you are playing for.
  • The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.
  • The older you get, the more you want your kids to know about you. At a certain point, your life is more about your legacy to your kids than anything else.
  • Your most passionate compositions are often inspired by loss.
  • What you’re thinking about can be what you become.
  • He realized how many people it takes to keep one child alive in this world.
  • You will never know all there is to know. You will learn until your final days. Then you will inspire someone else.

 

Frankie, joining several bands.. changed lives: 

  1. He joined another band, this one without even playing. Django would have never experienced America, or the way it influenced his life and art.
  2. Mr. Hampton, the mechanic. Frankie saved his life by promising tickets after an audition because the doctors wouldn’t let them in, telling them to bring hampton to a coloured hospital.
  3. Ellis grew up and joined the army. On the night frankie was going back to his hotel, the car that they were using was wired. Frankie saved the life of ellis with his guitar as an exchange.
  4. Josefa, the nun was redeemed by frankie’s forgiveness.

 

Let’s just talk about how toxic and fascinating Frankie and Aurora are. Without the gadgets that we have now, how can two people just cross paths & reunite over and over again after years of not being together? I applaud Aurora for being so patient of frankie’s absence in her life, of how music and fame stole him from her and simply just how passionate and committed she is to her. How can their relationship work? I don’t know. But I admire these two specially on the latter part of their destined life, raising their child.

 

The book, thru frankie brings the readers to so many places around the world, introducing us to different cultures, different genres, different artists and different lives. It gives us a glimpse of how passion can be a fire that can keep you glowing or that can burn you into ashes. It tells us how music can sometimes be the only salvation, communication and expression of an individual when words seem to be not enough.

 

Again, Mitch Albom does it.

As life goes on, you will join other bands, some through friendships, some through romance, some through neighborhoods, schools, an army. Maybe you will all dress the same, or laugh at your own private vocabulary. Maybe you will flop on couches backstage, or share a boardroom table, or crowd around galley inside a ship. But in each band you join, you will play a distinct part, and it will affect you as much as you affect it. And, as usually the fate with bands, most of them will break up – through distance, differences, divorce or death.

 

 

 

BOOK: TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE by MITCH ALBOM


Just like other Mitch Albom Books, it leaves you wanting more. It leaves you with things to ponder on, which I think is one criteria for it to be a good book, right? So here are some of them;

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DO I WITHER UP AND DISAPPEAR, OR DO I MAKE THE BEST OF MY TIME LEFT?

  • Accept what you are able to do and what you are not able to do. Accept the past as past, without denying it or discarding it. Learn to forgive yourself and to forgive others. Don’t assume that it’s too late to get involved.
  • Am I going to withdraw from the wold, like most people do, or am I going to live?
  • I had been too wrapped up in the siren song of my own life
  • The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. We’re teaching the wrong things. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it. Create your own.
  • Life is a series of pulls back and forth. You want to do one things, but you are bound to do something else. Something hurts you, yet you know it shouldn’t. You take certain things for granted, even when you know you should never take anything for granted.
  • Love wins. Love always wins.
  • The way you get meaning to your life is to devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.
  • Still, if you really want it, then you’ll make your dream happen.
  • Maybe death is the great equalizer, the one big thing that can finally make strangers shed a tear for one another.
  • The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in.
  • Let it come in. We think we don’t deserve love, we think if we let it in we’ll become too soft. But a wise man named levine said it right. Love is the only rational act.
  • But then I concentrate on all the good things still in my life.
  • Sometimes you cannot believe what you see, you have to believe what you feel. And if you are ever going to have other people trust you, you must feel that you can trust them too — even when you’re in the dark. Even when you’re falling.
  • To know you’re going to die, and be prepares for it at anytime. That’s better. That way you can actually be more involved in your life while you’re living.
  • Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.
  • We really don’t experience the world fully, because we’re half-asleep, doing things we automatically think we have to do.
  • Love each other or perish.
  • Without love, we are birds with broken wings.
  • Don’t cling to things, because everything is impermanent.
  • If you’re always battling against getting older, you’re always going to be unhappy, because it will happen anyhow.
  • You have to find what’s true and beautiful in your life as it is now.
  • We put our values in the wrong things. and it leads to very disillusioned lives.
  • Do the kind of things that come from the heart. When you do, you won’t be dissatisfied, you own’t be envious, you won’t be longing for somebody else’s things. On the contrary, you’ll be overwhelmed with what comes back.
  • Love is how you stay alive, even after you’re gone.
  • But the big things – what we value, how we think — those you must choose for yourself. You can’t let anyone — or any society determine those for you.
  • Look, no matter where you live, the biggest defect we human beings have is our shortsightedness. We don’t see what we could be. We should be looking at our potential, stretching ourselves into everything we can become.
  • Invest in the human family. Invest in people. Build a little4 community of those you love and who love you.
  • Forgive yourself before you die. then forgive others.
  • Death ends a life, not the relationship.
  • Love is when you are as concerned about someone else’s situation as you are about your own.
  • There is no such things as ‘too late” in life.

BOOK: Mitch Albom – For One more day


If you’ve read my previous posts, Judey and I went to MIBF – Manila’s International Book Fair. And we both agreed on 1 book. There it was on a separate stand, all in hardbound. Our eyes lit up. It’s a book. another best seller, I assume, or rather I hope. No, I know it will be since it is by Mitch Albom – The Timekeeper. If you’ve read all the other books that he has written, it is worth buying and definitely a must-read. Though he doesn’t write about  passionate lovers and all the happy ending of other non platonic love affairs,

he writes stories that matter – stories that touches your heart – stories that will make you sink in to your bed and reflect on your own life. and that’s what good stories are

They challenge you.

They make you think.

They make you question things.

They change you.

And now that I’m re-reading One more day, I’ve decided to at least try to write down all the times my mom stood up for me – if it’s even remotely possible to put into black and white the ‘bottomless well of love’ mothers have for their children, just as how Chick Benetto puts it.

As I am typing this very word, my mom opened the door and reminded me to sleep early, kissed me and asked me how my day went. 🙂 🙂

P.S.  I only noticed now that Albom wrote two books that I wasn’t aware of ; Fab Five and Bo. – I’ll try to look for it and read it. 🙂