Monday, November 14, 2016

The Book of Joy- Book Review

Here we are following the election and I have been busy sitting with people as they share their worries and sitting with people as they share their joy. Election season is always an interesting time for a pastor. This season, there are far more worries than in previous seasons and with good reason.

Due to the heaviness of the conversations, I have been a bit distracted with my reading and have been finding it a bit difficult to concentrate on fiction. Also due to the heaviness of conversations, I needed a book that would give a little self care. When I went to the bookstore, I saw this book sitting in the new releases and knew this was the book that I needed.

This book is a conversation between two very influential spiritual leaders in his holiness the Dali Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu about joy. The two leaders spent some time together intentionally to have this conversation and to share worship practices together. Tutu meditated and then the two shared communion together, for example.

This isn't only about joy though. This is also about a very loving relationship. These two men pick on each other endlessly as two friends would. They make fun of each other's holiness, they one up one another, and they simply love one another. If I am being honest, I got more from their friendship story than their advice about joy.

For example, on the first night, the Dali Lama sneaks up behind Tutu and pretends to choke him. As they are laughing, Tutu turns to the Dali Lama and says "Remember we are on camera now, pretend to be holy." There are all sorts of stories like this. I loved these stories and really needed them.

The only qualm I had was Douglas Abrams is the narrator in the book. At times he either repeated himself by reminding us how holy these two men were or explained a joke to the reader when it was pretty obvious and occasionally waxes poetic a bit to fill in gaps. At times it was a bit distracting, while I was talking to my book saying- get back to the good stuff! Otherwise this is an incredible book. The pictures alone are worth the price of the book. I have had the back cover turned so I could see it daily- it is the two men mid dance. It has just brought a smile to my face each time I look at it.

I gave this one 4.5 stars.

Here is your Amazon link- The Book of Joy

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