Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things To Create Extraordinary Happiness

8 CDs. Hachette Audio. Oct. 2018. 9:30 hrs. ISBN 9781478968344. $35. digital download. SELF-HELP
Well read by the author, this book will encourage listeners to examine their spaces, surroundings, and belongings. Designer Lee discusses the new minimalist movement and how it might be contrary to basic instinct. Because humans were hunter-gatherers, abundance was a good thing, and we may be basically programmed to appreciate and seek it. Lee points out, though, that too much of a good thing may be detrimental and encourages us to look around and think about the things that truly bring us joy. Lee, both in her TED Talks and in this work, urges listeners to look closely at choices to learn what it was that appealed in the first place. While attending design school, she realized that joy can be cultivated through tangible items. Joy, which Lee defines as an intense momentary experience of positive emotion, differs from happiness in that joy is short-lived, while happiness denotes a longer experience. Lee believes that there are some universal "joy-bringers," small things that can have a big impact, from flowers to confetti to sunsets, rainbows, and balloons. Once we identify and surround ourselves with those things that bring us joy, we can include more small moments of joy in our lives.
VERDICT This thought-provoking work is recommended to fans of Marie Kondo (Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up), those who enjoy self-help books, and anyone who is seeking to renew the spaces in which they live.

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