Microjoys: Finding Hope (Especially) When Life Is Not Okay

Penguin Life. Feb. 2023. 288p. ISBN 9780593492222. $26. SELF-HELP
In 2020, Spiegel (A Year of Positive Thinking) experienced the death of two family members, the serious illness of another family member, and a breast cancer diagnosis, all in the middle of a global pandemic. The experience left her feeling depleted and searching for joy and happiness, which led her to microjoys—easily accessible “tiny, beautiful things” that keep one grounded and serve as reminders of the goodness of everyday life. Anyone can experience these microjoys, but they must be consciously observed via mindfulness and reflective awareness. In a series of brief essays, Spiegel shares some of her own microjoys—finding a polka-dot glass in a thrift store that matches an incomplete set and the pleasures of gift-giving. Each essay wraps up with a prompt that can be used for reflection, meditation, or journaling, allowing readers to consider—and celebrate—the microjoys in their own daily lives.
VERDICT Spiegel’s relatable approach, free of toxic positivity, will resonate with readers looking for a thoughtful way to reflect on the joys of everyday life, even when times are difficult.
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