It is officially the start of a new year. The new year signifies opportunities, changes, hope, dreams and so much more. I think most people start off the new year with a “the glass is half full” mentally (optimistic). I don’t know too many people who start a new year off thinking negatively.
As life goes on things sometimes happen that challenge our faith or force us into a deep, dark place that we rather not be. In those situation we need something to life our spirits and to help us to be grateful and joyful for the people and things we have in our life.
Readers Digest, which has been around for as long as I can remember, has a new book available called The Treasury of Joy and Inspiration. This is a wonderful book that I think should be in everyone’s home library. The stories inside will inspire you, make you laugh, make you cry and make your heart smile.
The Treasury of Joy and Inspiration features 38 stories that have been published over the years in Readers Digest magazine. My great-grandmother and grandmother used to read Reader Digest every month when I was a young girl. I knew it had some useful information within it’s pages but I never realized until now that the magazine also published amazing stories.
Some of the stories are written by famous people like Helen Keller, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Christopher Reeve and funnyman Billy Crystal.
The book is divided up into different sections so you can find stories that will bring you Joy when you need it or make help you to be grateful for the things you have in life. The different sections include;
The stories are most like essays. Each one is only a few pages long so you could easily read one of the essays at any time. This book would be ideal for night time reading. Of if you are like me and only have a few minutes here and there throughout the day you could easily finish off one of the essays/stories.
I have not finished reading the entire book yet, only because I haven’t had the time and because I’ve been busy due to the holiday. I have read several stories so far and they all stirred up a lot of emotion. I think one of the stories that most affected me was an essay written by Helen Keller called Three Days to See. In her essay Helen talks about how she thinks it would be a blessing if everyone was struck with blindness and deafness for just a few days. It would make them appreciate the things that we all take advantage of – seeing and hearing.
I know it sounds like a horrible thing to wish for people to go deaf and blind for a few days, but remember, Helen didn’t mean for it to be permanent. Just for a few days.
Imagine if you woke up tomorrow morning and you were blind. Think of all the things you would miss – the smile on a baby’s face, a blazing sunset, the soft purple color of a Lilac, an adorable fuzzy puppy… The same applies to waking up deaf. You would not be able to hear “I love you” from your child/grandchild, the laughter of a child, music or bird singing.
When you stop and think about it, Helen’s story is a reminder of just how precious things like sight and the ability to hear are. After reading her story I have become more aware of this and I am learning to appreciate the little things in life much more because you never know what tomorrow might bring.
Another story I read brought tears to my eyes. It’s called She Gave Her Father Life. It’s about a young girl who died in a car accident and had her heart donated to her father. :-(!!!! Just thinking about it is making my eyes well up with tears. It is truly a beautiful story.
Other stories include;
Find out how a mysterious gift forever changed author James Michener’s life in The Christmas Present.
Experience a truly powerful life-changing moment in Christopher Reeve’s Decision.
Let actor George Burns make you feel like you’re dancing on air in Shall We Dance?
Find encouragement and hope in Dwight Eisenhower’s essay: An Open Letter to America’s Students.
Go looking for true peace and happiness as Barbara Walters takes you In Search of Heaven.
Marvel at the healing power of laughter in Billy Crystal’s amazing true story: My Father and Me.
These stories span from Reader’s Digest 90 years of publication. The book has 318 pages.
I love this book and I think it’s a must read. I am going to keep the book out on my coffee table so that it’s available to me whenever I have a few minutes to read, or if I just need a little inspiration, joy and hope to lift my spirits and get me through a rough day.
The Treasury of Joy and Inspiration is also published by Reader’s Digest and can be purchased on their website for only $19.99 for a hardcover book.
*I received a free product sample in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced in any way.