Dalai Lama The Book of Joy

Last updated date: June 17, 2019

DWYM Score
9.7

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We looked at the top 1 Non-Fiction Books and dug through the reviews from 8 of the most popular review sites including Good Reads, New York Journal of Books, Hippocampus Magazine, Publishers Weekly, Spirituality and Practice, The Gilmore Guide to Books, Vail Daily, Green Groundswell and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Non-Fiction Book you should buy.

Overall Take

In our analysis of 86 expert reviews, the Dalai Lama / Desmond Tutu / Douglas Carlton Abrams Dalai Lama The Book of Joy placed 3rd when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note July 2, 2019:
Checkout The Best Non-Fiction Book for a detailed review of all the top non-fiction books.

Expert Summarized Score
9.7
8 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.6
1,393 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
This book is a one-of-a-kind teaching, a rare delight for those who want to live their lives more fully, with the ability to look adversity in the eye and find their first reaction is to breathe deeply and smile.
- New York Journal of Books
And that’s what makes this book so unique; it appeals to all humanity, not just a specific sect or denomination. The themes of overcoming loss, loneliness, depression, and so forth are all areas common to the human experience. The Dalai Lama and the Archbishop understand this, and they want to help. That’s what this book really is—a guide to help one find joy.
- Hippocampus Magazine
April 1, 2017 | Full review
This sparkling, wise, and immediately useful gift to readers from two remarkable spiritual masters offers hope that joy is possible for everyone even in the most difficult circumstances, and describes a clear path for attaining it.
- Publishers Weekly
August 15, 2016 | Full review
The Book of Joy contains three main sections. In "The Nature of True Joy," the two spiritual leaders share their experiences of suffering, pleasure, and great joy. In "The Obstacles to Joy," they take a sobering look at such challenges as anxiety, anger, sadness and grief, despair, loneliness, envy, illness, and fear of death. The third section deals with their assessments of "The Eight Pillars of Joy." These emanate from the mind -- perspective, humility, humor, acceptance -- and heart --forgiveness, gratitude, compassion and generosity.
- Spirituality and Practice
The voices of two men who have spent their lives fighting hatred and violence with grace and joy act as a mental balm—bringing an equanimity and calm to the rest of the day. Beyond that, the book is a tender and charming reflection of friendship which is always beautiful to see.
- The Gilmore Guide to Books
January 23, 2017 | Full review
What is most remarkable about the book is the tone, which is light and heartwarming, much of which comes from the obvious love His Holiness and the Archbishop have for each other, even though they have only met several times for brief periods. They refer to each other as the other’s “mischievous spiritual brother,” and as biographer Abrams repeats often, the men find ample time during their days of interviews to dissolve into laughter and mutual teasing, which is never far away.
- Vail Daily
December 3, 2016 | Full review
The Book of Joy refreshed my spirit and reminded me that joy is available to every person every day.
- Green Groundswell
August 27, 2018 | Full review
What experts didn't like

From The Manufacturer

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, describes himself as a simple Buddhist monk. He is the spiritual leader of the Tibetan People and of Tibetan Buddhism. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 and the US Congressional Gold Medal in 2007. Born in 1935 to a poor farming family in northeastern Tibet he was recognized at the age of two as the reincarnation of his predecessor, the 13th Dalai Lama. He has been a passionate advocate for a secular universal approach to cultivating fundamental human values. For over three decades the Dalai Lama has maintained an ongoing conversation and collaboration with scientists from a wide range of disciplines, especially through the Mind and Life Institute, an organization that he co-founded. The Dalai Lama travels extensively, promoting kindness and compassion, interfaith understanding, respect for the environment, and, above all, world peace. He lives in exile in Dharamsala, India. For more information, please visit www.dalailama.com. Desmond Mpilo Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of Southern Africa, became a prominent leader in the crusade for justice and racial reconciliation in South Africa. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009. In 1994, Tutu was appointed chair of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission by Nelson Mandela, where he pioneered a new way for countries to move forward after experiencing civil conflict and oppression. He was the founding chair of The Elders, a group of global leaders working together for peace and human rights. Archbishop Tutu is regarded as a leading moral voice and an icon of hope. Throughout his life, he has cared deeply about the needs of people around the world, teaching love and compassion for all. He lives in Cape Town, South Africa. For more information please visit tutu.org.za.

Overall Product Rankings

1. Tara Westover Educated: A Memoir
Overall Score: 9.9
Expert Reviews: 10
2. David Grann Killers of the Flower Moon
Overall Score: 9.8
Expert Reviews: 10
3. Dalai Lama The Book of Joy
Overall Score: 9.7
Expert Reviews: 8
4. Candice Millard Destiny of the Republic
Overall Score: 9.7
Expert Reviews: 9
5. Timothy Egan The Worst Hard Time
Overall Score: 9.5
Expert Reviews: 9
6. Regina Calcaterra Etched in Sand
Overall Score: 9.5
Expert Reviews: 4
7. Jimmy Wayne / Ken Abraham: Walk to Beautiful
Overall Score: 9.5
Expert Reviews: 4
10. Douglas Preston The Lost City of the Monkey God
Overall Score: 9.0
Expert Reviews: 9

An Overview On Non-Fiction Books

  • Before breaking into the world of non-fiction novels, decide what sub-genre you are most interested in reading about. This will help narrow down your search in this broad genre.
  • Talk to a librarian about any new authors that are getting great reviews. They will have first-hand feedback from readers of those novels.
  • Use the resources at your fingertips, such as the internet, to research. There are plenty of websites that offer book reviews. So utilize them and find a great non-fiction novel to get started reading today.
  • If you are taking a college course and want supporting documentation on a topic you are learning about, the non-fiction novels will definitely add some dimension to your education.

DYWM Fun Fact

  • The psychology niche offers non-fiction readers outrageous and factual stories, such as “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Trials” by Oliver Sacks.
  • “In Cold Blood” by Truman Capote was supposedly the very first non-fiction novel ever written.
  • Among the top 100 most popular non-fiction books are “The History of the World” by Walter Raleigh, “Common Sense” by Tom Paine, “The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin” by Benjamin Franklin and “Tales from Shakespeare” by Charles and Mary Lamb.
  • Another term for non-fiction novels is literary non-fiction.
  • Non-fiction does not discriminate by age or ethnicity. Every age can read and enjoy a book from the non-fiction genre. These days, non-fiction novels are becoming increasingly incorporated into education and the lives of young adults.
  • Good Sense Reading offers a list of age-classified, non-fiction books for parents to utilize on their website.

The Non-Fiction Book Buying Guide

There’s nothing better than a great book. Some prefer an imaginative story or fiction book while others thrive on non-fiction, factual storylines that tell us of real events. The non-fiction genres offer readers an incredible glimpse into the lifestyles and characters of actual people but often written with a dramatic flair. Truman Capote, the author of “In Cold Blood,” was said to have started this genre in 1965 when the novel was published (although, this is often not believed since there are several other non-fiction novels published previous to this date). There are countless sub-genres within the non-fiction novel genre, so be sure to check them all out before making your purchase.

There are quite a few ways that authors have approached non-fiction novels. Although the characters are real people and most of the facts are actual, there can be some imaginative writing in between, especially in conversations and such. The other approach is packed with all facts and strictly to the point, so the reader doesn’t have to guess what is factual versus imaginative. Both are interesting reads; however, you’ll have to decide for yourself which is most captivating.

Perhaps one of the most well-known sub-genres of non-fiction novels is a memoir or autobiography. Most have read a memoir in part, if not in entirety, during their school years. Memoirs are perhaps the most accurate works you will find in the genre since they are narrated by the individual themselves. In the autobiography, “Educated: A Memoir” by Tara Westover, readers will get an entire picture of a woman overcoming her lack of primary education and isolation when she enters the intimidating realm of college. Another incredible memoir is “Etched in Sand” by Regina Calcaterra. She relives her abusive childhood in this autobiography to show readers that you can not only survive but overcome trials and tribulations that befall you at a young age. The autobiography sub-genre offers people the chance to walk in someone else’s shoes and relive the experiences that shaped them. If you are a fact seeker, autobiographies will give you the most accurate account of a person’s life.

Within the sub-genre of autobiography, readers will find many narratives of famous people. If you are interested in pop culture and would like to learn more about how people rise to fame, this category is right up your alley. The book, “Walk to Beautiful” by musician Jimmy Wayne is one of the best non-fiction novels out there. He discusses the difficulties of being poor and the disorganization of the broken foster care system, based on his personal life experiences. A perfect combination of reality and fame come together in this category.

For a thriller-type read, the true crime sub-genre is where you’ll want to look for a book. This category is typically packed with mystery, violence, law and forensics — all based on actual events. The novels are usually embellished with creative writing here and there, but the main storyline is factual and true to the real events. In the book, “Killers of the Flower Moon” by David Grann, you will find the retelling of the murders of several people in the wealthy community of Osage Nation in Oklahoma. You will find all the thrills in this non-fiction novel along with an accurate depiction of events around the murders. True crime non-fiction books are just the thing if you want to learn more about a specific historical crime.

There are countless other categories in the non-fiction novel genre. They have so much to offer from education to insight and instructions. Non-fiction educational options typically involve history books, science stories, psychology novels and literary novels. Whenever you want to travel, you will surely pick up a travel novel, and same with self-help. If you want to learn about sports, you’ll find facts stick with you when you read a non-fiction novel based on that sport. Technology, house and garden and social science are even more categories you’ll discover when you delve into non-fiction novels, and you won’t find a better way to learn and get inspired than through the books within this genre.

No matter what your walk of life is, non-fiction novels will give you the tools you need to constantly be improving yourself, increasing your knowledge and learning with a multi-faceted approach. Non-fiction novels of all categories should be a staple in every home.