Join BookBrowse today and get access to free books, our twice monthly digital magazine, and more.

Reviews of The Beggar King and the Secret of Happiness by Joel ben Izzy

The Beggar King and the Secret of Happiness

by Joel ben Izzy

The Beggar King and the Secret of Happiness by Joel ben Izzy X
The Beggar King and the Secret of Happiness by Joel ben Izzy
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Nov 2003, 228 pages

    Paperback:
    Sep 2005, 240 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

In this altogether original book, ben Izzy takes us on a journey inside the world of stories and the lessons they teach us through their timeless wisdom.

Once upon a time are magic words that cast a spell whether we're young or old. A good tale has a way of holding us captive. To Joel ben Izzy, a professional storyteller for twenty years, stories are not only a way of life but also a way to heal. In this altogether original book, ben Izzy takes us on a journey inside the world of stories and the lessons they teach us through their timeless wisdom.

He begins by telling us the tale of the The Beggar King, in which King Solomon loses his kingdom and is left to wander the land as a beggar. Then, ben Izzy's own tale unfolds--much like a fable--when he unexpectedly loses his voice, the very thing he needs most. No longer able to tell stories, he loses his livelihood along with his hope, until he meets his old mentor, Lenny. Through fables, folktales, and riddles, the wise but cantankerous Lenny teaches him how to see his fate in terms of a larger story and shows him the gifts that can only come from loss.

Each chapter of ben Izzy's journey begins with a tale he's collected from around the world--from The Lost Horse (China) to The Secret of Happiness (Turkey). And each one touches on universal themes-from the quest for truth to how to cope with life's disappointments. He challenges us to find the meaning in our own life stories.

Contents

Prologue: The Beggar King
Ch.1:   The Lost Horse
Ch 2:   The Cricket Who Jumped to the Moon
Ch 3:   Optimism and Pessimism
Ch 4:   The Vow of Silence
Ch 5:   The Search for Truth
Ch 6:   The Border Guard
Ch 7:   The Appointment
Ch 8    The Wisdom of Chelm
Ch 9:   Buried Treasures
Ch 10: The Strawberry
Ch 11: Hersel's Last Laugh
Ch 12: The Happy Man's Shirt
Ch 13: The Fox in the Garden
Ch 14: The Secret of Happiness

Epilogue: The Beggar King
About The Stories
Acknowledgements



Prologue

Let me tell you a tale of long ago, from the old city of Jerusalem, back in the days when Solomon was king. He had reached the height of his power and was known throughout the world for his wisdom. With it, he had brought Jerusalem to a golden age. He was the happiest of men and might well have remained so, had it not been for a strange dream.

It came to him, one ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

Library Journal - Katherine Koenig
Told with humor and the wisdom that comes only through suffering, this is a story not just for storytellers but for anyone who has faced tragedy.

Publishers Weekly
Ben Izzy successfully translates the best elements of oral storytelling to the page; his memoir shines with brisk suspense as well as his unerring, precise eye for including only the elements of his hard-won wisdom that matter the most.

Author Blurb Anne Lamott, author
It's really the only important story there is— a story about finding light within darkness. That Joel ben Izzy is fantastic! What a gift, what a blessing; brilliant, funny, wise...

Author Blurb Dorothy Law Nolte, co-author of Children Learn What They Live
Storyteller Joel ben Izzy brings us a powerful message. I found myself bursting into laughter and wonderment over a bike and sharing a tear of joy and insight over a pancake!

Author Blurb Grace Paley, author
This is a beautiful book full of old tales—from China, India, Persia, Jerusalem—that help storyteller Joel ben Izzy through dark times of silence and back into light and sound once more. Wonderful!

Author Blurb Ira Glass, host of Public Radio's This American Life
Who knew people like Joel ben Izzy still existed in today's world? He deploys ancient stories gracefully to illuminate his own story.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Read-Alikes

Read-Alikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked The Beggar King and the Secret of Happiness, try these:

  • Ireland jacket

    Ireland

    by Frank Delaney

    Published 2006

    About this book

    More by this author

    From a land famous for storytelling comes an epic novel that captures the intimate, passionate texture of the Irish spirit.

  • My Grandfather's Blessings jacket

    My Grandfather's Blessings

    by Rachel Naomi Remen M.D.

    Published 2000

    About this book

    Further examines the human heart and celebrates those who serve life so beautifully, so effortlessly, so selflessly often without knowing.

Read-Alikes are one of the many benefits of membership. To see the complete list of this book's read-alikes, you need to be a member.
Search read-alikes
How we choose read-alikes

Books with similar themes


Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Join our inner reading circle, go ad-free and get way more!

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: The Last Bloodcarver
    The Last Bloodcarver
    by Vanessa Le
    The city-state of Theumas is a gleaming metropolis of advanced technology and innovation where the ...
  • Book Jacket: Say Hello to My Little Friend
    Say Hello to My Little Friend
    by Jennine Capó Crucet
    Twenty-year-old Ismael Reyes is making a living in Miami as an impersonator of the rapper/singer ...
  • Book Jacket: The Painter's Daughters
    The Painter's Daughters
    by Emily Howes
    Peggy and Molly Gainsborough are sisters and best friends, living an idyllic life in 18th-century ...
  • Book Jacket: Beverly Hills Spy
    Beverly Hills Spy
    by Ronald Drabkin
    When it comes to espionage, not only is truth stranger than fiction, sometimes it can be downright ...

BookBrowse Book Club

Book Jacket
A Great Country
by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
A novel exploring the ties and fractures of a close-knit Indian-American family in the aftermath of a violent encounter with the police.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The House on Biscayne Bay
    by Chanel Cleeton

    As death stalks a gothic mansion in Miami, the lives of two women intertwine as the past and present collide.

  • Book Jacket

    The Stone Home
    by Crystal Hana Kim

    A moving family drama and coming-of-age story revealing a dark corner of South Korean history.

Who Said...

Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

S B the B

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.