Get a free audiobook

CDN$ 14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

Two great spiritual masters share their own hard-won wisdom about living with joy even in the face of adversity. 

The occasion was a big birthday. And it inspired two close friends to get together in Dharamsala for a talk about something very important to them. The friends were His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The subject was joy. Both winners of the Nobel Prize, both great spiritual masters and moral leaders of our time, they are also known for being among the most infectiously happy people on the planet. 

From the beginning the book was envisioned as a three-layer birthday cake: their own stories and teachings about joy, the most recent findings in the science of deep happiness, and the daily practices that anchor their own emotional and spiritual lives. Both the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Tutu have been tested by great personal and national adversity, and here they share their personal stories of struggle and renewal. Now that they are both in their 80s, they especially want to spread the core message that to have joy yourself, you must bring joy to others. 

Most of all, during that landmark week in Dharamsala, they demonstrated by their own exuberance, compassion, and humor how joy can be transformed from a fleeting emotion into an enduring way of life. 

Narration credits: 

Douglas Carlton Abrams, read by the author 

Dalai Lama, read by Francois Chau 

Desmond Tutu, read by Peter Francis James 

©2016 Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu (P)2016 Penguin Audio

What the critics say

"The Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu, interviewed by Douglas Abrams, give enlightening advice on how to achieve joy even during difficult times. Douglas Abrams is both an excellent author and interviewer who knows how to present a question most effectively and how to relay the answers of these widely respected spiritual leaders clearly and informatively. All three voices are differentiated beautifully, with Francois Chau channeling the Dalai Lama's peacefulness and Peter Francis James providing a judicious tone to represent Desmond Tutu. These two Nobel Prize winners teach joy by sharing their own journeys and practices. The narration makes listeners feel like they're in the same room as these wise men, welcomed and at peace. The pillars of joy are clearly outlined and explained." (AudioFile magazine) 

What listeners say about The Book of Joy

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    212
  • 4 Stars
    26
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    4
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    183
  • 4 Stars
    20
  • 3 Stars
    8
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    3
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    183
  • 4 Stars
    23
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    2

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I would rate it more than 5 stars if I could!

Although I wish I had read The Book Of Joy a lot earlier, I ended up reading it at the most perfect time in my life. It is truly my favourite book and has changed my view on life completely. I highly recommend this book to any person in search of a happier and more peaceful way of living (basically everyone lol) And even so, for the people who already do live a happy life, still, read this book! Regardless of the situation you may be in and/or religious belief, there are countless of lessons and truth to take away from all the wisdom and experience both His Holiness The Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu share throughout the book.

At first, I was a little skeptical about how this book would play out due to differences of each spiritual leader. How they grew up, where they grew up, what they’ve been through and what they believe in/what they don’t.. but boy, was I wrong. It really did prove that it is much more deeper than that. I am really glad to have read this book and to have learned so much from the beginning to the very end. I found myself sticky-tabbing parts of the book (since I too have the hardcover) and listening to parts over and over. Despite it being 10+ hrs, it felt as if it were not long enough, I was quite sad to hear it finish. But also, very grateful to have been taught so much about life with suffering, pain, anger, frustration, love, compassion, faith and of course, joy! There’s so much positives I can say about this book, but I’ll leave you to it and maybe it’ll mean something much more to you!

“Nothing beautiful comes without some suffering” #sharethejoy

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Required Reading for Every Human Being

I've read a lot of spiritual books, but this one is so exceptional that I would put it in the category of scripture. The writing is engaging and superb. The wisdom contained in it's pages is beyond measure. I loved the dramatic reading of the audiobook which made it feel as if I was listening to the Dalai Lama and Bishop Desmond Tutu speaking. I consider this book required reading for every human being.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful

it's a must read/listen to. Beautifully put together, the Audio is special with the multiple speakers, and naturally Desmond Tutu speaking his part is amazing.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Life enhancing!

Wonderful show of humanity through humour. Let the joy fill your heart. Loved the suggestions at the end.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Pure Joy

wonderful refreshing and hopeful.
i loved watching them interact and the pure joy they have for humanity and a sincere friendship.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Inspirational

This book was inspirational and changed my life. Other people, rather than self, are number one. Incredible the way that I greet people with a smile on my face brings immediate happiness to our conversation. Helping others, rather than thinking about my needs, has brought a feeling of peace to me.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Life changing...

A beautiful experience. Beginning to end, filled with hope. If you need a fresh perspective, this is it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent perspectives.

I've gone through this book several times and it's message does not fade. I'd recommend it to anyone.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

A missed opportunity

Let me save you the time and credit. Joy is within you. Are we meant to be astonished that Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama are friends? There you have it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Uplifting

It was a very easy book to listen to. I enjoyed hearing the different voices for the narrator, Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu. It was much easier to distinguish who was talking in comparison to reading a novel.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dr. Pepper
  • 2016-10-27

A Perspective and Life Changing Book

This book is amazing! Best purchase of 2016 hands down! I am the happiest person I know and this book made me even happier! :-) A compilation of life lessons from two of the worlds top spiritual leaders, who combined, have over 160 years of life. Despite the fact that they represent perspectives of two different religions, they compliment each other beautifully. Both leaders come from extremely violent environments... yet exude love and compassion without exception. Tutu prayed for the oppressors in South Africa and the Dalai Lama found beauty in being exiled from his home for over 50 years now. Read this book and any problems you think you have, any anger you hold towards others, will be calmed. Both leaders end with meditations and prayers to improve your life as well as the life of those around you. Buy this book... I'm about to listen to it again. ;-)

89 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • R. Rajendran-Chandra
  • 2017-02-08

This book may have saved my life

The headline is not hyperbole. I started reading this book in November 2016-when my decades long battle with depression was making its usual cycle. This was exacerbated by political upheaval in the United States. I was struggling and suffering as so many of us have. The words and wisdom shared in this book reminded me of concepts of humanity I was forgetting in my fog. I love this book so much that I ordered 12 copies to share with people I love. I'll probably be ordering another 12 more to continue sharing the joy.

95 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dina
  • 2016-10-28

This Book can change your life..

I believed that this would be an interesting book when I purchased it. What I didn't know and am so happy to have listened to, was the wisdom of the teaching that was so freely and beautifully given. Putting the teachings, the lessons into practice is my gift back to these most amazing of Sages.

64 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • A. Yoshida
  • 2017-06-22

Small Acts of Kindness

The book answers many questions about joy and compassion:
* How can you cultivate joy in a world filled with violence, oppression, and hate?
* How can you be forgiving to those who are cruel?
* Does feeling compassion for others bring sadness to your life?
* Does seeking happiness make you selfish?

Such wisdom from these two great spiritual leaders makes you believe that it's possible the world could be a better place. And if we each perform a small act of kindness each day, that hope can become reality.

37 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • M. Verbeek
  • 2016-11-18

I take it in portions

Would you listen to The Book of Joy again? Why?

Yes, but then again in bits and bobs: the wisdom spread is so profound that i take it portioned, to let it sink in, be savoured so to say.

What other book might you compare The Book of Joy to and why?

Difficult to say, wisdom wise i would say other books by His Holiness.

What does Douglas Carlton Abrams and full cast bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

A distracting role of the guy who does HH, his pronounciation is ehh.. different, and if you have ever heard HH speak in public, you cant help but to be distracted by the readers performance. It gets better once you get used to it, i upped my rating from 3 to 4 stars ;)

Any additional comments?

Great book, the wisdom of Tutu and His Holiness are beyond any doubt. So content wise: Excellent. The performance for the audiobook isnt optimal in my opinion: i know how the Dalai Lama speaks, and also the role of Bishop Tutu misses the joy his voice in reality permeates. So for an audiobook.. less ideal. I listen while commuting in traffic though, and that is why i plodded on instead of switching to text. I divided it in pieces though, listened to other books in between, instead of going at it in one stretch, so the content has time to sink in.

52 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mason
  • 2016-10-04

True Page Turner! Hehehehe!

The energy in this book is very contagious, enlightening, powerful, inspiring, a breath of fresh air! The moments that i didn't have a chance to listen to this book i actually became irritable. i listened to it every chance i had. Very uplifting and insightful! although its long, i would definitely listen to it a few times. there was so many points of interest that you could clip but they were too close together. That's why it would be very easy to re-listen to it and grow. Highly recommended. Excellent read!

37 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • A. Lopez
  • 2016-10-09

Great inspirational read

This was such a good inspirational book I learned so much about how we sometimes view materialistic things as joy when that is not the case at all. Love the tips on how to make changes in your day to day life that will help you live a full meaningful life. I already feel the difference in my self so good I laughed, I cried I'm so grateful for this book!

42 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • amber
  • 2016-12-06

Profound.

I found this book at a point in my life that was full of anxiety, stress and self doubt. Every chapter held me present and allowed me to focus on what is important, not the past, not the future but the present moment. Beautifully narrated and full of JOY.

57 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Billsoroka
  • 2017-01-05

Excellent book with daily practice tips

this was an excellent book, and the contribution from Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama is pretty exceptional. The daily tips on building compassion, forgiveness, and joy are simple, and profound

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Em
  • 2016-10-13

Truly a joy

The world is crazy. So much stress and negativity and focus on what's going wrong. And then...this book. The dialogue between these two gurus, who have dealt with more pain and suffering than any of us ever will, is truly special. It's joyful. And the readers do an amazing job at capturing their voices. It's like being a fly on the wall of the most important, insightful, hilarious, and deep convo to ever take place.

38 people found this helpful