Foreword Reviews

Inspiration with a Chuckle

Simon Sez: Look for It Here

Clarion Rating: 2 out of 5

The faith-based book Inspiration with a Chuckle delivers practical advice for handling daily challenges.

James W. Haworth’s faith-based book of sayings, Inspiration with a Chuckle, encourages people toward diligence and hope.

This pithy book delivers a variety of advice for one’s improving one’s career, family, faith, and health. It condenses lessons on joyful living, discernment, and courage into its pages, while also meditating on topics like the value of in-person conversations. Its concerns are as disparate as cultivating healthy relationships in a technological age, and skill-building around decision-making, self-awareness, and critical thinking. These everyday concerns are brightened by occasional touches of humor, too.

Intriguing comparisons, as of the impact of falling in love with a heart attack that some never recover from, emerge in the course of the book’s work. Heavy suggestions, such as to abstaining from drug use, are forwarded in a light, tactful manner. But the book distinguishes itself most when its advice draws from personal experiences and relationships: notes about the prompt, careful handling of a home invasion stand out, resulting in advice about acting with caution; elsewhere, a saying about the different roles that a single person can play is illustrated with a humane anecdote from Haworth’s time as his wife’s caregiver.

The chapters are organized in an outwardly topical manner; sayings about love, decision-making, and patience are collected alongside one another for navigational ease. Still, the book does not form a cohesive whole. It covers numerous unrelated topics in its reach to touch on all aspects of human life; its disparate chapters are not made to link together. Further, its suggestions often feel too ordinary to be inspiring. It delivers advice on maintaining one’s sense of determination, on finding inspiration in nature, and on the value of sharing one’s knowledge, for example, but without proffering many surprises around these familiar notions. Notes such as that persistence pays, that each day is a blessing, and that time is always moving read like adages, without being improved upon by original flourishes.

The book’s clear black-and-white photographs—as of a tree with a bent branch that complements thoughts on the turns that a life can take; and a photograph of a sheep sorrel growing from a cleft in a maple tree, demonstrating notions of hope within nature—enliven its collected thoughts well. Its playful, if unwieldy, use of acronyms makes its takeaways memorable, too: here, “attitude” is used to summarize one encouragement (“always / try / to / infuse / the / unadulterated best / darn / effort into it all!”), and “exercise” another (“Everyone, except maybe / Xerxes, needs to exercise / every day to / render the fat and / create improved circulation. This / includes / slim and not so slim folks slowly / evolving to better health”). End rhyming is another (and more successful) of the book’s devices, making its sayings easier to recall.

Gathering uplifting thoughts together, the faith-based book Inspiration with a Chuckle delivers practical counsel for handling daily experiences.

Reviewed by Edith Wairimu

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the publisher will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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