Book Review: ‘Inventing Joy’ Is Inspiring And Easy To Read

Review by Adrina Palmer

From Joy Mangano, the self-made millionaire, entrepreneur, inventor of the Miracle Mop and inspiration behind the acclaimed film Joy starring Jennifer Lawrence comes a breakthrough story of love and hope that will unlock the best and brightest version of you.

Miracle Mop maker Joy Mangano co-authored her memoirs along with Alex Tresniowski in a light-hearted format. Reading this book was more like sitting down to drink coffee with Joy than picking up a tome for personal growth. Mind you, I did drink a lot of coffee while reading, but not because I needed the energy to keep reading, but because I like (love) coffee. Part self-help, part story of her life, Joy has broken up her story into tiny sections, so don’t let the thickness of the book fool you. Three hours broken up between doctors visits, waiting for your kid to finish piano lessons, or sitting on the couch with the aforementioned drink, will take you from start to finish rather enjoyably.

Joy cares about inventing products useful to everyone and her family. Even though her family is the epitome of dysfunctional, the Mangano family roughs every storm together from divorce, illness, an addiction for hats, and bringing Joy’s inventions to life. The rest of the book could fall away if you learn to accept family as they are and live life with them even when life is complicated. Her dedication to family impressed me more than her inventions, which are fantastic. Her journey to bring her inventions to fruition is remarkable. First her miracle mop created in the back of her father’s auto-mechanic shop, to her velvety hangers, cake box, the list goes on with the product Joy has created to make life easier for average people like herself.

If you saw the movie “Joy,” starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper, then you could skip part two of the book, around one hundred and fifteen pages, or just skim through the rest. The information is the same. Joy made a self-wringing mop and works her way from demonstrating in store to selling on QVC breaking a few records along the way. She ran into a few snags with the little experience under her belt and a handful of dishonest people. Her family stayed the course, in all of their misfit glory, to help Joy achieve her goal. Part three talks about her move from QVC to her current home HSN, where she has more control and is a partner, not someone who has to sell herself and her products repeatedly. Part four is where the self-help aspect comes into play with little life lessons as told by Joy, along with cut-out inspirational quotes for those into crafts or cutting up twenty-six dollar books.

The short chapters with tidbit memories drove the pace. I cannot say I truly enjoyed the book as A) this is not my style of reading, and B) I did not glean much of value from Joy’s perspective on life, but I did enjoy the ride through her scenery. A few quotes did serve as a reminder for what I have learned along my life journey, such as you get to pick those important to you, and without trying to sound redundant, the family part spoke to me. Joy gushes over her children and honors her parents even as she lays out their perplexing past to bear on the pages as they unfolded. She has a unique way of respecting everyone one no matter their walk in life and how they handle obstacles in their way.

As for Joy, she takes one thing at a time when she has an idea in her head, such as a light, inspiring memoir with much to offer and few faults. She makes magic come true. Her record-breaking sales on both home shopping networks will inspire housewives (like myself) to seek their importance in society and not to underestimate their abilities. Another inkling worth mentioning was Joy saying you don’t have to be an expert to have a good idea and carry out your plan, you will become an expert along the way. Well, Joy Mangano, thank you for sharing your story and offering inspiration to people who feel too average to impact the world. May your novel inspire many to follow in your footsteps and hopefully invent some amazing creations. My personal vote is for self-cleaning windows or a collapsible Christmas tree.

Now available in bookstores

James McDonald
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