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Who's Publishing What: Don't Postpone Joy

This book will change the way you understand joy.

Through a window of real stories, Minnesota author Mary Farr’s fifth book, Don’t Postpone Joy (Shorehouse Books, 2021), invites readers to walk with her on the holy ground of shared experiences.

“Call it a naive daydream or an out-of-reach goal, we humans know how to get in our own way when it comes to joy,” says Farr, a retired pediatric hospital chaplain. The book emerged from her Chautauqua Institute class of the same title. Through a series of real stories about real people, she offers a generous interpretation of joy. It’s an interpretation that suggests we often miss the cues as we rush through this encounter we call living.

“Years of hospital chaplaincy listening to patients and their loved ones has taught me a great deal about the power of loss and the potential for healing and happiness,” she says. “My intention was to show, through authentic life events, how we can find personal transformation in the most ordinary circumstances. These include everything from shared meals, to devastating losses, heartfelt laughter and even loneliness."

The book came to life during a year of an isolating pandemic accompanied by social pain. It was a year that left the world watching and wondering how healing could ever happen. Each chapter provides an element of hope and an expectation of future good. “None of us gets out of this life adventure unscathed,” she says. “The question is, how do we incorporate all our wins and losses into a package from which we can extract joy?”

Don’t Postpone Joy portrays our life journeys in holistic terms, as a series of turning points and passages. These passages become our personal stories, the tests and trials that shape us. “Our task,” according to the author, “is to examine what they mean, come to peace with their impact, learn to coexist with the heartaches, and build joy from the whole lot.”

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