Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Book Review: Inventing Joy

A few semesters back I was challenged by a professor to come up with a female leader I admired.
The first name that popped into my head was Joy Mangano.
You may know Joy Mangano based on Jennifer Lawrence's character in the movie Joy.
I know Joy Mangano as a local celebrity and entrepreneur from Deer Park, NY.  I grew up there!

This woman was not only successful and an inventing genius, but she was extremely relatable.
She grew up in a semi-dysfunctional, American family with Italian descent.
She breathes the motto family first.  She believes in second chances.  She's a true leader.
She made many mistakes.  She admits to a nervous breakdown.  She struggled with romance.
Despite her many faults in life, she built her empire from the ground up and has yet to stop building.
She also moved from my hometown to the next town I was a resident of.  Twinsies?  I could only wish!
While I'll leave the job of researching her life to you, trust me when I say she's a true role model.

To add to Joy Mangano's long list of accomplishments, she wrote a book.
It is titled Inventing Joy:  Dare to Build a Brave and Creative Life.
The book was written by Joy Mangano with Aex Tresniowski.
The unabridged audiobook is read by Joy Mangano and is 7 hours and 5 minutes long.

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Review:  Inventing Joy by Joy Mangano

Let me start by saying, I'm NOT fan of self help, inspirational, or any type of advice books.
They are hard to read, make it difficult to stay focused, and are typically written by self proclaimed "experts".
This book is absolutely nothing like a typical self help book.
Joy starts the book by telling you to pretend we're at her kitchen table with a cup of coffee.
You're a guest to her home and you're just enjoying a long, friendly chat.
I love that and it's a perfect description of how it reads.  This book literally speaks to you.

Aside from perfecting the recipe for a perfect inspirational, advice giving novel, it's filled with gold.
The book highlights key pieces of Joy's life, juicy pieces, may I add, and correlates them to lessons learned.
The author calls these "light bulb moments".  These are moments from her life that shaped her success.
Instead of falling victim to hardship, she carved a road to success from her failures and missed opportunities.

One of my favorite things about this book is how she purposefully leaves out key pieces of her love life.
Writing about her personal affairs and marriages may sell more books, but were irrelevant in her success.
She does speak in depth of her first marriage, but only because it shaped her future.
She took a heartbreaking experience and tried to highlight the positives of it.
Her ex wasn't a great husband, but he was a fabulous father, friend, and the best salesman she knew.
She took that and recruited him to run sales in her new business.  This was a win win situation.
He helped her business prosper because she recognized his talent and gave him more time with their kids.

While I don't want to give away every detail of the book, I will say that it's worth a read and a re-read.
It's filled with invaluable information and leaves the reader feeling ready to conquer anything.
Joy Mangano continues to succeed in business, life, and family while helping others find success.
She started an outreach program where she reviews an idea and helps make it reality.
She'll provide financial funding, help plan the manufacturing, and assist with marketing.
She's the epitomy of a leader, inventor, mother, and just a generally good person.

I would highly recommend Inventing Joy by Joy Mangano.

If you have the option of listening via audiobook, I would recommend that as well.
I've read this book both ways - from a hard copy and listened via audiobook.
Each experience was unique.  Hearing the author tell the story herself gave a different perspective.


  1. I haven't heard of her before, but it is great that she inspires people. I'm sure you inspire your employees too, which is something we should all strive towards.

    1. That's very sweet! I hope that I do. :) Although, in today's job market, I'm not sure if anyone is feeling inspired. Corporate greed has taken over and big businesses are cutting costs at every corner so that they qualify for government relief programs.

  2. I must be living under a rock because I have never heard of her or the movie. I am with you on the whole self help book business, but I believe you that this one is different. If I was still in the business world, I might give it a try.

    1. Really? Look up the movie Joy. It was actually a great movie with an all star cast. You may like it. :)

  3. Joy is so talented. I bought her hangers and some closet organizers. They are wonderful and take up so much less space than regular hangers. I enjoyed the movie, too.


    1. This makes me so happy! The movie was a little different than her actual life, but it gave you the idea of it.

    2. Yes, I read a bit about her so I knew the movie wasn't totally accurate. Very few movies are.

  4. Oh, that sounds great the narration of the book ... she smartly invites us to drinj cffee together on her desk so that we feel more close and intimate 👍

    1. Offer me a cup of coffee, and I'm alllll ears.

  5. Is this the Joy that Jennifer Lawrence played in the movie? That was a good movie. I bet I'd like the book, too. I did want to tell you that I found a copy of The Alice Network in our town's Free Little Library over the weekend and grabbed it because I remember you said it was a good read. Right now I am reading Light Between the Ocean's, so I need to finish that before starting the Alice book.

    1. YES! That's it! This book acknowledges the movie and spends a few moments pointing out the differences of how it went down in real life. That makes so happy about The Alice Network. You're going to have to circle back and let me know how you like it.

  6. Sure sounds like a good one. Great that her and her ex could still work together


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