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Dispatch from the Freewilds Book Review: A Journey of Riches: Abundant Living

Updated: Mar 18, 2022

(This review was originally written on October 12, 2021)

Dispatch from the Freewilds

Book Review

A Journey of Riches: Abundant Living

12 Insights for Living a Plentiful Life

The Gist:

A compilation of chapters written by twelve authors, each of whom brings their own unique life experience and perspective to the topic at hand, A Journey of Riches is an exploration of the concept of abundance in life. The works contained within this collaboration encourage readers to value those aspects of our lives that we might be taking for granted… to foster a healthy appreciation and recognition of our blessings.

The Book:

Written by John Spender, Belinda Foster, Samuel Sykes II, Harmony Polo, Anastasia Gunawan, Abhinav Gupta, Lanelle Martin, Sam Fraser, Catherine Kavadas, Lili Galera, Travis Gray, and AJ Myers, A Journey of Riches is a 243 page collection of positive ideas and encouraging concepts surrounding the common theme of abundance and gratitude. A non-fiction book very much in the spirit of the self-help genre, this is the 25th edition of the “A Journey of Riches” series.

The Plot:

Each author provides their thoughts on what abundance and a plentiful life means to them, and despite the fact that each has a very unique voice and perspective, there is a recurrent theme of positivity and embracing a productive, optimistic mindset. The individual chapters stand well enough on their own, but as a whole they merge into an effective advocation for the pursuit of contentment and a healthy management of expectations.

The Critique:

There are a few very talented writers in the mix, and I honestly feel as if I learned a few things about myself as I applied the ideas and concepts expressed in this book.

I am on a journey of my own, and that is probably part of why so much of what I found in A Journey of Riches – Abundant Living spoke to me. I do not know, however, that everyone will have the same experience or glean the same benefits I did. I am recovering from Depression, PTSD, and Anxiety, making my own journey instantly compatible with the sections of this book that dealt with gratitude and the recognitions of the blessings in our lives that can be so easy to overlook, especially when I am in my lowest moments. Another reader may not derive as much from these writings as I did.

There is a reasonably understandable variety in the quality of each author’s work, and it is plain to see that some of these good people are more experienced than others. However, I firmly believe that none of them approached this work cynically, and each embraced the challenges posed by the book’s themes with gusto.

The Verdict:

As I said in The Critique, I believe that some people are bound to get a lot more out of reading this book than others. One of the more effective tools I have found in battling Depression is to make lists of the people and things I am grateful for, as doing so helps to offset the darkest thoughts that burst to the surface when I feel particularly low.

If you are struggling, but have an open mind and a willingness to embrace good lessons, applying them to your personal story however you’re able, you may find a lot in Journey of Riches – Abundant Living that speaks to you.

That said, there are some aspects of this book that are presented in a way that limits their reach and scope, somewhat. Overall, however, I had a good experience reading this book, and I feel comfortable recommending it.

The Rating:

On a scale of 1-5, I am comfortable rating Abundant Living a FOUR out of FIVE, but just barely. On a scale of 1-10, and it’s an EIGHT out of TEN, mostly due to the variation of quality from one author to the next. In fairness, I think any collaborative effort like this is bound to demonstrate a similar disparity between the contributors, so I wouldn’t go any lower than this with my rating.

Also note that if you are, like me, on a journey of recovery and in need of a few inspirational takes that could help you find something positive and encouraging in your own life, you can go ahead and give this book that last couple of points, and I definitely recommend picking up a copy for yourself.

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