A Year of Learning, Laughter, and Life: 365 Motivational Parables

Jaishen Rajah

Publisher: Partridge Pages: 421 Price: (paperback) $22.53 ISBN: 9781482832495 Reviewed: October, 2015 Author Website: Visit »

Sometimes, it only takes a little nudge to bring a smile, make a decision or discover a bright light in one’s life. Jaishen Rajah’s stellar collection of 365 motivational parables—one for each day of the year—does just that with witty, entertaining and thought-provoking stories.

The author is a doctor, researcher and international speaker who holds degrees in politics and philosophy and currently lives in the United Arab Emirates. He spent 20 years gathering his little gems, which are usually followed by a brief summation of each story’s message plus a quote that more succinctly brings its point home, from well-known people ranging from Henrik Ibsen to Phyllis Diller.

The parables are organized under different themes for each month, including “Philosophy and Wisdom,” “Children and Family,” “Spirituality” and so on. Each is generally limited to little more than a page and can be read in just a few minutes. Many offer a chuckle. One entry, for example, relates the story of a boy who is berated by his father for bringing home bad grades. Referring to a neighborhood child, the father says, “He doesn’t get a C or D, does he?” “[I]t’s different with him,” the boy retorts. “He has very bright parents.” Moral of the story? “[A] good learning environment can trump bad genes.” Other entries serve as inspiration or food for thought. The book also includes sections of “Memorable Verses” and “Lateral Thinking and Puzzlers.“

One minor quibble: while each section’s content is listed in the front of the book, the page numbers of various entries aren’t included, nor is an index. This makes it difficult to revisit a parable you particularly liked.

This aside, the book is well-organized and user friendly, offering a year’s worth of provocative entertainment. As it gently urges readers to approach life with humor, thought and care, it provides an utterly charming selection that would also be a welcome gift book for friends and family.

Also available in hardcover.

Author's Current Residence
Abu Dhabi
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