The Beggar King and the Secret of Happiness

The Beggar King and the Secret of Happiness

Book - 2003
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Workman Press.
"Wonderful!” (Grace Paley).

“Heartwarming and smart and wonderfully written” (Detroit Free Press).

“Provides edifying advice, intimately given, like the best-selling Tuesdays with Morrie” (the Dallas Morning News).

“Altogether original” (Dr. Laura Schlessinger).

“This story will speak to the humanity of the reader” (Jewish Book World).

The Beggar King and the Secret of Happiness is that rare, magical book—a book that tells a good story but also shows us how the tales we learned when we were children shed light on our adult lives. Joel ben Izzy had the unusual opportunity to relive those lessons when he lost his voice and reconnected with his old teacher, Lenny, a retired storyteller. Through his meetings with Lenny, Joel rediscovers the wisdom of ancient tales and takes us on a journey into a world of beggars and kings, monks and tigers, lost horses and buried treasures—and in the end tells us the secret of happiness.

Baker & Taylor
A professional storyteller journeys inside the world of stories to examine the lessons that they offer through their timeless wisdom, chronicling the events of his own life against the backdrop of some of the folktales, fables, riddles, and stories that he has collected around the world--including "The Lost Horse," "The Beggar King," and "The Secret of Happiness."

Book News
Ben Izzy weaves Old Testament and other tales with an account of his own life as a storyteller, story consultant to lawyers and psychologists, and teacher to large corporations. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: Chapel Hill, NC : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2003
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781565122901
Characteristics: 228 p. ; 19 cm


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Jan 09, 2020

*loved* this book!! Only a true storyteller can masterfully layer so many folktales within a larger narrative. Other books have done so - Haroun's Sea of Stories, Arabian Nights, Shadow Spinner - but Joel ben Izzy weaves folktales into his own, true life story. It's profound and funny, all at the same time. Give it a read!

This book is always available at the PlaneTree Health Information Center @ Cupertino Library. - CA 260 B 2003


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