Good News. Bad News, Who Can Tell?

The Pandemic Reveals Wisdom (Stories, poems, essays, and lyrics from the U.S. and India)

Non-Fiction - Self Help
295 Pages
Reviewed on 11/30/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Doreen Chombu for Readers' Favorite

Good News. Bad News, Who Can Tell? (The Pandemic Reveals Wisdom) is a collection of stories, poems, essays, and lyrics from various people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The book was compiled by Don Worth and was inspired by a parable that teaches people not to judge an event as good or bad because lessons can be learned and spirits can be strengthened from bad situations. The book celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and contains lessons and experiences from musicians, poets, COVID-19 survivors, people who lost loved ones, clergy, educators, students, physicians, and restaurant owners from the United States and India. The narrators talk about the changes they had to make and the impact the pandemic had on their communities, churches, schools, businesses, customers, and patients. The book discusses the bad and the good and provides tools and resources to help you heal and give you the strength to overcome the trauma caused by the pandemic.

Good News. Bad News, Who Can Tell? is an inspiring book that will help you connect with people via relatable stories about the COVID-19 pandemic and help you see the good that came from the tragedies. The stories are of parents, sons, and daughters, whose struggles will resonate with many people. The book has a key theme of human connection and how we take it for granted. The forced isolation opened our eyes to things that matter the most and made people see the effects of economic differences and the importance of family and friends. Don Worth has incorporated teachings from Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism, which I find to be inclusive. I loved the figure eight concept and the feathering technique because these perfectly sum up the book's message. The lessons should not be limited to the pandemic experiences but can also apply to people who need hope and motivation. No situation lasts forever because every time you are at the bottom, there is bound to be an upturn. I highly recommend this book because it is relatable and uplifting.

Zahid Sheikh

Good News. Bad News, Who Can Tell? The Pandemic Reveals Wisdom by Don Worth presents us with a diverse and comprehensive exploration of human experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through a collection of personal stories and reflections by artists, educators, journalists, healthcare professionals, and restaurateurs, the author sheds light on the resilience and adaptability of individuals facing unprecedented challenges. Worth's book effectively conveys the range of emotions and important lessons that can be drawn from this global crisis, from tales of happiness to moments of despair. Each chapter presents a unique lens through which readers can explore different aspects of the pandemic. The book offers a comprehensive understanding of the pandemic's broad impact on society and encourages readers to reflect on their own experiences and find solace in shared humanity.  

The book skillfully emphasizes the emotional and societal impact of the pandemic. Among the insightful and practical reflections offered by the pandemic, the epilogue particularly stands out for its profound examination of the disease's capacity to transform lives and its important lessons for both individual and societal well-being. Don Worth's writing style is engaging and thought-provoking, capturing the reader's attention from start to finish. His ability to blend personal anecdotes with broader societal analysis creates a compelling narrative that resonates with readers of all backgrounds. Worth's use of vivid imagery and descriptive language allows readers to imagine the challenges and achievements experienced during the pandemic, fostering a deeper understanding and connection. Good News. Bad News, Who Can Tell? encourages a reflection of both positive and negative aspects of the pandemic, offering a balanced perspective that is refreshing in a time filled with uncertainty.

Foluso Falaye

In Good News. Bad News, Who Can Tell?, Don Worth, Ph.D., brings awareness of the positive changes of the COVID-19 era. He does this by compiling thoughts and poems from Indians and Americans who were at the front lines of the pandemic. Walter Finley, an award-winning music artist from North Carolina, struggled to make ends meet because the shows stopped after the pandemic hit. A parish pastor in West Virginia had to face the challenge of continuing church services. Suhani Malhotra, a 15-year-old student from India, struggled to remember how things were before COVID-19. By analyzing the Buddhist parable, Good News. Bad News, Who Can Tell?, Dr. Worth explains why being a nonjudgmental observer, someone who is not attached to the concept of viewing things as good or bad, is beneficial for a healthy mindset.

I enjoyed Dr. Worth's thoughtful contributions. The introduction, epilogue, and paragraphs about the authors put the stories and the consequences of COVID-19 into clearer perspective. Furthermore, the poems and stories are beautifully written and filled with intelligent, lyrical expressions that are great for readers who seek to unravel their deeper meanings and relatable stories. Wise advice from a 70-year-old widow, Margarida, states: "Don’t wait to do the things you want to do." Her advice was the push I needed to be more serious about my goals. Whether it's talking about losing people, appreciating teachers more, or signs for social distancing, Dr. Worth's book serves the purpose of keeping us connected with the things that really matter. Good News. Bad News, Who Can Tell? teaches us to understand the value of human connection and how we spend our time in both the good and bad times.

Courtnee Turner Hoyle

Don Worth, PhD breaks down the pandemic almost like a timeline in his book, Good News. Bad News, Who Can Tell? As the pandemic was more publicized, the media reports and community and patient reactions reminded Dr. Worth of a Buddhist parable. He used the parable as the title of his book and approached the effects of the pandemic as it related to the lesson of the parable. Dr. Worth includes essays, lyrics, pictures, and poems from notable individuals, like Sarabjeet Garcha's sad experience and Walter Finley's inspiring story, in India and the United States. The material defines people's reactions to the pandemic and its aftermath, and leaves an area for readers to reflect on the content and their personal pandemic-related feelings.

Readers will feel much emotion as they read the profound words of the individuals who submitted their pieces. I challenge you to read the personal accounts without shedding tears. Photos relating to masks and social distancing tell some of the story, while the writings reveal a depth that truly reflects the world's atmosphere during COVID-19 and when restrictions were lifted. It's highly probable readers will find stories and poems that echo their own thoughts and feelings during a difficult time. Don Worth presents his insightful viewpoint of the parable as a numeral eight, explaining joy and suffering and offering discernment and motivation to move through struggles. Good News. Bad News, Who Can Tell? is a compilation of inspiring voices that are symbols of the strength and resilience of humankind.

K.C. Finn

Good News. Bad News, Who Can Tell? The Pandemic Reveals Wisdom is a work of non-fiction in the personal stories, anthology, and slice-of-life subgenres. It is a collection of stories and accounts from a wide variety of people, edited and curated by author Don Worth, Ph.D. The text offers a unique perspective on the COVID-19 pandemic through stories, poems, essays, and lyrics. Worth, a psychologist, noticed unexpected improvements in his patients' mental health during the pandemic, leading to this collection that challenges conventional views of the crisis. Inspired by a Buddhist parable, the title underscores the uncertainty of outcomes.

Author Don Worth has brought together a collection of fantastic voices to form a unique holistic narrative on mental health, and it makes for a profound reading experience. The diverse narratives, spanning the U.S. and India, provided a rich tapestry of pandemic experiences, from the challenges faced by physicians and clergy to the reflections of teachers and students. Every contribution adds a layer to the complex narrative of the pandemic, and Worth examines those layers and places them in balance with one another to let the overall picture and principles build gradually for readers. Worth's epilogue weaves the diverse experiences into a coherent reflection, emphasizing the importance of relational connections and showcasing his talent for spotting these glimmer moments in others. This collection stands out not only for documenting pandemic experiences but also for offering a thought-provoking perspective on a global crisis and seeking silver linings. Overall, Good News. Bad News, Who Can Tell? encourages readers to find wisdom and hope amid the challenges, making it a valuable addition to pandemic literature and a highly recommended read.