'Inspiration on Demand': Book full of positive ideas

Sometimes something positive can come out of a negative situation.

Just ask Iowan Joshua Coburn, a former body modification artist turned motivational youth speaker who was struggling with depression and a divorce a few years back. In order to keep himself in a positive mind-set, Coburn decided to begin each day by posting uplifting, inspirational messages on social media sites.

These posts were so popular on social media that he collected them into a book — “Inspiration on Demand.”

It’s filled with short, inspirational messages and photos, but it begins with an author’s note followed by a brief introduction. While the introduction sheds some light on the book’s history and construction, the author’s note is a confusing apology for treating “this book as a project rather than something personal” and for not considering the “emotional investment” made by his social media connections.

While Coburn is no doubt sincere, this opening casts a confusing, negative shadow.

The quotes themselves are poorly punctuated but well-intentioned, ranging from thoughtful (“We dictate who we are and how we act. No one can take this from us,”) to amazingly cheesy (“Each day is like the sprinkles on a doughnut, full of variety, and always really good!”)

Considering Coburn’s success as a motivational speaker for students, “Inspiration on Demand” may resonate more with young people.

The story of Coburn’s personal journey of transformation is a tale that would resonate with audience of all ages. Here’s hoping that is the topic of his next book.

Book reading

What: Joshua Coburn will speak about his book “Inspiration on Demand”

When: 7 p.m. Friday ► Aug. 15 ◄

Where: Barnes & Noble Bookseller, 333 Collins Rd. NE, Cedar Rapids

Cost: Free

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