May 31, 2015

Book Review || Very Good Lives

Very Good Lives
The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination
J.K. Rowling

Published: April, 2015

Little, Brown & Company, Hardcover, 80p.
ISBN: 978-1-4087-0678-7

When J.K. Rowling was invited to deliver the commencement address at Harvard University, she chose to speak to the graduating class about two topics very close to her heart: the benefits of failure and the importance of imagination.  Having the courage to fail, she said, is as vital to a good life as any conventional measure of success; imagining ourselves into the place of another - particularly someone less fortunate than ourselves - is a uniquely human quality to be nurtured at all costs.

The stories Rowling shared and the provocative questions she asked of those young graduates have since inspired countless others to consider what it means to live a 'good life'.  Now in print for the first time, her words serve as both a comfort and a call to arms for anyone - of any age - who finds themselves at a turning point.  IN daring to take a risk, and perhaps fail, and by harnessing the power of our imaginations, we can all begin to live less cautiously and, in doing so, become more open to the opportunities life has to offer.

{ Please excuse the lack of formatting above.  The photo just did not want to cooperate and sit left of the text! 
So annoying when Blogger gets a gremlin ;-D

As you know, I picked up Very Good Lives on Friday and I couldn't resist reading it while I enjoyed morning tea on my balcony.  At only 80 pages, this is a super short read by any standard. 

The first thing that you notice when looking at this book is the very restrictive colour palette.  Using just 3 colours, it makes for a very striking book.  I love the font on the dust jacket, as well as the use of numerous fonts within.  The hand drawn quality of the illustrations - be they text or pictures - adds to Rowlings speech.

The speech itself is wonderful.  I love how she made failure an okay thing to experience, and that if you go through life without experiencing failure, then what can you compare your successes to?  I feel this applies to anyone, at any age, in life.  The sentiment isn't just for young people heading out into the world for the first time. 

It would not surprise me if this was to become a text to be studied in high school at some point in the future.  It is timeless advice, given by someone who has experienced both the highs and the lows that life has to offer.

A great read, full of inspiration and motivation.  Would recommend to anyone.

Oh, and I nearly forgot to mention the how gorgeous the naked cover is on this book.  The image is taken from one of the illustrations in the book.  It was a lovely touch considering most times you'll never remove the dust jacket.

I hope you enjoyed my little rave about Very Good Lives.  Let me know in the comment area below if you've read this book, and what you thought of it.  Or if you haven't read it, do you plan to.

Until next time,

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