Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination

J. K. Rowling
J.K. Rowling, one of the world's most inspiring writers, shares her wisdom and advice. In 2008, J.K. Rowling delivered a deeply affecting commencement speech at Harvard University. Now published for the first time in book form, VERY GOOD LIVES presents J.K. Rowling's words of wisdom for anyone at a turning point in life. How can we embrace failure? And how can we use our imagination to better both ourselves and others?Drawing from stories of her own post-graduate years, the world famous author addresses some of life's most important questions with acuity and emotional force. Sales of VERY GOOD LIVES will benefit both Lumos, a charity organization founded by J.K. Rowling, which works to transform the lives of disadvantaged children, and university-wide financial aid at Harvard University.

Reviews

Reviewed: 2017-01-02
A good graduation/commencement gift. I had heard of Rowling's commencement speech at Hah-vahd (Harvard), but I did not look up the text or see if there was a video. And while I am a few years from my last graduation, this was still poignant and was still a good read.
 
If you know of Rowling's background, you wouldn't be too surprised by the ground she covers: being in poverty even though her parents did not want that for her daughter, raising a child as a single mom, her work at Amnesty International.
 
And while it's easy to brush this off as a fancy-schmancy speech by a now-billionaire, her written words was definitely a lot more worth more with her experiences and honesty than some other people who get up to give commencement/graduation words. And while it's not a self-help book or will hand-wave any trouble a new graduate will face, I thought it made some good points and might comfort a new graduate if and when they find out "real life" is not like school.
 
According to the inside cover, sales benefit the charity Lumos. I've read a few cheesy post-college pick-me-up type books, but I thought this one stood out. It would make a great gift for a Rowling/Harry Potter fan, or new graduate. I wouldn't buy it for myself since I'm not graduating, but I enjoyed reading it.
Reviewed: 2016-08-07

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a quick read, but definitely got  across a strong message of our abilities as long as we put forth the effort and confidence. I will be returning to this book for sure to remind me just how capable I am of achieving my goals. 

Reviewed: 2015-07-23

Very motivating. I could see using the printed pages as wall paper. Then you or a guest could read over a quick page for uplifting or encouragement.

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