Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits Of Failure And The Importance Of Imagination by J. K. RowlingVery Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits Of Failure And The Importance Of Imagination by J. K. Rowlingsticker-burst

Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits Of Failure And The Importance Of Imagination

byJ. K. RowlingIllustratorJoel Holland

Hardcover | April 14, 2015

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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.


Heather's Review

When we think about a graduation, the first thing that springs to mind is leaving school – a grand occasion when one stage of our lives end and another begins. But the truth is that every day we are in the world, from one moment to the next, we are changing, graduating. We take in experiences, the good and the bad, and day by day we ...

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J.K. Rowlingis the author of the bestselling Harry Potter series andThe Casual Vacancy, a novel for adults. Under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, she is the author of the Cormoran Strike crime series, includingThe Cuckoo's CallingandThe Silkworm. As well as an Order of the British Empire for services to children's literature, she is th...
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Title:Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits Of Failure And The Importance Of ImaginationFormat:HardcoverDimensions:80 pages, 7.62 × 5.25 × 0.5 inPublished:April 14, 2015Publisher:Little, Brown And CompanyLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0316369152

ISBN - 13:9780316369152

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Lovely Little Friend So far, I've bought 3 copies of this—first copy was for myself and the other two have been for friends after they graduated. Just remember what to expect, it is a condensed version of her speech, a very beautiful speech that is motivating and has very good advice in it.
Date published: 2018-03-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from great read and graduation gift inspiring, thought provoking and funny
Date published: 2017-12-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from great read bought this one base on everyone recommendation and i'm awe. definitely a great read and very inspirational.
Date published: 2017-12-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inspirational An absolutely beautiful and moving speech. This is the perfect graduation gift. Especially for a Rowling fan.
Date published: 2017-11-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inspirational An absolutely beautiful and moving speech. This is the perfect graduation gift. Especially for a Rowling fan.
Date published: 2017-11-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fast Inspiring read! I thought this book was really touching and inspirational. I highly recommend to read!
Date published: 2017-11-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok A great novel with clever, easy to follow writing with funny and witty characters. Definitely a must read!
Date published: 2017-09-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from yes quite insightful and overall enjoyable.
Date published: 2017-09-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from yes quite insightful and overall enjoyable.
Date published: 2017-09-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good speech Very good speech but super small book. It would be better if it was half the sale price. It would be a good graduation gift though.
Date published: 2017-09-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from INSPIRING each time i hear this speech it brings me to tears
Date published: 2017-08-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great! really makes you see the silver lining and a good reminder that success is not straightforward
Date published: 2017-05-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Present for Grads I received this book as a graduation present; I had watched Rowling's convocation speech and was very excited to read the book based on it. Not everything I had hoped, but still pretty good. Her writings on failure and imagination are very important and meaningful to students these days, as we are increasingly told to pursue our dreams only to enter the real world and have our dreams crushed. Her insights give me some hope about my future.
Date published: 2017-05-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from inspiring! Makes a great gift for a grad!
Date published: 2017-05-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inspiration It's quite a inspiration speech. Great gift for the graduates.
Date published: 2017-05-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Light easy read It's a short and fast read but I thoroughly enjoyed it
Date published: 2017-01-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Some insighful wisdomes about life in general
Date published: 2017-01-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not So Goo Not a great read but it did give some insight into life as a whole.
Date published: 2016-12-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inspiring. Thought-provoking and inspiring. I think this would make a great gift for any graduate, or for anyone who needs a little encouragement in life.
Date published: 2016-12-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I love this! A truly great, inspiring read. All of J.K Rowling's work is perfect!
Date published: 2016-12-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Okay Read this because I liked J.K Rowling but I didn't expect anything like Harry Potter, and it wasn't.
Date published: 2016-11-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I really enjoyed this! I bought and read this and really loved it. It is a great speech full of humour and poignancy. It delivers an interesting message about life choices, imagination and resilience. JK's thoughts and advice are also neatly presented along with her own anecdotal experiences which made this speech all the more moving. Although geared to graduates, I feel this speech is worthwhile at every age and station of life.
Date published: 2016-11-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Interesting! This book is interesting, very mysterious but I wished the ending was less of a cliffhanger...
Date published: 2016-11-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inspiring This book is a print copy of J.K. Rowling's Harvard Commencement speech. It makes a great graduation gift and is a quick inspiring read. One of my favourite famous speeches!
Date published: 2016-11-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Quick Read This is a commencement speech that JK Rowling delivered. It was beautiful at times, but not as evocative as I would have expected.
Date published: 2016-04-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from perfect for the lost a beautifully written commencement speech.
Date published: 2015-09-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not bad. There seems to be a mispronunciation of the author’s name. The correct pronunciation is Row-ling, not Rowl-ing.
Date published: 2015-06-12
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Meh... If you're reading this and searching for some kind of epiphany, you won't find one. I'm going to have to read this one a few more times to absorb the message, I'm afraid.
Date published: 2015-05-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A thought provoking read This little book contains some thought provoking wisdom. It is a quick read but to digest the message needs some thinking time. Worth the read!
Date published: 2015-05-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fail I never heard JK Rowling deliver the speech so reading it in Coles all at once was nice and gave me some feels. I then bought it because I know I will be reading this again and again. For instance, I will read it again now. During the first read in Coles, I was wondering how many more pages and realized there was 3; I didn't want it to end! I embarrassingly didn't read Harry Potter yet (but will very soon!) and this is a nice piece for everyone in spite of having very good lives.
Date published: 2015-04-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Will make you eager to live a very good life indeed! When we think about a graduation, the first thing that springs to mind is leaving school – a grand occasion when one stage of our lives end and another begins. But the truth is that every day we are in the world, from one moment to the next, we are changing, graduating. We take in experiences, the good and the bad, and day by day we become richer, different people, shaped both by our experiences and how we react to them. Very Good Lives is a celebration of this. In it, JK Rowling is speaking to the graduating class of 2008 at Harvard, but her humour, insights, and enthusiasm are words we all can use, no matter where we are in life. Rowling acknowledges at the very beginning of the book that she could have talked to the students about anything she wanted, but she chose to focus on two ideas, two ways of looking at the world that happen to be very close to my heart. The first is failure – what a gift it can be, and how shallow life would be if we never faced adversity. Rowling talks of her own life with an unromantic, clear eye. She knows that she never would have found her talents, never would have discovered who she truly is, without the poverty she endured as a young adult. She doesn’t celebrate or romanticize it, but she shows that you can’t temper steel without fire, and you can’t know your true character without hardship. Her second theme seems at first obvious for the creator of Harry Potter – the power of imagination. But here Rowling surprises, and shows how her wisdom and empathy run deep. Because in Very Good Lives, imagination is the thing that makes us human, that allows us to not only invent and create, but to put ourselves in the place of others, to feel beyond the narrow confines of our own experience. She shows that the great cruelties of the world are at their beginnings failures of imagination, and that fostering imagination in ourselves and others is the foundation for relationships and communities with compassion and justice. Very Good Lives takes these two ideas and binds them together in a message of determination and hope, and along the way we are reminded just how good a writer JK Rowling is. The craft of her words and the power of her message will move you equally, and leave you with a sense of energy and optimism. It will make you eager to live a very good life indeed.
Date published: 2015-04-24
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not what I was expecting I was initially excited to see this book online, however when I received it I was quite surprised at the lack of depth, words, effort by the author. My first thought when I opened the book was "Is that it?" Lots of graphics, few words and really uninspiring.
Date published: 2015-04-22

Editorial Reviews

"The graduation gift book of the spring."-Jocelyn McClurg, USA Today