Very Good Lives by J.K. Rowling

Very Good Lives

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 importan...

Details Very Good Lives

TitleVery Good Lives
Release DateApr 14th, 2015
PublisherLittle, Brown and Company
GenreNonfiction, Writing, Essays, Self Help

Reviews Very Good Lives

  • Jesse (JesseTheReader)
    simply inspiring.
  • Jayson
    (B+) 78% | GoodNotes: Her advice isn't especially deep or revelatory or new, but it's presented well and reading it just makes you feel better.
  • Raeleen Lemay
    Beautiful. This is going right next to Neil Gaiman's Make Good Art on my bookshelf.
  • Bill Kerwin
    I enjoyed and admire Rowling’s speech to Harvard graduates (class of 2008). If it is not quite the equal of the greatest commencement addresses of this century—David Foster Wallace at Kenyon (2005), George Saunders at Syracuse (2013)—it is still memorable. It speaks to the nature of its audience, gives good advice both on how to profit from adversity and also how to discern what is valuable, and—as a bonus—it illustrates its points with...
  • Mohammed Arabey
    قد تعتقد أن تقييمي للكتاب بسبب شغفي بالمؤلفة فحسبفدعونا نتفق أن تقرأ 'خطبة' من تلك الخطب التي تلقي علي الطلبة يوم تخرجهم هو أمر ليس مشجعا علي اﻷطلاق..حتي إن كان الكتاب شكله جذابابل والخطبة هي عن أهمية وفوائد الفشل....تخيل؟وبالفعل تعترف جوان رولينج ف...
  • Kai
    “We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.” This genius woman. J. K. Rowling you're my favourite author. You forever will be.Find more of my books on Instagram
  • Lala BooksandLala
    "It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all- in which case, you fail by default."
  • Brina
    The reason I gave this book 4.5 stars instead of 5 is because it was so short. This is the published form of J K Rowling's commencement address to Harvard graduates in 2008. Her words of wisdom ring true to all, and she even managed to sneak in a few Potter references. I finished in about 15 minutes, and am wishful to think that J K can publish a longer book of essays, which I am sure many of us would be happy to read.
  • LT
    “As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters.” Very inspiring! JK Rowling has a magical way with words. Love it!
  • Clumsy Storyteller
    “So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greates...
  • Archit Ojha
    Life's good.You know, that life is 90 percent what happens to you and 10 percent how you react to it.Rightly so, we are all defined by the choices that we make. JKR amalgamates humor with emotions exhibiting the knowledge that accrues with time.There's a quote from this book that found its place onto my bedroom wall.Poverty is romanticized only by the fools.Richness comes in various currencies. Friends, money, career, society. Make sure you are #...
  • Jeff
    Never was a more true word spoken. A gifted speech from a gifted author. Definitely worth then 20 minutes to finish it!
  • Rose
    "And rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life." All the people in J.K Rowling's life must feel so incredibly blessed. I would.As a die-hard Harry Potter fan, I have read a lot about J.K and her fascinating life before all the Harry Potter craziness. Very Good Lives does a great job of showing some of the wisdom she gained from this time. This 'book' is actually just a commencement speech she made at Harvard, years ago, a...
  • Jamie-leigh Haughn
    Amazing. Inspirational. Wonderful. Read it!
  • Kayla Dawn
    Vorab das Buch ist wunderschön aufgemacht, es sind viele süße Illustrationen drin und auch das Buch selbst (ohne Schutzumschlag) ist super schön.Die Rede die Rowling hier gehalten hat, war auch sehr schön und inspirierend, nur bin ich mir nicht sicher, ob es wirklich notwenig war, diese zu drucken. Kriege den Gedanken der puren Geldmacherei nicht ganz aus meinem Kopf 😜
  • Kyoko SWords
    ABSOLUTAMENTE TODO EL MUNDO NECESITA ESTE LIBRO EN SU VIDA.Es curioso, todo el mundo cree que odio a J.K. Rowling porque nunca he leído (o visto) nada de Harry Potter y decidí no hacerlo por lo menos en unos 10 años más (gracias al algunos fans que no me dejan en paz con el tema y me hicieron cogerle fobia); pero la realidad es que conocía la historia de vida de J.K. Rowling y siempre admiré su carrera: salir del fondo no es fácil y ella n...
  • Ziba
    In 2008, J.K. Rowling delivered a commencement speech at Harvard University. Years after her visit to Harvard, people still talk about it and because of the impact it has made the speech was published today, April 14th, in book form. The sales of Very Good Lives will benefit Lumos, a non-profit international children’s organization founded by J.K. Rowling, which works to end the institutionalization of children around the world.J.K. Rowling sai...
  • Carol
    Well worth the fifteen (okay, ten) minutes it takes to read.In addition, if you want a starting point to have a conversation with your middle or high school age kid, read this together. Listen to what your kid says. Rinse. Lather. Repeat. Just an idea.
  • Imane
    “As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters.I wish you all very good lives.” ― J.K. Rowling, Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of ImaginationWell written, as anything by this author would be, I found the ideas presented very valuable and well put, but her speech wasn't that inspirational to me.
  • Franco Santos
    “We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.” Gran discurso de Rowling. Me gustó mucho. Algunas ideas tratadas ya estaban sobreexplotadas hasta el punto de ser casi tópicos, pero recato las partes del rol de la imaginación y su relación con la empatía y cómo el fracaso nos revela lo que realmente debemos seguir, como una especie de filtro. Perfec...
  • Josu Grilli
    Un discurso increíble en una edición simplemente espectacular. Rowling consigue emocionar narrando experiencias de su pasado que le han formado como personas, tratando de transmitirle al lector que la vida es mucho más que un trabajo. La vida es una experiencia continua que hay que vivir, y la cual hay que afrontar con inteligencia e imaginación. Hay pasajes de su vida complicados, duros y llenos de tristeza, pero ella consigue resumirlos en ...
  • Fa Orozco
    Es justo lo que esperas al saber de que trata; un discurso motivacional sobre ser empáticos, aprender de nuestros fracasos y creer en aquello que nos apasiona.Las ilustraciones son muy lindas, es el tipo de libro que puede ser gran obsequio para fanáticos de la autora o recién graduados. No es mi discurso de graduación favorito (para eso prefiero el de Neil Gaiman que he visto el video original más no lo he leído en texto) pero el mensaje e...
  • Jo Reads
    JK parla dritta al mio cuore oggi come 20 anni fa, quando lessi il primo capitolo di Harry Potter.
  • Isa Cantos (Crónicas de una Merodeadora)
    "Tal vez nunca fracaséis de una forma tan estrepitosa como yo, pero en la vida es inevitable fracasar alguna vez. Es imposible vivir sin fracasar en algo, a menos que seas tan prudente que no se pueda decir que hayas vivido, y en ese caso fracasas por omisión".Sólo a Queen J. K. Rowling le permito que me dé un discurso sobre la importancia del fracaso en la vida, de levantarse y aprender de los errores y, sobre todo, de usar la creatividad pa...
  • Pooja
    In Very Good Lives, J.K. Rowling shares the benefits of failure in one's life and why it is a necessity to overcome fears.I was browsing JKR's interview videos and stumbled upon this. That moment, something changed inside me. It's like you read a book and you know it has altered you in a good way, but you can't put it in words until you go back retrospecting.When I happened to know it was a commencement speech, I didn't know what does that word e...
  • Shannon (leaninglights)
    I may be in the minority here, but I had never heard or read Very Good Lived before now. It is JK Rowling's commencement speech at Harvard in 2008. I picked up the book because the proceeds of its sales go to JK's Lumos charity and also because it's JK Freaking Rowling. The book is small, as it is a speech, but it is beautifully written and put together. Alongside JK's inspiring and thought-provoking words there are illustrations and doodles that...
  • Sushi
    "We do not need magic to transform our world; we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better." This woman never ceases to blow my mind into smithereens with her words, and this expressively, yet eloquently put novella with less than a hundred pages is no exception. Rowling talks us through her life experiences and the best way to move forward with baggage that every one of us has to some extent. "It ...
  • MischaS_
    “And many prefer not to exercise their imaginations at all. They choose to remain comfortably within the bounds of their own experience, never troubling to wonder how it would feel to have been born other than they are. They can refuse to hear screams or to peer inside cages; they can close their minds and hearts to any suffering that does not touch them personally; they can refuse to know.” I can tell you right now that this is the only grad...
  • Denisse
    Read for the 2015 Reading Challenge #14 A non-fiction book J. K. Rowling is my Writer-Queen not because she made magic wands look cool, or because she wrote a great and incomparable fantasy saga. She is my and many others Writer-Queen because of things like this:"...but poverty itself is romanticised only by fools. What I feared most for myself at your age was not poverty, but failure.""I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realised,...