Pequena Guia Para Ser Feliz / A Short Guide to a Happy Life

ISBN: 8479017643
ISBN 13: 9788479017644
By: Anna Quindlen

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Reader's Thoughts

Celia Juliano

Quindlen is a talented writer, but this book is very brief. I appreciate the message (live now, appreciate and have gratitude), but I found the photos distracting. Some were good additions, but most seemed superfluous. I'm glad I got this from the library. Might be, as other reviews said, a good graduation gift, but otherwise I'd read but not buy, unless you want a short, well-written reminder of not taking life for granted. I'd rather have a book of quotes for that, but that's just me. I'm not rating because I don't want to give it four stars, but I don't want to just give it three either.


The pictures were the best part of this book. My favorite was easily the cowboy asleep on his mother's lap. I imagine he's dreaming up a cowboy scene while she's taking a break from the regular routine of dishes and laundry to read the newspaper. Afterall, (I'll call him) "Wes" has her glued to the spot.In another snapshot, a little boy's arm is around his content pup while he's pointing out some unknown scene to his best pal.The title, A SHORT GUIDE TO A HAPPY LIFE, had me expecting a little more oomf than was contained here. While what was here was lovely, the inside jacket description was just about equal to the reading of the book.


I was very torn between 3 stars and 4. I loved every word of this book, the problem is that there aren't very many of them. This was originally a college commencement speech and in that genre, this one is a beauty. But as a book it only took me about 20 minutes to read - hence my quandary. Can a 20 minute book be 4 stars? What about if the advice therein is really all any grad would ever need? "Don't ever confuse the two, your life and your work." And "So I suppose the best piece of advice I could give anyone is pretty simple: get a life. A real life, not a manic pursuit of the next promotion, the bigger paycheck, the larger house." And "It's so much easier to write a resume than craft a spirit. But a resume is cold comfort on a winter night or when you're sad, or broke, or lonely, or when you've gotten back the chest x-ray and it doesn't look so good..." Loved, loved, loved every word, just not sure it's a book.

Lori Rosendahl

I really think this short book is a big waste of money. I received it this weekend as a birthday gift. I read it in one short setting as it is only about 45 pages long, mostly pictures. I did not think there was anything of value here. I guess the message is "be grateful for what you have"? She should feel grateful that anyone would throw down $13 or more for this. Please don't waste your money. There is little to no content here.


p.10 "It's so much easier to write a resume than to craft a spirit."Get a life ... notice things ... be generous ...p.20 "Get a life in which you are not alone. Find people you love, and who love you. And remember that love is not leisure, it is work."p.42 “Life is made up of moments, small pieces of glittering mica in a long stretch of gray cement. It would be wonderful if they came to us unsummoned, but particularly in lives as busy as the ones most of us lead now, that won’t happen. We have to teach ourselves how to make room for them, to love them, and to live, really live.” p.42 "... to look at all the good in the world and to try to give some of it back ..."


Anna Quindlen is one of my favorite author's and she has kept her position with this story story. She won me over my Junior year of high school in AP Lit when we read How Reading Changed My Life and it was true, reading had changed my life. In this book she takes the time out to explain how we; the earth, as a whole forget how to live in the moment. We're always striving for the next best thing, or something else that will make us more happy than what we already have, when in reality we could fulfill all our needs just by paying the slightest bit of attention to the world and the people around us. There are so many beautiful things that we take for granted, and so many people we love that don't get enough attention from us. It's definitely something to think about and try to rectify.The pictures added a great texture to the philosophical words on each page!

Smallworld Quindlen's little book is, indeed, short. I read it in about 15 minutes. It's a sweet book that probably started as a blog post and morphed into a tiny, happy book with photos. This is good, practical advice to find treasures in every day life. Like this: I think of [my life:] in all its small component parts: the snowdrops, the daffodils; the feeling of one of my kids sitting close beside me on the couch; the way my husband looks when he reads with the lamp behind him; fettuccine Alfredo; fudge; Gone with the Wind, Pride and Prejudice. Life is made up of moments, small pieces of glittering mica in a long stretch of gray cement.I can totally relate to that. In fact, I try to do this once or twice a week (on my other blog) in a very tangible way by participating in Three Beautiful Things. I should do this everyday because I could certainly find a plethora of beautiful things in my daily life. Read this book when you need to be reminded of what really constitutes a life well lived, or buy it to give with a graduation or wedding present.


I like Anna Quindlen, but really.Any "guide to life" that includes the line "life is a journey, not a destination" deserves to be ridiculed. This reads like a really average commencement address.

Corey Pung

To read my full review, please go to:“A Short Guide to a Happy Life…” If you look at that title, you’re bound to think it’s likely overstated or pretentious, and yet, the title A Short Guide to a Happy Life isn’t entirely misleading. It is short. The entire book is 64 pages long, and those pages are compacted into a pocket size. Is it a guide though? No. The only place it will guide you is to the returns counter at your local book store. Is it describing a happy life? No. If anything, it’s describing her happy life. Well, at least it’s short.

alison cross

this book was first realized as a speech given at by Ms. Quindlen at my college commencement. in the past 10 years i have read and re-read these words that i still recall so fondly. the experiences in my life have allowed me to see the intelligence and honor in anna's words; the worth of success that is measured in no other terms than the family that surrounds me; and the nummber of times a day i can smile for no reason whatsoever. it is a constant source of strength and a reminder that happieness is nothing to be ashamed of.

Kressel Housman

My one and only outing this Passover was to a little town in upstate New York called Sugar Loaf where a group of craftspeople live, work, and sell their crafts. The man who serves on the town's Chamber of Commerce also owns a little shop called "Be Positive," and he is the one who gave me this book. It was a pleasant enough read, but I didn't find the insights to be anything I didn't already know. That famous quote that "Nobody on their deathbed ever wished they'd spent more time at the office" appears in there twice, which is quite a lot of a repetition for such a short book. Basically, the message is to remember to smell the flowers as you live your life, which was an especially fitting message to read in picturesque Sugar Loaf, where I doubt anybody is getting rich, but everyone is striving to remain true to their art.


Oh my, what a waste of 20 minutes. This book is full of cliche after cliche. Glass half empty type stuff. I learnt nothing except to avoid this author in the future. You are better off listening to Monty Python's 'Always Look On The Bright Side of Life'... more mentally stimulating than this 'guide'.


My favorite part of this book was the photographs. Because of what I read about a child on a swing in another book (Gilead), I think I can say the child on the swing is my favorite page of the book.

Ann Thomas

One of those books that is good to re- read periodically.Truisms of life abound. For anyone who has ever been "broken open" by something in their life... this book is something that you will agree with.

Danielle Bailey

It was good, but not as good as I had hoped. As another person mentioned, a lot if it was pretty cliche. I don't really think that this should have been made into a book.

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