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.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.M.
True words but banal to the point of indigestible! The only thing I learnt from this book is what the author's father said: "If you win the rat race, you're still a rat" - I liked it. This short guide is peppered with cliches and overly sentimental photos. However, something stops me from dismissing it as gushy and pointless; it's simple and I guess that always wins me over.Ellen
Love, love, love this. I picked it up at the library because it looked like a quick and interesting read, but it's really so much more. It's a celebration of all the little things in life, a reminder to slow down and savor the journey. Maybe it's because in the past two years, I've become a mother and lost my grandfather (one of the most important people in my life), but I have become a huge, cheesy advocate for making the most of your life and spreading the love around. This would be a great graduation gift...or gift for anything, really. The writing and the photos are lovely, and I'd like to treat myself one day and buy a copy for myself, too :)Smallworld
http://smallworldreads.blogspot.com/2...Anna 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.Lucy
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'.Bill Landau
I'm a bit of a sap but I like happy books that remind me to be present and live each day and make it really count. My wife can't stand fluff like this, but it makes me happy. This wasn't the most relatable book for me because it mentions a number of times about being a wife and a mother...and I am a husband and my kids are all grown. But I still enjoyed it.Peggy
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.Kathleen
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.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.Corey Pung
To read my full review, please go to: http://coreysbook.wordpress.com/2012/...“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.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.Kayann Legg
This is a good book just to remind you of the one saying I made up in my life and really believe - Life is about moments. Books that remind you of that are always valuable. At first I thought this book was going to do what so many of these "reminding us to live life" books tend to do, which is to generalize those moments as the same for everyone instead of validating that everyones moments are different. She, of course, does tell you the moments that mean much to her but she ends on a great story that let's you know she has thought beyond her world. And the book, is a great reminder that you have to work to cherish your moments. As Quindlen writes in the book, "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." Quotes"If you win the race race, you're still a rat.""Get a life in which you are not alone. Find people you love, and who love you. And rememer life is not leisure it is work. ""...realize that life is glorious, and that you have no business taking it for granted. Care so deeply about its goodness that you want to spread it around.""Scholl never ends, the classroom is everwhere."Becky
Nothing terribly new if you are used to thinking purposefully about not taking life for granted, but a good reminder from a good writer, nonetheless.Antonia
One would find a better inspiration joining a yoga class instead of spending money on this book. Sorry, I would't even call it a book something that you read in less than 10 minutes. At least yoga class lasts longer.