Though I enjoyed this read I do have to make mention that this isn’t actually a book. Very Good Lives is the speech J.K. Rowling delivered to the Harvard graduating class of 2008. It may be a short read but I do believe it has value for not only those who are aspiring to make a career out of writing (like myself), but for those seeking general happiness in what they do.
Given that the book is very short, this post will mimc that, but like Very Good Lives I’m going to make one theme stand out above all. That theme is that failure should be cherished. It is our greatest teacher. Rowling makes a point of this in discussing her own failures. Everyone knows the story of The Harry Potter author’s rise from the ashes (yes a phoenix idiom for all you Potterheads.) The Philosopher’s Stone was rejected 12 times. She was a broke single mother, but it was her shortcomings and rejections that built her into one of the most famous author’s of all time. On top of this she discusses accountability and taking responsibility for your decisions and actions. She discusses her parents influence in her life and their scepticism towards her writing, though she doesn’t blame them, saying once you reach a certain age accountability in what you do is solely your choice.
Despite this being a short read I found it particularly inspiring. Anyone who is need of a quick emotional pick me up, or looking for the courage to get up and chase your dreams go get this book!