Very Good Lives by J.K. Rowling


Very Good LivesTitle: Very Good Live: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination
Author: J.K. Rowling
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: InspirationSpeech
Pace: Slow
Format: Novel
Publisher: Sphere
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: It is my dream that within our lifetime the very idea of institutionalising children will seem to belong to a cruel fictional world.

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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.


I wasn’t expecting this. I hadn’t actually read the blurb, just bought a book by J.K. Rowling because I’m completely in love. And although it wasn’t what I was expecting, it was thoroughly enjoyable. Not an earth-shatteringly inspiring talk, but it was definitely a great reminder of the fact that you can overcome.

I’m at a point in my life when I am not only working incredibly hard, but taking a lot of risks with my future and feeling, quite honestly, overwhelmed and lost. And most of all, terrified that I’m going to fail. It was nice to read about the fact that others (who are imminently more successful than I will ever be) have failed. And then succeeded. It was a great reminder that even if I fail, I can find a way to move past it. Almost to embrace the thought of future failure…

And on that note, I am going to continue working in the hopes that even though I can, I won’t actually fail at this…

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