This isn’t so much of a review, but a much needed bit of word vomit about ‘Very Good Lives‘.
The book is pretty much the word for word transcript of J.K. Rowling’s frankly awe-inspiring Harvard commencement speech back in 2011. In it she talks about fear and failure, as well as the importance of imagination and how we all have the ability to touch and influence each others lives in fantastical ways. The speech still resonates today as quite possibly the best pep talk ever. It’s wonderful and moving and so very Jo – within the first few sentences she talks about squinting at the red banners to convince herself that she’s at the world’s largest Gryffindor reunion (honestly I love this woman).
As an FYI, I’m doing this impromptu post on the fly after what has not been a great week for me mentally. I’ve not been feeling very motivated to write or blog or even socialise (IRL or online recently) but I gave the book a skim read again having bought it a few weeks ago and as cheesy as it sounds reading this – alongside a an additional pep talk email from the ol’ bestie Kath – made me feel instantly a little bit better. Isn’t it weird how powerful words can be.
Even if you’ve watched the speech or are able to read the transcript online, I still encourage you to pick up the book. Sometimes it’s good to get away from your computer/phone screen and have a physical printed entity to flick through. The illustrations are gorgeous, plus the proceeds from the sale of it are all going to her charity, Lumos, too.
“Life is difficult, and complicated, and beyond anyone’s total control, and the humility to know that will enable you to survive its vicissitudes.”
– JK Rowling