Book of My Choosing - 2018 · Book Review · Nonfiction

Book Review: Very Good Lives by J. K. Rowling

The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination

Pages: 80
Genre: Non-Fiction/Self Help/Essay
Publication Date:
April 14, 2015
Themes: Failure/Success, Advice

Synopsis J.K. Rowling gives a commencement speech at Harvard University in hopes to inspire the graduates. She shares some personal experiences and openly gives advice to her audience.

my review

I was poking around, found this speech given by J.K. Rowling, and found myself wanting to read it, so I did. 🙂 

This was a quick read and one that was easy to follow. Though I wouldn’t say there was anything new or startling here, I did find some of her message worthwhile to share with those starting out in the “real” world. For instance, this quote:

“Failure taught me things about myself that I could have learned no other way.”

The above quote really resonated with me because I feel this is something I struggled with for quite a while after my own graduation several years back. Honestly, I never thought of failure as a way to learn and grow until my husband taught me that. Sometimes I still struggle when something goes another way than I planned, but I feel I am improving in this area.

Another aspect I enjoyed were the illustrations included here. It broke up the seriousness of the text and made it more enjoyable to read.

Overall, this essay was nice read, even if there wasn’t newly stated information.

My Rating4 stars


I recommend this commencement speech to those who like to read essays and perhaps those who have recently graduated.

Was this a book of my choosing or one for review?
24 out of 50 books of my choosing for 2018!

6 thoughts on “Book Review: Very Good Lives by J. K. Rowling

    1. It was an interesting little read! I didn’t know either. I was just searching for a quick/short read and stumbled upon this one. Thank you, Sophie! If you get to read it, then I hope you enjoy it. 🙂


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