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A Short Guide to a Happy Life Hardcover – 31 Oct 2000
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"I'm not particularly qualified by profession or education to give advice and counsel," confesses author Anna Quindlen, as she begins this tender little instruction book. "It's widely known in a small circle that I make a mean tomato sauce, and I know many inventive ways to hold a baby while nursing, although I haven't had the opportunity to use any of them in years."
It is precisely this commonplace form of wisdom that make readers trust and respect Quindlen. She uses her candid, heart-to-heart narrative voice along with her novel-writer descriptive skills to show readers how good we have it: "Life is made up of moments, small pieces of mica in a long stretch of glittering gray cement." Later she urges readers to "Look at the fuzz on a baby's ear. Read in the backyard with the sun on your face." The format smacks of "gift book," with an abundance of pleasing, artsy photographs. Don't be ashamed to fall for the packaging, though. This is one of those books that could remain in the living room for years or in the family for generations. --Gail Hudson
The beloved Newsweek columnist on how to get a life. Little as well as short. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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"One day you were walking around worryng about whether you had anything to wear to a party and reminding yourself to buy Kitty Litter or toilet paper," she writes. "And then you were in the shower lathering up, or you were lying on a doctor's table or the phone rang. And your world suddenly divided, as my world did many years ago. It divided into 'before' and 'after.'"
The problem is this: that quote is a decent part of the book.
This book is shockingly short. It's almost like an expanded newspaper column (if you're a fast reader it'll take 5 to 10 minutes to read this). And as thin as it is, some whole pages (in some cases two whole pages) are covered with beautiful photos. So as good as the MESSAGE is -- it IS a good one and wonderfully expressed -- this book can DISAPPOINT because it is shockingly thin in content, even for a thin small book. If you're after a good, QUICK pick-me-up that you can read quickly when times look bleak of you think you're losing yours sense of prorities, this is for you. If you expect a content-heavy book that's more than an expanded newspaper column it is not.