Friday, 14 August 2015

Book Review: Very Good Lives the fringe benefits of failure and the importance of imagination

In Very Good Lives J.K Rowling uses imagery, humour and metaphors to emphasis the determination failure can expose and the change imagination allows.

If you've never read any of Rowling's work I'm so sorry for your loss you don't know how incredibly funny she is! In this book in particular she uses said humour to remind us that her warnings come from a place not just of experienced success but a place of failure too. As such, this gives her hands on, practical experience with and liberty to speak on both.

Her tone is comfortable and almost whimsical as she shares the importance of ones inner self made magic; the most important kind. Using these prominent themes of imagination and failure, together with well crafted imagery, Rowling makes her tale easily applicable to the lives of both the audience and the author.

She shares intimate details of the earlier part of her life, wording her sentences so that they vividly take you there to that long corridor where her views on life were further informed by the actions of unsung victims and hero alike. A corridor one cannot help but see as a representation of the middle ground between her past failures and her future successes.

A middle ground graduation day often is to so many of us.

Her choice of figurative devices succeed in stressing the existence of potential energy to enact change waiting just behind open eyes. The author goes on to suggest that if this state of active presences is placed beside a willingness to make a change, it will amount to an extraordinary life well worth living. Not to be overlooked is Rowlings call to the read to step up to a responsibility with which every person is charged, to encourages us to make education count for something much bigger than the individual that achieves it.


I know that this is a speech she has given but I chose to read it anyway for the reading experience because I wanted to internalise it in that way. That sounded weird I know, I'm a weirdo, ah what to do, enjoy it yes?

I think that I have very good taste in books because this too is going up on my library once I buy it in hard copy, oh I can't resist it! I loved this book for so many reasons, I'm doing my undegrad. degree, I too am a writer, I have tasted to bitter slice failure deals one and I have danced amidst with an incredibly active imagination. Balance is key, how easily we forget. This was a beautiful reminder that though such a balance is not easily achieved, the journey of that has you tipping this side and the other is more often than not ultimately beautiful.

What have you been reading lately?

Peace. Love. Very Good Lives. 


  1. I've been reading The Hobbit. :)

  2. You have a wonderful style of writing, Liz! It makes me want to read this book. I'm not usually into science fiction books, but I've been reading "Ender's Game" :)


What say you?

Blog Design by The Blog Store