43 Books: A Short Guide to A Happy Life by Anna Quindlen

As part of my 43 Before 43, I’m reading¬†43 books.

A Short Guide to A Happy Life is a very quick read that gave me pause.

Let me start with what I liked about the book:

  • The title. So many key elements for wanting to read this book: short, guide and happy.
  • It mostly felt fresh and heartfelt.
  • She talks about being in sole custody of your life. – In my mind both daunting and exhilarating.
  • She talks about living a full life beyond work, school, achievements and developing your soul. – I couldn’t agree more. There is so much more to life than working.
  • I read it in less than half an hour – (plus I could add another read to my list!) – and it left enough of an impression I wanted to tell others about it.

An excerpt and my favorite part: 

But you are the only person alive who has sole custody of your life. Your particular life. Your entire life. Not just your life at a desk, or your life on the bus, or in the car, or at the computer. Not just the life of your mind, but the life of your heart. Not just your bank account, but your soul.

A couple of things that weren’t my favorite:

  • In some places it felt a bit dated (published in 2000). Post 9/11 writing has a different feeling.
  • The quotes definitely have been used a lot since publication – example: ¬†“No man ever said on his deathbed I wish I had spent more time at the office.” – Paul Tsongas

The all important question – would I want to be friends with the author?

Yes. She seems to have a lot to teach (and so many books for me to catch up on).

Should you read A Short Guide to a Happy Life?

Yes. I think most of us could use a bit more happiness in our lives and development of our souls.

Have you read A Short Guide to a Happy Life? What did you think?