To the surprise of absolutely no one who loves Anna Quindlen’s writing, her charming little book A Short Guide to a Happy Life is a treasure. A short treasure, both in size and brevity. The book is about 7” tall and ends on page 50.
About half of those pages are touching, sentimental, black and white photos. Think people laughing, little kids with their arms around their dogs, couples holding hands under snowy trees, et cetera.
If you liked Being Perfect, you’ll love Short Guide as well.
The book is so short and so poignant (I read it in about 10 minutes) that I don’t want to give more away than this quote from page 10:
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.
Yes, this is another book about living in the moment and living with passion in the face of the ticking clock of mortality, but it’s hard for me to imagine the message rendered more effectively.
I also have a bias towards physically tiny books. I don’t know why. I love them.
And again, it’s got lots of pictures!