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Petit Précis Du Bonheur
 
by
Anna Quindlen
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Petit Précis Du Bonheur

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  3,996 ratings  ·  403 reviews
"Life is made of moments, small pieces of silver amidst long stretches of tedium. It would be wonderful if they came to us unsummoned, but particularly in lives as busy as the ones most of us lead now, that won't happen. We have to teach ourselves now to live, really live...to love the journey, not the destination."

In this treasure of a book, Anna Quindlen, the bestselling...more
Published (first published October 31st 2000)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Lisa
I don't read or browse through self-help books much. You get to a certain age, however (42, in my case) and, if life deals you a bad hand (over and over...and over again), the questions grow and the answers become elusive or impossible to grasp.

Some on-line article or magazine mentioned this little book--talk about drifting through a day! I can't recall where I read about this. I got it from the library. Whoever wrote about it was right, it takes less than fifteen minutes to read. And while it's...more
alison cross
this book was first realized as a speech given at by Ms. Quindlen at my college commencement. in the past 10 years i have read and re-read these words that i still recall so fondly. the experiences in my life have allowed me to see the intelligence and honor in anna's words; the worth of success that is measured in no other terms than the family that surrounds me; and the nummber of times a day i can smile for no reason whatsoever. it is a constant source of strength and a reminder that happiene...more
Lucy
Oh my, what a waste of 20 minutes. This book is full of cliche after cliche. Glass half empty type stuff. I learnt nothing except to avoid this author in the future. You are better off listening to Monty Python's 'Always Look On The Bright Side of Life'... more mentally stimulating than this 'guide'.
Smallworld
http://smallworldreads.blogspot.com/2...

Anna Quindlen's little book is, indeed, short. I read it in about 15 minutes. It's a sweet book that probably started as a blog post and morphed into a tiny, happy book with photos. This is good, practical advice to find treasures in every day life. Like this:

I think of [my life:] in all its small component parts: the snowdrops, the daffodils; the feeling of one of my kids sitting close beside me on the couch; the way my husband looks when he reads with t...more
Brette
Anna Quindlen is one of my favorite author's and she has kept her position with this story story. She won me over my Junior year of high school in AP Lit when we read How Reading Changed My Life and it was true, reading had changed my life.

In this book she takes the time out to explain how we; the earth, as a whole forget how to live in the moment. We're always striving for the next best thing, or something else that will make us more happy than what we already have, when in reality we could fu...more
Greg
This world would be a much better place if people who read books like this would look beyond their initial "cliché" reaction, and actually thought about why counsel like this becomes so commonly heard. Perhaps because it reflects a deeper truth to which we should pay attention? As Quindlen says "You are the only person alive who has sole custody of your life." That being true, then counsel such as hers (whether original or not) that helps us to see what will bring happiness and joy to ourselves...more
Kressel Housman
My one and only outing this Passover was to a little town in upstate New York called Sugar Loaf where a group of craftspeople live, work, and sell their crafts. The man who serves on the town's Chamber of Commerce also owns a little shop called "Be Positive," and he is the one who gave me this book. It was a pleasant enough read, but I didn't find the insights to be anything I didn't already know. That famous quote that "Nobody on their deathbed ever wished they'd spent more time at the office"...more
Sharon
Her perception of life changed dramatically when her mother died. She talks about life before and life after. My life changed when I was diagnosed with cancer and my perception has never been the same. Her words are positive and hopeful. Wise words to live by. A great way to spend 15 minutes of your life!
Becky
Nothing terribly new if you are used to thinking purposefully about not taking life for granted, but a good reminder from a good writer, nonetheless.
Erin
"Exhaust the little moment. Soon it dies. And be it gash or gold it will not come again in this identical disguise." -- Gwendolyn Brooks

It is so easy to forget to live intentionally. Days rush by and we stop noticing our joy, the moments that bring us happiness. Quindlen reminds us to live life for every moment. To live life like a terminal illness where there is only so much time left. Life is short. Embrace it.

This is book is like a shot of happiness. In about 15 minutes, you can take in a fe...more
Beth
So if you have time to read this book review, I’d venture that you also have time to read this book. ;-) I read the whole thing while putting the kids down for a nap. No, not while they were napping — while they were getting ready to nap. (Granted, it does take forever to convince Logan to try to nap. He’s kind of growing out of them.)

This book is titled A Short Guide to a Happy Life, and Quindlen’s not kidding about the “short” part: fifty pages, all double-spaced with huge margins, many of tho...more
Roxanna
Short and sweet. If you are familiar with Anna Quindlen's work, she doesn't disappoint here. Her voice comes through clearly and consistently. Her perspective is non-judgmental and approachable. She punctuates herself so simply, I am always left surprised such an order of words could initiate a deep internal conversation for me. "It's so much easier to write a resume than to craft a spirit."

She doesn't spend the time talking about those who are happy vs. those who aren't and why- which is what...more
MaryKay
p.10 "It's so much easier to write a resume than to craft a spirit."

Get a life ... notice things ... be generous ...

p.20 "Get a life in which you are not alone. Find people you love, and who love you. And remember that love is not leisure, it is work."

p.42 “Life is made up of moments, small pieces of glittering mica in a long stretch of gray cement. It would be wonderful if they came to us unsummoned, but particularly in lives as busy as the ones most of us lead now, that won’t happen. We have t...more
Ellen
Love, love, love this. I picked it up at the library because it looked like a quick and interesting read, but it's really so much more. It's a celebration of all the little things in life, a reminder to slow down and savor the journey. Maybe it's because in the past two years, I've become a mother and lost my grandfather (one of the most important people in my life), but I have become a huge, cheesy advocate for making the most of your life and spreading the love around.
This would be a great gr...more
Kayann Legg
This is a good book just to remind you of the one saying I made up in my life and really believe - Life is about moments. Books that remind you of that are always valuable. At first I thought this book was going to do what so many of these "reminding us to live life" books tend to do, which is to generalize those moments as the same for everyone instead of validating that everyones moments are different. She, of course, does tell you the moments that mean much to her but she ends on a great stor...more
Lori Rosendahl
I really think this short book is a big waste of money. I received it this weekend as a birthday gift. I read it in one short setting as it is only about 45 pages long, mostly pictures. I did not think there was anything of value here. I guess the message is "be grateful for what you have"? She should feel grateful that anyone would throw down $13 or more for this. Please don't waste your money. There is little to no content here.
Claudia
This was uplifting without being sappy. Beautifully written, accompanied by evocative photos. Short, sweet and to the point. Loved it.
Kristen
A quick 10-min read. Sums up all the wisdom you get from all the "life advice" books in a few short pages. The only thing I disliked were all the cutesy pictures every other page that distracted me from the text. I say skip "The Last Lecture" & read this instead, then go get a pedicure or take a nap with all the time you've saved...
ShaLisa
My favorite part of this book was the photographs. Because of what I read about a child on a swing in another book (Gilead), I think I can say the child on the swing is my favorite page of the book.
Kathleen
I like Anna Quindlen, but really.
Any "guide to life" that includes the line "life is a journey, not a destination" deserves to be ridiculed. This reads like a really average commencement address.
Jenna Anderson
Wow - that was 218 Kindle locations and half the pages were photos. A few sentences were inspiring, but not many. Glad I didn't buy it. (I checked it out in ebook version from my public library.)
Marianne
This book was given to me by a good friend when life seemed to be too much. It was just what I needed.
Celia Juliano
Quindlen is a talented writer, but this book is very brief. I appreciate the message (live now, appreciate and have gratitude), but I found the photos distracting. Some were good additions, but most seemed superfluous. I'm glad I got this from the library. Might be, as other reviews said, a good graduation gift, but otherwise I'd read but not buy, unless you want a short, well-written reminder of not taking life for granted. I'd rather have a book of quotes for that, but that's just me. I'm not...more
Terri Trujillo dunlap
One of my favorite little books to give as a gift.
Richard
This short, small book could be read in about an hour. Very practical advice given by this excellent writer. This is a quote from the book: “I learned to live many years ago. Something really bad happened to me, something that changed my life in ways that, if I had had a choice, it would never have been changed at all. And what I learned from it is what, today, sometimes seems to be the hardest lesson of all.
“I learned to love the journey, not the destination. I learned that this is not a dress...more
Krista
Although I didn't plan it this way, I read this on the plane flying to AR to attend the funeral service of my favorite aunt. A few pages into the book, the words "do you think you'd care so very much about those things if you developed an aneurysm one afternoon, or found a lump in your breast while in the shower?" Thinking about my aunt (who died suddenly from an aneurysm) and how much she impacted the people in her life, coupled with the words written in this book, caused me to really think abo...more
Michael
it was okay, and quick. I'm sure many people will enjoy this graduation speech, but the irony of the form, a 10 min speech or whatnot, is that it has to be absolutely, completely, 100% correct whereas we can forgive a novelist weird scenes or unnecessary characters. because graduation speeches are necessarily just a few score pages of writing, if Quindlen's words don't 100% always cover every situation, I'm a little less impressed on the overall result 3/5

Peggy
I was very torn between 3 stars and 4. I loved every word of this book, the problem is that there aren't very many of them. This was originally a college commencement speech and in that genre, this one is a beauty. But as a book it only took me about 20 minutes to read - hence my quandary. Can a 20 minute book be 4 stars? What about if the advice therein is really all any grad would ever need? "Don't ever confuse the two, your life and your work." And "So I suppose the best piece of advice I cou...more
M.
True words but banal to the point of indigestible! The only thing I learnt from this book is what the author's father said: "If you win the rat race, you're still a rat" - I liked it.
This short guide is peppered with cliches and overly sentimental photos. However, something stops me from dismissing it as gushy and pointless; it's simple and I guess that always wins me over.
Bill Landau
I'm a bit of a sap but I like happy books that remind me to be present and live each day and make it really count. My wife can't stand fluff like this, but it makes me happy. This wasn't the most relatable book for me because it mentions a number of times about being a wife and a mother...and I am a husband and my kids are all grown. But I still enjoyed it.
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Love for this short but meaningful read! 1 6 Mar 30, 2008 08:26PM  
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Anna Quindlen is an American journalist and opinion columnist whose New York Times column, Public and Private, won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1992.

She began her journalism career in 1974 as a reporter with The New York Post. Between 1977 and 1994 she held several posts at the New York Times. She left journalism in 1995 to become a full-time novelist. She currently writes a bi-weekly colu...more
More about Anna Quindlen...
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“Life is made up of moments, small pieces of glittering mica in a long stretch of gray cement. It would be wonderful if they came to us unsummoned, but particularly in lives as busy as the ones most of us lead now, that won’t happen. We have to teach ourselves how to make room for them, to love them, and to live, really live.” 60 likes
“Don't ever forget the words on a postcard that my father sent me last year: "If you win the rat race, you're still a rat.” 22 likes
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