Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Smile” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.72  ·  Rating details ·  370 ratings  ·  26 reviews
How can something as simple as a smile be so deceptively complex? That’s the mystery and magic explored in Smile: The Astonishing Powers of a Simple Act. From the broad beaming grin of a toddler to the oily smirk of a used car salesman, smiles convey an enormous range of emotions, from joyously happy to nervous or sad. Grins also have radically varied meanings in different ...more
Kindle Edition, 48 pages
Published (first published December 5th 2011)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Smile, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Smile

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  370 ratings  ·  26 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Smile
Olivia Stuenzi
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
The book Smile by Ron Gutman, is a short nonfiction read about the “astonishing powers of a simple act”- smiling. Overall the book was satisfactory; I wouldn’t say that it was wonderful, but it was not a terrible book either. In this short novel, Gutman combines personal experiences from his world travel, and extensive research to support his idea that a simple smile can change your life. I thoroughly enjoyed reading his experiences from other countries. It was interesting to see what smiling me ...more
Jun 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Apr 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Worthy premise and documentation, but weakened by poor editing and coherency.
Rachel Klien
Smiles come and go everyday. Often times the simple act of smiling is not considered to have monumental impacts on the lives of people smiling as well as people being smiled at. Author, Ron Gutman challenges this thought in his book, “Smile: The Astonishing Powers of a Simple Act.” Gutman explores the power of a simple smile through personal anecdotes, appeal to logic, and surprising statistics.
Gutman opens strongly with an unexpected story of his own experience on a bus in Africa. He embarked
Dec 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"For example, the Islamic prophet Muhammad taught his followers that even a smile is real charity: “Your smile for your brother is charity” (Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Vol. 3, No. 98). Important to both Christianity and Judaism, the Book of Proverbs teaches that “a friendly smile makes you happy, and goodnews makes you strong” (Proverbs 15:30)."

This is a good book in the sense that it is very well rounded and gives you a good picture of what a smile entails. However, there was very poor editing and also s
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: optimize
This very slim book (more like an essay) is the same as the author’s TED talk about smiling. (Here it is) He discusses his own travel and how smiles were useful way for him to connect with other people when he didn’t share their language. He touches on science and how smiles are related to brain chemistry and how we feel. He makes lots of aimless, feel-good statements about the world and humanity. This isn’t an in-depth scientific tome, though, just a lighthearted expression of what smiles mean ...more
Amit  Sharma
Jan 04, 2018 rated it did not like it
Even if you ignore the lousy and repetetive pase of the book, or the pedestrian language, the book fails to impress. The book is a dreary read which can be summarised in one page. The only key takeaway from the book are the 10-12 research studies quoted in the book.
Average writing and narration by the author leaves me wondering in this often directionless book. The only positive is that it is a small book, and hence I only wasted an hour or so on it.
Skip this one, let me summarise it for you in
Blaire Malkin
Nov 18, 2017 rated it liked it
I️ already was aware of much of the research discussed in this short book/essay but it was a nice read that made me feel happy on a windy afternoon. I️ think the power of smiling is true when genuine, a sympathetic smile goes a long way. Just never tell someone to smile.
Catherine Dunne
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
A few good insights but I think the book could have been a lot shorter as there was a lot of repetitive points.
Cass Danz
Nice to read but nothing life changing
Feb 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
What does it say about me that I like the Kindle short about lying much better. This didn't have anything too interesting or too novel to interest me. I agree with what the author says, but just not as interesting on the philosophical ethics of lying. ...more
Dec 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Once past the cheesing intro, the research was fun and interesting. I especially loved the parts on the differences of smiles in different cultures. Asian emoticons have taken on a whole new light! ^_^
Sep 08, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014, read-in-china
Interesting research on the power of something as simple as a smile. My takeaway? Smile the second you wake up
Apollo Adama
Nov 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
just awesome. his arguments are convincing. i love the opening quote by Mother Theresa with her picture
Apr 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everybody!
Recommended to Anthony by: TED
Very interesting to learn the positive and powerful effects of smiling...
May 06, 2012 rated it it was ok
Long winded and repetitive. But inspiring enough :)
Jun 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Just simply amazing
Sigridur Maria
Sep 11, 2013 rated it liked it
Aftur er það innihaldið frekar en snilldarleg skrif sem fær stjörnur hjá mér.
Dec 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Short read and inspiring!
Aug 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It makes me rethink the old rule for teachers of never smiling before Christmas!
Dec 10, 2012 rated it liked it
May 28, 2016 rated it it was ok
It's short. Perhaps that's why I liked it for a weekend. But I didn't think it particularly interesting or insightful. Go figure. ...more
Jan 23, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: stopped-reading
I felt that the book was more about the author's travels. The more I read the more bored I became, so I stopped reading it. ...more
Aug 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great perspective from something so simple. A lite read and a powerful reminder of what a simple smile can do...
rated it liked it
Sep 18, 2016
Fernando Martinez
rated it it was amazing
Aug 12, 2019
Asako Jackson
rated it really liked it
Feb 03, 2013
rated it it was amazing
Dec 31, 2011
rated it really liked it
Oct 22, 2019
rated it liked it
Dec 22, 2017
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination
  • Lifeboat No. 8: An Untold Tale of Love, Loss, and Surviving the Titanic
  • The Case of the Caretaker - a Miss Marple Short Story (Miss Marple)
  • The Egg
  • Nikola Tesla: Imagination and the Man That Invented the 20th Century
  • The Likeability Factor: How to Boost Your L-Factor and Achieve Your Life's Dreams
  • Money Magic: Unleashing Your True Potential for Prosperity and Fulfillment
  • The Serendipity Mindset: The Art and Science of Creating Good Luck
  • Awakening the Laughing Buddha within
  • Where the Hell is Tesla?
  • The Baby Owner's Manual: Operating Instructions, Trouble-Shooting Tips & Advice on First-Year Maintenance
  • Magic Spanner: The World of Cycling According to Carlton Kirby
  • The Way of the Samurai
  • A History of the Japanese People From the Earliest Times to the End of the Meiji Era
  • The Elements of Style
  • The Way the World Ends (Warmer, #1)
  • Miss Marple Tells a Story - a Miss Marple Short Story (Miss Marple)
  • The Case of the Perfect Maid - a Miss Marple Short Story (Miss Marple)
See similar books…

News & Interviews

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
25 likes · 8 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“Some people are too tired to give you a smile. Give them one of yours, as none needs a smile so much as he who has no more to give.” 9 likes
“The British researchers found that it takes a lot of money to beat out the most rewarding smiles we see. In the case of this study, it took up to 16,000 pounds sterling in cash to generate the same level of brain stimulation as one smile! This” 3 likes
More quotes…