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Extended Audio Sample A Short Guide to a Happy Life Audiobook, by Anna Quindlen Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,723 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Anna Quindlen Narrator: Anna Quindlen Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2000 ISBN: 9780375417108
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"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 novelist and columnist, reflects on what it takes to "get a life"—to live deeply every day and from your own unique self, rather than merely to exist through your days. "Knowledge of our own mortality is the greatest gift God ever gives us," Quindlen writes, "because unless you know the clock is ticking, it is so easy to waste our days, our lives." Her mother died when Quindlen was nineteen: "It was the dividing line between seeing the world in black and white, and in Technicolor. The lights came on for the darkest possible reason....I learned something enduring, in a very short period of time, about life. And that was that it was glorious, and that you had no business taking it for granted." But how to live from that perspective, to fully engage in our days? In A Short Guide to a Happy Life, Quindlen guides us with an understanding that comes from knowing how to see the view, the richness in living.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenny | 2/20/2014

    " Good message, well written, and a nice edition. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mady | 2/19/2014

    " A feel-good book, and pretty short too! However, it didn't really made me change my life! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sondra | 2/13/2014

    " I don't own this book but at least once a year I try to read it in a bookstore. Concise and honest, it accomplishes what "Tuesdays with Morrie" was attempting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy | 2/11/2014

    " A short, very quick read, but one that will resonate with you...very thought provoking! I love the photographs she included, too! This is one I think I need to purchase and reread over and over! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Doreen | 2/11/2014

    " Quick read...you know all that she says but it's a pleasant reminder. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tori | 2/1/2014

    " 7 - This is a great book to read and re-read when you are going through a hard time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amber | 1/29/2014

    " Good common sense. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lauren | 1/29/2014

    " I read this book because it was available on my Kindle through the library and Real Simple Magazine recommended it. It was super short. Once I was barely getting into it, it was over. Now, just a couple days later, I can't remember anything worthwhile about it. I guess it wasn't that memorable or important. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Beth | 1/24/2014

    " Get ready everyone - you are getting this for Christmas this year. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Valerie | 1/20/2014

    " More like a long birthday card than a book. Lots of feel good photos. I guess I was hoping for more than 'life's short- carpe diem' but you can't argue with that! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kristen Dayley | 1/13/2014

    " I love Anna Quindlen and will miss her column in Newsweek. This is a quick read and an uplifting one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jen | 12/9/2013

    " A really quick read, but great. I will look for more of her books--this book had some great thoughts and ideas--totally enjoyed it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Henrietta | 11/22/2013

    " A very short book that can be read and reread in one sitting. It's a reminder to love this journey we're on, to smell the roses, to give something back. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sacha | 11/13/2013

    " I enjoy reading these kind of poetically-written reminders to take time to smell the proverbial roses. this is a cutey little book with some sweet photos to make you smile while you're flipping through it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tanya Marie | 11/13/2013

    " Gentle reminder to live life! Would make for a nice gift book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 cagey | 11/9/2013

    " There is nothing earth-shattering in this little book, but it was a nice perk-me-up sort of read. Also, it was short - I think I finished it in a one-sitting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erica Kerwien | 11/7/2013

    " A quick read that puts life in perspective, succinctly. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bparker | 10/31/2013

    " More like three and a half stars......and (too) super short "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary | 8/28/2013

    " Very good. Don't take life for granted enjoy each moment! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Taunja | 8/15/2013

    " 30 minute read or less. Just a nice reality check to count our blessings. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sara | 5/7/2013

    " Love Anna Quindlen. She's right on with this book--a quick (10 pgs.!) read to remember what's important in life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Phyllis Brett | 3/29/2013

    " A short reaffirmation of all that's good (or should be good) in life. Worth a read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Connie Ahee | 7/13/2012

    " Loved this book. So darn adorable! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Courtney Burns | 7/7/2012

    " It took me all of 15 minutes to read this book, however the messages inside are worth a great deal more than that 15 minutes might suggest. It is just a lovely read (with lovely pictures). "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rachael | 5/18/2012

    " Just one essay, lots of pictures in a short book with big margins. It felt generic compared to some of her other writing. A couple nice thoughts, but nothing truly memorable to me. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Corrie | 10/9/2011

    " I liked the pictures, but felt the book lacking in it's writing. Yes, life is simple, but it is definitely meatier. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica | 8/30/2011

    " There are lot of great life lessons througout this quick little read that really made me think about my life. It's a fast and simple read, and though many of us have thought of the things she talks about, Anna puts them all together into one book in a cohesive, enlightening way. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maria | 8/16/2011

    " Talk about Short. Short and to the point. Great quick read. Uplifting. Makes you think about what you already know, but don't do. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tessa | 5/26/2011

    " Very short book with some good thoughts about how we burden ourselves with expectations instead of being our true selves. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Phyllis | 4/28/2011

    " Should be required reading for all high-achieving young women. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marissa | 4/27/2011

    " This is a quick and entertaining read about not trying to be perfect all the time! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jennifer | 3/2/2011

    " Read it in five minutes. Remember it forever. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julie | 2/17/2011

    " Ahem...I'm just sayin'...

    I'm a recovering perfectionist. Been through the 13 Step Program (Note...12 would have been a perfect number! See how I've progressed!) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenny | 1/29/2011

    " Quite a sweet little book. I adore the black and white pictures throughout and the message is a good one to think over. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 1/20/2011

    " A wonderful, quick read. I love Anna Quindlen's concise prose. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrea | 1/18/2011

    "
    A little book of great wisdom which I need to add to my library. "WELL BEHAVED WOMEN DON"T MAKE HISTORY". "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marcia | 1/11/2011

    " Basically a commencement address--but Quindlen is spot on as always. This was a good little pep talk to start the new year, get my head in order and set out to be my best self (Ok, that's Oprah, but it's all the same.) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Karen | 1/3/2011

    " Reads like a college graduation speech: dare to do your own thing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda | 12/14/2010

    " I loved this little book full of wisdom. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jen | 11/9/2010

    " I have a signed copy of this book - a gift from Brent a few years ago and one of my favorite all-time gifts. :) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Julie | 8/16/2010

    " A short 48 page book that I did not find enlightening or inspiring...or whatever it was supposed to do for me. It sounded like a high school graduation speech. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathie | 8/14/2010

    " A quick read reminding you it is not being perfect that is important but to strive to be the person you want to be. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 6/23/2010

    " A case for NOT being perfect. Insightful, quick read and well worth the message. "

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About the Author
Author Anna Quindlen

Anna Quindlen is a novelist and journalist whose work has appeared on fiction, nonfiction, and self-help bestseller lists. Her book A Short Guide to a Happy Life has sold more than a million copies. While a columnist at the New York Times she won the Pulitzer Prize and published two collections. She currently lives in New York with her husband and children.