Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt (The Dark Knight Rises, Inception, Looper, 500 Days of Summer) made a big splash with The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories – so now he’s back with volume 2! One of the most ingenious and successful projects to come out of Gordon-Levitt’s online creative coalition hitRECord – an international collaboration of artists and writers – The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories: Volume 2 offers more quirky, delightfully small, ingeniously illustrated haiku-like tales, proving once more that the universe isn’t made of atoms; it’s made of tiny stories. The best things do come in small packages. (From Goodreads.)
Personal Take: After being charmed by the first volume, I couldn’t resist ordering the second, and just like the first, it was utterly irresistible to go through. The one-page stories, the impeccable pieces of artwork, and seeing how the collaboration works, it all makes this project so unique and necessary for other creatives and humans in general.
There isn’t much to describe this book other than it is filled with happiness, and that everyone who wants a shot of it should read it.
Audience: Older audience, for understanding abstract emotions.
Other recommendations: I’ve read and reviewed The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories, Volume 1, and will be reading Volume 3 soon!
In 2008, J.K. Rowling delivered a deeply affecting commencement speech at Harvard University. Now published for the first time in book form, Very Good Lives offers J.K. Rowling’s words of wisdom for anyone at a turning point in life, asking the profound and provocative questions: How can we embrace failure? And how can we use our imagination to better both ourselves and others?
Drawing from stories of her own post-graduate years, the world-famous author addresses some of life’s most important issues with acuity and emotional force. (From Goodreads)
Personal Take: I’m always get excited when my favorite authors impart wisdom to graduating students, and then their speech gets viral on the internet. And if we’re really lucky, we get the speech printed in a visually appealing way, where we can peruse it at our leisure during our darkest moments. At least, that’s how I feel when I find these printed speeches. Much like Neil Gaiman’s speech Make Good Art (one of my favorite speeches), Rowling’s speech is both light, wonderful, insightful, and at some level, personal. I think she should be one of the most notable role models to graduates that nothing always goes according to plan, and that failure can be a stepping stone.
She also touched on the perceptions of entering the job market, and the metrics in which people are valued: something not a lot of people think widely about, or if they do, fall into the trap of how to measure themselves.
I truly believe that this book should be given away in bulks to graduating students all over the world to both comfort and set the tone for what to expect.
Audience: Everyone, but especially graduates.
Other recommendations: Really, there’s no need to list down what J.K Rowling is known to write: the Harry Potter series, as well as the Casual Vacancy.