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The Well-Lived Laugh: Designing a Life that Keeps You Smiling [Kindle Edition]

Rachel St. John-Gilbert
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Ladies, a little perspective can change everything—and owning your own perspective (with a sense of humor) is what The Well-Lived Laugh is all about. Brand-new from Christian humor writer Rachel St. John-Gilbert (author of Wake Up Laughing and Laugh Yourself to Sleep), The Well-Lived Laugh: Designing a Life that Keeps You Smiling offers an offbeat look at life’s crazy-making pressures—body image, relationships, social networking, the food police—and encouragement to develop your own unique perspective to help eliminate those pressures. Through her thought-provoking, quirky, and funny observations, St. John-Gilbert will help you embrace the beauty in life that comes through each experience you encounter, whether planned or not.

Editorial Reviews


I higly recommend this creative, easy-read book to women who feel pressured (trapped) in any area of life. For "older" readers, this book will bring back memories of struggles and ideas for mentoring, and "younger" readers will gain insight in coping.
(Jolane Shaffer CBA Retailers 2012-08-01)

There are some feelings and situations that only another woman could understand.  That is what Rachel St. John-Gilbert writes about in this book.  This book is about real situations, such as:  a torn friendship, divorce, difficult adult kids, and etc...

Though there is humor around all she writes, there is also scripture, advice, empathy, and great examples.  This book is definitely a guide as well as a pick-me-up.  This would make a great gift for that special friend! (Stephanie Rollins Book Reviews R US 2012-10-12)

Book Description

A little perspective can change everything—and owning your own perspective (with a good dose of humor) is what The Well-Lived Laugh is all about. Author Rachel St. John-Gilbert will help readers develop a perspective unique to who they are, encouraging them to find peace with their own niche in life.

Product Details

  • File Size: 461 KB
  • Print Length: 226 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1616267267
  • Publisher: Barbour Books (August 1, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0082HEFWC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #766,842 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Relief from Pressure, with a side of humor August 4, 2012
Love, love, love this book. Though Rachel's down-to-earth wit and empathy shine throughout, don't let the light-hearted cover and writing style fool you: this is a book of depth and thoughtful insight. It will relieve at least some of the pressure women feel to be everything to everyone, all the time.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun book August 8, 2012
A book to help you enjoy your life more? What a great idea! Author Rachel St. John-Gilbert does a good job of presenting her ideas on how to achieve such a life.

The author's sense of humor is the main draw to this book. You will find yourself laughing along when she tells of some of her personal experiences. Her advice following her stories is presented well. She gives Biblical reference along with her simple advice on subject's women deal with every day. From losing weight to the pressures of being a Mother, each topic discussed will help with the different situations women encounter every day.

I gave this book 4/5 stars. I thought the advice was practical as well is easy to understand. I did however think there was a little too much humor. I know that is odd to say that but sometimes less is better! The author did well getting her messages across. This would be a good book for any woman to read.

I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for the copy of this book I enjoyed reading. I gave an honest review based on my opinion of what I read.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not exactly profound... January 2, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
With all the 5 star reviews, I thought I was getting a book about facing the challenges of the human condition with humor and grace, and with some practical ideas for making positive changes. The title alone implied as much, but I have to say I was very disappointed.

I imagine if you are the target audience and are not expecting treatment of problems any deeper than the superficial, you may be able to relate to the author and enjoy the book. The target audience being upper middle class, middle age females whose "problems" consist of Madison Avenue obsessions with weight loss and fine lines or wrinkles; whether or not your BFF really likes you; and whether you're ivolved in enough volunteer clubs.

I have added this counterbalance review in the interest of saving the time of others who might also have a wrong idea of the substance of this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laugh at life's pressures. December 30, 2012
By Sharon
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Rachel St. John-Gilbert realised Oprah’s job was already taken and ” being a deep thinker and encourager by nature, I dabbled in the writing world to see if God might use these gifts in that field”.

Well Lived Laugh (Designing A Life That Keeps You Smiling) is one of her books written about ” some of the pressures that weighs on womens’ minds” and encourages the reader to ” decide for themselves how to view them”.

At the end of each chapter is a questionaire section designed to help you decide how seriously you feel pressured by that chapters topic. The questions are designed to determine whether you need to ‘ease up’ the pressure you may be putting on yourself.

Chapters deal with common pressures women face, such as weight ,youthfulness, doing it all and making something of yourself. St. John-Gilbert is know for her quirky, humourous style and the anecdotes in this book help illustrate each topic in a very low-pressure and relatable way. Yet, this is not a book about ‘giving up’ or avoiding pressure. St John-Gilbert acknowledges that ” not all pressures are bad-some are a catalyst to positive change.”

The main message is knowing your priorities. When we determine our priorities, rather than allowing outside pressures to govern us, we can live by our beliefs and actions with confidence and enthusiasm rather than burning out trying to live by standards that are imposed by society or our need to be perfect or liked
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it! November 16, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I worked at the same organization with the author many years ago and know her to be a smart, witty, and genuine individual. I am so happy to know she is positively influencing others through her entertainiing and encouraging books.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rachel St. John-Gilbert has done it again! November 11, 2012
Rachel St. John-Gilbert is a quirky and gifted author who has given the word unconventional new meaning. I love her writing, and her early books made my sides ache because I laughed so hard! Her new book, The Well-Lived Laugh, is a bit unconventional even for her, because it is a departure from her signature non-stop hilarity. This time, Rachel goes deeper. This book is not uproariously hilarious, but "upliftingly" hopeful. I didn't laugh out loud, but I smiled down deep. Rachel shifted gears by helping me shift perspective. It's made all the difference. I read this book when I was not laughing, and I didn't expect even Rachel's charming humor to hit the spot, because I was hurting. But her sensitive treatment in the chapter, "Friending and Unfriending," when my dear friend of nearly forty years had just pulled the plug on our friendship with no warning or explanation, reached a deep pain in my life with warmth and wisdom. Rachel extended an unexpected arm around the shoulder through the pages of her book, and taught me that I can still celebrate through tears. Thank you, Rachel St. John-Gilbert, for demonstrating that the well-lived laugh is really the outcome of a well-lived life. You show us how to laugh and to live so well.
--Lynn D. Morrissey, author of Love Letters to God: Deeper Intimacy through Written Prayer, speaker, soloist, and journal facilitator
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I am loving it--I am going through it with a group of ladies and it is fabulous.
Published 6 months ago by Renea Mathews
1.0 out of 5 stars couldn't get into it
I didn't finish it, maybe I wasn't in the right mood, but someone asked my opinion so there it is
Published 10 months ago by Darla Greystone
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
Rachel keeps you smiling and puts in perspective the real importance of life. I end this book feeling as I made a new friend. Design your own life that will keep you smiling.
Published 12 months ago by Jennifer Wilder
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
This book is clever, funny, and inspirational. This book is one I will reference from time to time and share with loved ones.
Published 15 months ago by Nikki Beaton
3.0 out of 5 stars Laghing
I love to laugh and I like the idea of "a life that keeps you smiling" and look forward to checking out this book.
Published 20 months ago by Doxiechick
2.0 out of 5 stars Just didn't catch my attention
It's probably a good book, but it just didn't hold my attention. Maybe I just heard it all before. I don't know what it is.
Published 21 months ago by Sue C Que
2.0 out of 5 stars well lived laugh
This book did not hold my attention at all. I thought it was going to be funny stories but if it is I have not gotten to them yet.
Published 21 months ago by L. Demro
4.0 out of 5 stars Light hearted ...
It took me awhile to finish this book ... but only because I took time for personal reflection and implementation. Read more
Published 21 months ago by FDodger_Mom
2.0 out of 5 stars Ho hum
I have a good sense of humor. I generally have a good time doing anything. There was nothing really wrong with this book, I just couldn't get through it. It was booorrrrring.
Published 21 months ago by Irene S. Blumkin
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it !!
I have read all of Rachel's books and I absolutely love her humor. I needed a pick-me-up and really found it in the pages of this last book. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Ashley
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More About the Author


Blog is up (I call it a clog for "chuckle, laugh, or giggle") at

I LOVE to hear more from Amazon Reviewers who connected with this new book--so please drop by The Well-Lived Laugh facebook page and tell me about yourself if you like!

PROFESSIONAL REVIEWER SAID: "I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS CREATIVE, EASY-READ" (Aug. 2012 CBA RETAILER & RESOURCES) This is an industry insider magazine that makes recommendations to Christian booksellers.

THE WELL-LIVED LAUGH! (Designing a Life That Keeps You Smiling) is written for women who've lived long enough to realize that life's not for sissies.

On top of that, there are so many voices out there pressuring us to conform to a myriad of ideas, values, and priorities that it can be hard to hear our own unique voice. This book is a call to do just that.

The 12 essays have been described as: "Offbeat, contemplative riffing for the unconventional woman." It has a decisively Christian bent.

Riffing is a writing style that I use liberally in this book. It's the use of "stream of consciousness" tangents that include sense‐perceptions, thoughts, feelings, and memories that pop into my head.

That said, I realize that creative writing (like art and music) is subject to personal taste and I don't expect to satiate everyone's literary appetite. So it's fun and rewarding when TWLL is "the right book at the right time" for a reader/reviewer!


1) I've been a freelance writer for 15 years. I've contributed to, edited, or written about a dozen inspirational gift books for women.

2) My first paid writing assignment was a story on garden tours for Better Homes and Gardens.

3) I am represented by a literary agent.

4) Barbour has published all 3 of my "laugh" books. They are a traditional publishing house established in 1981.

5) My husband and I met in Virginia Beach, VA and have been married for 25 years. He is an amazing father and is hugely supportive of my writing and our family life. We have a lot of rowdy fun in this house with our kids, 2 dogs, and a kitty. Our hamster's gone missing. The dogs aren't talking.

6) I have 2 school-aged daughters. One is a horse lover and comedian. The other is a ballerina/singer/music theatre junkie. The ballerina is constantly twirling into things and yells, "OW!!" a lot. The comedian relentlessly trolls for laughs--and often succeeds.

7) My son is a music theatre major at the University of Michigan. He has one of the biggest hearts for God and other people I've ever seen. Several of his peers are performing on Broadway and national tours.

8) Like many women, I have my struggles with weight, saying "So long!" to my youthful looks, being a good wife, mother, Christian, dog-mom, overall decent human being... and library patron.

9) I tend towards being an introvert though I can appear extroverted for about 3 hours. Then I need my cocoon and a nap.

10) I tend towards "realist," but have grown over time into an "Optimistic Realist."

11) I am blessed with a small, loyal circle of friends and family who anchor my life with their support and love.

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