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Use All The Crayons!: The Colorful Guide To Simple Human Happiness Paperback – February 16, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse (February 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1469709422
  • ISBN-13: 978-1469709420
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,522,951 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

From Readers' Favorites
5-Stars (out of 5)
A fun read about being happy, no matter what your circumstances. Rodell really delivers on the premise that colorful people have all the fun and are typically happy. Following his suggestions assures you'll laugh and people who laugh live longer! 


From ForeWord Clarion Reviews
5-Star (out of 5)
Chris Rodell's Use All the Crayons is a colorful, humorous, and well-written guide to making the most out of life. Rodell Many of the items serve the dual and welcome purpose of entertaining even as they inspire. Use All the Crayons promises to cheer and inspire readers to live more compassionate and colorful lives.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Author

This book doesn't promise to make you happy, but it'll make you more fun and more interesting - more colorful. A healthy and aware happiness is bound to ensue. Happy people, you see, aren't necessarily colorful, but colorful people are universally happy.  People resent happy people. They invite colorful people to all the coolest parties.
I've never had a lot of money. In fact, for many, many years my idea of a splurge has been to order a pizza with pepperoni and sausage. But since kindergarten, I've never lacked for friends, laughs, or love. I'm no smarter than most, less ambitious than all but a handful, and I'm freighted with a god-given laziness that has stifled any natural abilities others would have successfully exploited to their prosperous advantage.
About five ago, just as America began hitting an historic rough patch, it began to dawn on me things weren't working out so well for me either. I was constantly broke. Anticipated breakthroughs never materialized. I'd once been considered a promising young writer. With my forty-fifth birthday behind me, I was no longer young and any promise seemed to have vanished.
That was all a bit surprising to an optimist like me. But what was even more surprising was how pleased I was with my joyful little life. I was happy. I had a lovely wife and two beautiful daughters. We had a host of dedicated friends and seemed to attract squads of lively new ones with carefree frequency. Each day was filled with laughter and fun.
As a freelance writer, I'd awoken unemployed for the past twenty years with a natural obligation to find something fun or lucrative to do. I was paid meager sums to write scattered features and occasional essays for magazines like Esquire, Sports Illustrated, Men's Health, Golf and other top magazines. It sounded prestigious but the reality is I haven't earned more than $21,700 during the last four years and just a bit more than half that in the lampblack days of 2009. With professional prospects dim, I turned to blogging, the last refuge of the under-employed writer who still believes he has something to say. I called my blog EightDaysToAmish.com, a grim nod to the fact that I always seemed like I was a little over a week away from having to do things like churn my own butter and try raising two sassy daughters without things like electricity or gas-powered transportation.
On some days I'd work. 
Many days I did not. Neither did my darling wife. She did part-time editing jobs and became one of those maniacal coupon clippers, the tearing din of scissors snipping paper becoming the soundtrack of our evenings.
Like America, we were broke. We'd pilfered most of our savings. We cut back on insurance and health care. Every gauge we've been conditioned to check said we should have been unhappy, distraught, angry. Yet we were not. For anyone raised to equate income with self-worth, it was a little disorienting.
Money wasn't buying our happiness.
What was?
I decided to make a little list. I jotted down the things that made me laugh or feel soulful. For instance, I'd play precocious little pranks on my unsuspecting wife. She'd recruit our daughters in score-evening schemes. I daydreamed about how the world could be a better place -- fax leftovers to the starving (see no. 334)! -- and I wrote down what I thought. The little list began to grow.
You're holding the result in your hands.
We as a nation remain mired in the midst of an historically difficult time. Many of us are out of work or underemployed. Yet, some of us continue to steadfastly confound the pollsters by saying we've never felt more optimistic about our shared futures. We believe we've survived the worst and our best days still lie ahead.
Maybe we're simultaneously discovering that the excesses of the past decades weren't what mattered. It's all the little moments of mortar between the big ones that do. Here are five hundred tips that will give your day a little jolt of joy. Feel free to work the suggestions into your world and add your own.
Rich or poor, it's up to each of us to color our lives as we see fit. We can sketch them out in uniformly dark colors or we can use all the crayons. 
It's up to you.
I hope to see you at the party.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

More About the Author

Chris Rodell is a Latrobe, Pennsylvania, based writer who has taught creative non-fiction at Point Park University in Pittsburgh. He writes weekly offbeat travel features for msnbc.com and has written features and essays for Esquire, Cooking Light, People, Maxim, Men's Health, Playboy, Golf, Details and Arnold Palmer's Kingdom Magazine. He is the timeline curator for www.ArnoldPalmer.com and blogs at www.EightDaysToAmish.com. He has written for many of the most prestigious magazines in America and been rejected by the rest. He will write for anyone who'll pay him. He is a PROSEtitute.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Chris Rodell has written a superb, easy, and fun to read book.
Zadatz
Some of my favorite tips are the ones that show us how to make the world a better place without becoming a sign-carrying activist.
BeckeyT
This is an easy reading book I can grab anytime, open to any page that will soon get me smiling!
FishChick

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kathryn Magendie VINE VOICE on June 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
Where has this little book been all my life? It was pure joy from beginning to end. Coincidentally, I needed this joy when I picked up Rodell's book -- I'd been feeling stressed and anxious and worried about my writing life, my novels, my this, my that. But as I read this humorous manual on how to live our lives in a state of gratitude and fun and joy and color, things began to take on perspective, and even better: I laughed out loud. I grinned. I said, "omg that is SO corny!" but then I'd laugh again.

Packed with wisdom and wit and humor and love, this book was a complete delight. I'll be reading it again, mulling over passages, thinking about how life really is as simple as a box of crayons to color in and out of the lines and we can use them all. We can lead lives of bright beauty and we can laugh at ourselves and we can be the kind of people we have always looked up to.

There isn't a preachy bone in this book's body, so don't worry you will be handed out advice with a side of pointy finger or "tsk tsk" or told how lacking you have been and now you'll be told The Right Way - no, this book takes you by the hand and leads you just where you always wanted to go: to light, to thankfulness, to fun, to joy--to color.

I couldn't help but wonder why "Use all the Crayons" wasn't picked up by an agent or larger publisher, for this is a book that should be read and read often. Well-written, well-edited, and full of truth, honesty, slap-dab good old gooey good stuff, this is a book I will purchase as gifts for loved ones and friends.

Need a pick-me-up? - then pick-up this book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer K. Gibbons on January 31, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Chris Rodell hasn't had an easy time of it the past couple of years-like many people his family has been affected by the economic downturn. Yet he tries to find joy and happiness wherever he goes. He gives funny insightful suggestions throughout the book to help people find their own happiness (Adopting a new pet from a shelter every ten years; celebrating Larry Linville's birthday by embracing your inner crank) My favorite was figuring out your phone number by letters. For Mr. Rodell's information, mine is BUGG-HUGG. An inspirational pick-me up without being mauldin.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By N. B. Smith on December 21, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Alternating ways to brighten and color the world around you, Chris Rodell adds in his Colorful days diary entries elaborating some of his suggestions more fully. Lots of both thoughtful and humorous ideas are interspersed throughout. I know many of them are worth revisiting and will be in the future when my life needs some more color. Laugh out moments as well as more seriousness can be found throughout, but don't forget No. 501, either. Enough said except for get a copy of your own (and help out an author).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By FishChick on December 14, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an easy reading book I can grab anytime, open to any page that will soon get me smiling! Kudos to Chris Rodell on this fun book! I love that I have it on my iPad!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert Kalinsky on September 1, 2012
Format: Paperback
I bought this book for our twins believing is was more geared towards children. I was pleasantly surprised to discover this book is for adults. I have made it our lone coffee table book. I have read Mr. Rodell's book at least three times and continuously laugh out load and quote passages to my wife.

I highly recommend this book. It is a perfect read for an airplane, as it fits nicely in a briefcase or purse.

When will the sequel be published?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By okiereader on August 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
"Use All the Crayons" makes a perfect gift. With his essays and quick tips on making life more meaningful and joyful, Chris Rodell hits all the notes. It's spiritual without being soppy, practical, funny and, occasionally, a little naughty. This is a book to savor a bit at a time -- then come back and do it all over again. It's great for a quick pick-me-up and you don't have to keep track of the plot. Rodell combines thoughfulness (Tip #122 "Extravagantly overtip friendly, underpaid waitresses who often spend long days and nights away from small children to bring you a hot meal. At night when they go home and are soaking their aching fee, they say prayers asking God to bless people like you."), odd facts like "a regulation No. 2 pencil ...contains enough pencil lead to write a straight unbroken line for thirty-five miles (#191) with off-the-wall suggestions like "Someday, just for the fun of it, stand on a busy street corner and bark into the cell phone, 'No! No! No! The incision should be made behind the left ear! The left ear!" A perfectly delightful little book.
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By BeckeyT on January 5, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"All hail toothpaste" is the first line in tip #424, which goes on to explain in logical detail why that's a good thing to do. Whether you need a laugh, a fresh idea, an inspirational thought, a tidbit of new knowledge, or a doorway to a new adventure, this creative book has something for you. Seldom have I seen a book with such wide-spread appeal. And just when you think you've started to understand the author, he throws a curve ball that takes you in a different direction. Some of my favorite tips are the ones that show us how to make the world a better place without becoming a sign-carrying activist. For example, tip #147 suggests writing fan mail to actors and musicians who are well past their prime; think of what that would mean to them. This really is a great book!
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