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The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a…
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The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the… (original 2009; edition 2010)

by Gretchen Rubin

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Member:Wynter58
Title:The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun
Authors:Gretchen Rubin
Info:Harper (2010), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 301 pages
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The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin (2009)

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English (113)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (114)
Showing 1-5 of 113 (next | show all)
I liked this book more than I expected to. The author talks about her attempt, through the course of the year, to find small things she could do to make her life happier, and she explains that other people could do this, to, but the things they would choose might be different things, and different results. I admit that there were several things she did or talked that I don't agree with or I don't think they would work in my life. However, there were many things I did like, and I felt like she presented a good case, through her example, about how we can make goals (she calls them "resolutions") to do small things to gradually increase our own happiness and the happiness of others around us. ( )
  AdrienneJS | May 18, 2015 |
Reread for the Book Club May 2015. ( )
  aine.fin | May 8, 2015 |
An inspiring, down-to-earth novel about a woman trying to boost her happiness in a year through a series of resolutions.

Gretchen Rubin's project is easy to read, humorous, and filled with warmth. She is positive about her successful resolutions, wryly rueful about the failures, and doesn't shy away from her faults, but accepts them. I'll admit, as she herself notes, I was skeptical when I read about her life. She's a published author married to a loving husband with two beautiful girls. She mentions that money is not an issue for her. She has never suffered debilitating illness or personal tragedy that she revealed. And she thinks she isn't happy? This could have so easily come across as a shallow, vain attempt at depth, or a cheap gimmick to score a book deal, but Rubin's style is so honest that it's difficult, if not impossible, to enjoy reading about her year.

More importantly, however, this book isn't just a memoir of an interesting project, it's a guide. She includes quotes from her research into the nature of happiness, stresses that everyone's own journey will be different, and provides ample resources for people striving to find their own happiness. It's a toolkit as much as a novel.

Although my own situation makes it impossible to start a true happiness project at this point in time, I did find it inspiring - for one thing, here is a woman who shares my enthusiasm for decluttering!

Normally, I would have dismissed this book as self-help pop-psychology mumbo-jumbo and never looked twice, but for whatever reason, I picked it up, and found myself pleasantly surprised. She never takes the role of spiritual leader or drill sergeant or anything other than an ordinary woman who wants to be a little bit happier - and that is something that we can all admire and strive for ourselves. ( )
  kittyjay | Apr 23, 2015 |
I hope it's not the best book I'll ever read on happiness, but it does deserve more than 4 stars. I'm putting a bunch from her bibliography on my to-read shelf! I liked especially her quotes from people who commented on her blogs. My copy is from the library but there is so much good advice it'd be worth trying to buy a copy for yourself. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
The biggest problem of this book is its lack of references. A single page wouldn't even pass as a Wikipedia article or a school paper. It has no bibliography, no page of references, no footnotes. Every statement starts with "studies show..." and similar; however, the research in question is never mentioned or acknowledged. Many of the things the author says throughout the book may very well be true, but without references, we'll never know.
Other, less serious problems include the overwhelming amount of quotes and blog posts, which make at least half of the book a copy-paste, and its unscientific approach.
Regardless of the above, the book has a certain something that resounded with me (and many other people as shown by its sheer success), it made me think and consider happiness from an interesting angle. I can't really say I liked it, but I can't say it was a waste of time, either. ( )
  JorgeCarvajal | Feb 13, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 113 (next | show all)
A fun, funny and wise book written by Gretchen Rubin, a regular HuffingtonPost.com contributor, it's a distillation of the wisdom of the ages on happiness. It provides eminently practical ways to amplify your happiness pretty much immediately (e.g. gossip less; exercise more; launch a pet project).

(Video review follows)
 
I had fun reading about Rubin's triumphs, insights, and failures. She's honest about her frustrating experiences, which are often more interesting that her successful ones.
 
If you are interested in clarifying your reasons to become uncluttered, are looking to be happier, or simply enjoy the genre of “a year in the life” style books, I recommend checking out The Happiness Project. It’s a great reminder for not letting the joys of life pass you by.
added by bongiovi | editUnclutterer Blog (Dec 29, 2009)
 
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Epigraph
Samuel Johnson: "As the Spanish proverb says, 'He, who would bring home the wealth of the Indies, must carry the wealth of the Indies with him."
—James Boswell, The life of Samuel Johnson
There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy.
—Robert Louis Stevenson
Dedication
For My Family
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On the outside, Gretchen Rubin had it all--a good marriage, healthy children and a successful career--but something was missing. Determined to end that nagging feeling, she set out on a year-long quest to learn how to better enjoy the life she already had. Each month, Gretchen pursued a different set of resolutions--go to sleep earlier, tackle a nagging task, bring people together, take time to be silly. She read everything from classical philosophy to cutting-edge scientific studies, from Winston Churchill to Oprah, developing her own definition of happiness and a plan for how to achieve it. She kept track of which resolutions worked and which didn't, sharing her stories and collecting those of others. Bit by bit, she began to appreciate and amplify the happiness in her life. With a wicked sense of humour and sharp insight, Gretchen's story will inspire readers to embrace the pleasure in their lives.--From publisher description.… (more)

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