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The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a…

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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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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Showing 1-5 of 119 (next | show all)
I have mixed feelings about this book. On one hand it's very useful in terms of providing me with tips and things I can integrate into my life to be more positive. On the other hand, the tone, writing style and the author's personality and some of the thoughts and conclusions generated often felt wrong, misguided or just rubbed me the wrong way. Many of her insights about the project, meaning of happiness, observations and conclusion felt shallow especially since I've just come off of reading several great books of essays --- Meghan Daum's Unspeakable, Heidi Julavits' Folded Clocks, The Wave in the Mind by Ursula Le Guin. I'm very aware that it may be unfair of me to compare a self help book with works from great essayists, but I expected a journey through happiness to result in deeper insights about self

This book is not a particularly well-written or particularly deep and meaningful look into a woman's journey into self-discovery.
But it is GREAT for anyone looking for ideas and inspiration to lead a more positive life (though be warned that its most useful when your baseline is already pretty happy). None of the ideas here are new and some of them are somewhat muddled - forcing yourself to push down anger, resentment and pretend to be nicer all the time is not a good long-term solution on the journey towards happy, no matter how much the author insists on it, but the book does provide a info and tidbits that I will keep in mind and put use. ( )
  chuchu | Nov 17, 2015 |
I saw this book at the store the other day in passing and decided to give it a try. I liked the way Ms. Ruben set up her book. The by-month system worked well for me as a reader and I liked that I could organize her thoughts.

I enjoyed the way Ms. Ruben always gave examples of what she was up to and how she did or didn't accomplish her resolution. I did not like the many many pages devoted to what her blog commenters had to say about certain things. Don't get me wrong, I love to hear what others have to say but not in your book that is about YOUR project. An interjection with a commenter's thought or quote here and there would have been sufficient, not in every chapter after she made her blog.

I loved getting to know Ms. Ruben's family. I have never met her, her children, or her husband but I feel like I know them all and would be thrilled to meet any of them. I liked how Ms. Ruben didn't place herself on a pedistal or sell herself short. Her account of the project seemed very accurate and I liked that she included her triumphs and her failures.

I enjoyed this book very much and would love to read others like it by Ms. Ruben. As far as setting up your own Happiness Project the book gives a general outline on how to do it but I think in order to attempt it myself I would need more help than just the book provided.

Also, she included a suggested reading section that rocked. My favorite part of the book! ( )
  mojo09226 | Nov 12, 2015 |
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. ( )
  writerfidora | Oct 26, 2015 |
There was some good information here that she provided, but the problem was the lack of citations. She tossed out research without any mention where it came from along with footnotes for further review. A little unexpected due to her experience with court system.

The real interest for me was her revealing of her own character and her relationship with others. I don't believe she knew how much she was showing the reader.

I will use some things in the book to grow myself, but I don't feel the hodge podge of different practices really apply to me. ( )
  wvlibrarydude | Sep 6, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 119 (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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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
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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