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The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
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The Happiness Project (original 2009; edition 2009)

by Gretchen Rubin

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2,4691292,483 (3.65)61
Member:mattparfitt
Title:The Happiness Project
Authors:Gretchen Rubin
Info:HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
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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 (128)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (129)
Showing 1-5 of 128 (next | show all)
I "read" the audiobook version which is narrated by the author. I found some helpful tips in this book. Some chapters really didn't apply to my life, but I enjoyed hearing about the author's struggles with her monthly resolutions. A nice feature is that Gretchen Rubin has posted lots of helpful tools online for free to help readers start their own happiness projects. ( )
  DrApple | Apr 11, 2016 |
because of a high hold list I'm returning this book unfinished...however, I did skim through and take notes and will re check out.
two people's opinion I value when it comes to book recommendations gave differing opinions/reviews on this book so I started it expecting nothing. I was hooked immediately as I identified with some of Gretchen's goals. I agree with the person who gave it a low review stating it was common sense but it was just the motivation I needed. The other woman said she loved the concrete examples given...me too! Some of what was on Gretchen's list was on my list or I was already in the process of. Maybe it was the validation I needed. It gave me a place to start as I had all this "stuff" written everywhere and on my mental "to do" list. I looked at her months of tasks and picked one that fit my most need to do and started there. (It really helped that some of these months I was already in the process of ...yea,me!) I love the 12 commandment idea...working on that list.
( )
  SkiKatt68 | Feb 26, 2016 |
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
292 pages

★★★ ½

I wasn’t sure how I would like this book, there were a fair amount of poor reviews mostly stemming from people thinking this author was self-absorbent. But as I started to read the book it hit me more and more, why aren’t people allowed to be self-absorbent once in awhile? Where does it say that people can’t focus and improve on themselves? Gretchen Rubin has a good job, a good husband, two wonderful children, and an overall great life but she feels something is missing. She feels like while she has all these great things, she spends so much time worrying and focusing on other things that she isn’t properly happy with those things right in front of her so she vows to change things to put herself, and subsequently others around her, in a happier place.

I kept going back and forth on this book on whether to give it a 3 or 4 star rating and ended up going down the middle of those two. The concept is a good one if not completely original, who doesn’t look for a little bit of extra happiness in their life? I started out really enjoying this book and thought it was a 4 star but somewhere along the line it became somewhat repetitive. Also, I found myself annoyed by her use of other people’s responses to her blog posts – this is her story, not everyone else’s – and I felt like it was more a filler than a necessity for the most part. With that being said, I can see how many of her resolutions can be helpful and while I haven’t really jumped to try any of them yet, it’s something I might try at some point. Other resolutions of hers just didn’t resonate but again, this was her story, not mine (she does point out that everyone’s project would be different and molded to fit that persons needs). The back of the book is filled with some helpful hints to keep to some common goals and I am interested in some of the suggested readings. A quick, cheerful read with a sweet ending.
( )
  UberButter | Feb 9, 2016 |
I loved this book. I know some others have complained about her being a bit pretentious and I do feel like she's coming from a very privileged place, but I also think that she's pretty aware of that. I appreciate that she includes so much research and quotes from a variety of sources- philosophers, self-help guides, etc. I also found that though the overall scope of her project is kind of daunting, that it contained a lot of really practical advice. I'm sort of surprised by how much I've enjoyed it, but I've also noticed that I've started working little things that she's mentioned into my daily life. ( )
  lovelypenny | Feb 4, 2016 |
I enjoyed the book and would give it 3 out of 5 stars. I like the way the information was presented and Rubin included some lovely quotes sprinkled throughout the chapters. I thought she was funny, and I was able to relate to her in a lot of ways since we are both Type A personalities. However, there *were* a few times that I thought she was kind of whiny or bitchy, but you can't really expect for someone to be likable 100% of the time.

The book is separated into a chapter for each month and each month she focuses on a different topic. In the month's main topic, she sets a few goals/things to work on. The subjects she covers are:
Jan: Boost Energy
Feb: Improve Marriage
Mar: Work Harder at Job
Apr: Be a Better Mom
May: Spend Time on Play/Hobbies
Jun: Be a Better Friend
Jul: Use Money to Improve Happiness
Aug: Focus on Spirituality
Sep: Pursue a Passion (She chose books)
Oct: Mindfulness/Enjoy the Now
Nov: Good Attitude/Manners
Dec: She aimed for perfection in all of the previous month's topics

I particularly enjoyed reading the improving marriage, spending time on play, and spirituality sections. I felt like there was some good information/viewpoints to absorb from those chapters. I especially liked that her spirituality section was from more of an agnostic point of view focusing primarily on gratitude, so I felt that it could be beneficial to believers and non-believers alike.

However, I feel that her sections on work and money are not full of a lot of particularly good information for the large majority of people. Rubin leads an exceptionally blessed life in that she has plenty of money and that she works from home. Not that I begrudge her this, but I just feel that not a lot of people can relate. In the money section, she says that you should indulge in a modest splurge on something. She proceeds to "modestly splurge" on a LOT of things over the course of the book. Buying a brand new fancy book collection just for the hell of it is not an option for a lot of people. As for the work section, she mainly discusses how she starts a blog. Not helpful to most people. She also includes a weird letter she emailed to someone who gave her book a bad review. I feel like it would have been keeping more to her own goals to have accepted the bad criticism and moved on, rather than feeling the need to defend herself to some random reviewer she didn't know personally.

Anyway, as a whole, the book was enjoyable. It was a quick read and I would recommend it. Although at times, Rubin comes across as slightly disingenuous, she is very relatable, funny, and intelligent, and I would definitely read more from her. I would also read this book again, because overall, I found it to be encouraging and a good motivator to focus on your goals. ( )
  AlbinoRhino | Feb 1, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 128 (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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