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Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel…

by Gretchen Rubin

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6842830,544 (3.35)7
Biography & Autobiography. Home Design & DĂ©co Self-Improvemen Nonfictio HTML:In the spirit of her blockbuster #1 New York Times bestseller The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin embarks on a new project to make home a happier place.
 
One Sunday afternoon, as she unloaded the dishwasher, Gretchen Rubin felt hit by a wave of homesickness. Homesickâ??why? She was standing right in her own kitchen. She felt homesick, she realized, with love for home itself. â??Of all the elements of a happy life,â?ť she thought, â??my home is the most important.â?ť In a flash, she decided to undertake a new happiness project, and this time, to focus on home.
And what did she want from her home? A place that calmed her, and energized her. A place that, by making her feel safe, would free her to take risks. Also, while Rubin wanted to be happier at home, she wanted to appreciate how much happiness was there already.
 
So, starting in September (the new January), Rubin dedicated a school yearâ??September through Mayâ??to making her home a place of greater simplicity, comfort, and love. 
 
In The Happiness Project, she worked out general theories of happiness. Here she goes deeper on factors that matter for home, such as possessions, marriage, time, and parenthood. How can she control the cubicle in her pocket? How might she spotlight her familyâ??s treasured possessions? And it really was time to replace that dud toaster.
 
Each month, Rubin tackles a different theme as she experiments with concrete, manageable resolutionsâ??and this time, she coaxes her family to try some resolutions, as well. 
 
With her signature blend of memoir, science, philosophy, and experimentation, Rubinâ??s passion for her subject jumps off the page, and reading just a few chapters of this book will inspire readers to find more happ
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» See also 7 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
Meh. I don't do self help books...not even perky ones. Honestly, who needs a book about stuff like this? ( )
  Martialia | Sep 28, 2022 |
A sequel to THE HAPPINESS PROJECT. Gretchen Rubin once again undertakes methodical, highly planned projects, or 'resolutions', to increase her levels of happiness. It's hard for me not to relate to Gretchen, even though she does have kids. She's a redhead. She twirls her hair. "Whenever possible," she reads while she eats. She "dislike[s] talking on the phone." There's all that damn methodicalness. But maybe best of all, she flat-out refuses to try meditation.

She states up front that this is going to be HER happiness project; what works for her won't work for everyone, but there's still value in documenting her own personal journey, which can be a template or jumping-off point for readers whose mileage varies. OK, but she still gets way too deep in the weeds occasionally. I totally skipped the email exchanges with her sister about some collaboration they were going to do - I think it was a young adult mystery book? Why do I need to read all their emails about it? Suffice to say that collaboration was a source of happiness. And this weird project of building a little diorama in their kitchen cupboard also needed editing.

I like how she handles the most common criticisms leveled at her.

- "You really must meditate if you're going to say anything about happiness." Response: "Hmm."

- Paraphrasing here: But you can't aim directly at happiness; you have to simply do things that will cultivate happiness as a side effect. Response: How is that different than aiming directly at it? What concrete things are you doing to cultivate happiness as a side effect? How are they different than things you'd do to try to be happy directly? This is a really good point, once you start to think about it.

- And paraphrasing here: ugh, all those tasks you set for yourself! All those resolutions! Sounds so tiring! Happiness doesn't come from being busy. Busyness is a distraction. Response: Works for me!

Her ultimate mantra, after all, is to be herself. Which isn't a bad mantra. I wonder if she's considered meditating on it. ( )
  Tytania | Jul 13, 2022 |
It was OK.

I suppose if it had never occurred to you to create an orderly, tidy place, or to be thankful for your First-World luxuries every day, or to hug your loved ones when they come home, then hey, you'll learn tons of great tips from this book!

Maybe I'm just too happy to begin with. ( )
  FinallyJones | Nov 17, 2021 |
It was ok. Nothing really spoke to me, as Gretchen has very different tastes to me. And I had to hide the book so my husband didn't see the title and think I wasn't already "happy at home". ( )
  Griffin22 | Dec 19, 2019 |
I liked this book. It was not as good as The Happiness Project, but it met expectations as a good refresher on the previous lessons learned. I am surprised by other reviewers personal attacks against the author. What I really appreciate about her is her honesty and willingness to open up her life to help others learn about theirs. She admits her faults and owns up to her struggles. I can relate to her in a lot of ways and I'm also completely different from her in a lot of ways. We all need to be ourselves, as she continually reminds us. In showing us her journey, she helps us figure out our own. This is worth a read. ( )
  3njennn | Nov 25, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
“Self-help fans rejoice. A new book just came out that’s just as good as Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project. It’s her latest release called Happier at Home. . . Rubin’s warm, doable and sweet tips seem small when you check them off one by one. But the advice, added together, is a big ball of happy. . . Every mom will find gems in this book.”
–Parents.com
added by BeWell | editParents.com
 
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Epigraph
To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition, the end to which every enterprise and labour tends.

Samuel Johnson, The Rambler, No. 68
"Safe, safe safe," the heart of the house beats proudly. "Long years---" he sighs. "Again you found me." "Here," she murmurs, "sleeping; in the garden reading; laughing, rolling apples in the loft. Here we left our treasure---" Stooping, their light lifts the lids upon my eyes. "Safe! safe! safe!" the pulse of the house beats wildly. Waking, I cry "Oh, is this your buried treasure? The light in the heart."

Virginia Woolf, "A Haunted House"
Dedication
For Elizabeth
First words
A "happiness project" is an approach to the practice of everyday life.
Quotations
Why, I often wonder, is it difficult to push myself to do the things that bring happiness?
Current research shows, and casual observation confirms, that some people are temperamentally more cheerful or gloomy than others, and that people's ideas and behavior also affect their happiness. About 30 to 50 percent of happiness is genetically determined; about 10 to 20 percent reflects life circumstances (such as age, gender, health, marital status, income, occupation); and the rest is very much influenced by the way we think and act. We possess considerable power to push ourselves to the top or bottom of our natural range through our conscious actions and thoughts.
We often deny the importance of possessions, or feel embarrassed by our enthusiasm for them, but the desire to possess has roots very deep in human nature.
There's a lassitude deep in my soul; I always have to fight my urge to do nothing.
"Wear everything, as much as you can," she advised. "Wear it out! It's not doing any good hanging in your closet. And instead of wearing the same few things over and over, try to wear all your clothes."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Biography & Autobiography. Home Design & DĂ©co Self-Improvemen Nonfictio HTML:In the spirit of her blockbuster #1 New York Times bestseller The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin embarks on a new project to make home a happier place.
 
One Sunday afternoon, as she unloaded the dishwasher, Gretchen Rubin felt hit by a wave of homesickness. Homesickâ??why? She was standing right in her own kitchen. She felt homesick, she realized, with love for home itself. â??Of all the elements of a happy life,â?ť she thought, â??my home is the most important.â?ť In a flash, she decided to undertake a new happiness project, and this time, to focus on home.
And what did she want from her home? A place that calmed her, and energized her. A place that, by making her feel safe, would free her to take risks. Also, while Rubin wanted to be happier at home, she wanted to appreciate how much happiness was there already.
 
So, starting in September (the new January), Rubin dedicated a school yearâ??September through Mayâ??to making her home a place of greater simplicity, comfort, and love. 
 
In The Happiness Project, she worked out general theories of happiness. Here she goes deeper on factors that matter for home, such as possessions, marriage, time, and parenthood. How can she control the cubicle in her pocket? How might she spotlight her familyâ??s treasured possessions? And it really was time to replace that dud toaster.
 
Each month, Rubin tackles a different theme as she experiments with concrete, manageable resolutionsâ??and this time, she coaxes her family to try some resolutions, as well. 
 
With her signature blend of memoir, science, philosophy, and experimentation, Rubinâ??s passion for her subject jumps off the page, and reading just a few chapters of this book will inspire readers to find more happ

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One Sunday afternoon, as she unloaded the dishwasher, Gretchen Rubin felt hit by a wave of homesickness. Homesick—why? She was standing right in her own kitchen. She felt homesick, she realized, with love for home itself. “Of all the elements of a happy life,” she thought, “my home is the most important.” In a flash, she decided to undertake a new happiness project, and this time, to focus on home.

And what did she want from her home? A place that calmed her, and energized her. A place that, by making her feel safe, would free her to take risks. Also, while Rubin wanted to be happier at home, she wanted to appreciate how much happiness was there already.
 
So, starting in September (the new January), Rubin dedicated a school year—September through May—to making her home a place of greater simplicity, comfort, and love.
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