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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 (2009)

by Gretchen Rubin

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,7851782,307 (3.61)78
A thoughtful and prescriptive work on happiness filled with practical advice, sharp insight, charm, and humor. 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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» See also 78 mentions

English (176)  Spanish (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (178)
Showing 1-5 of 176 (next | show all)
Returned to library. Will revisit just didn't have the time to read and think about it right now.
  hmonkeyreads | Jan 25, 2024 |
As usual, I thoroughly yet enjoyed another book about how to make your life better. This time the focus was how to find happiness. If Gretchen had not gone into spiritual, it would have been five stars. However, I think she is way off the mark to think Buddhism is the secret to a good life. I know that is a difference of religious opinion, but for me to ignore it is for me to deny what I personally know as a true and and authentic Christian life. Instead of harping on a decision that is a life choice, and in the spirit of trying to keep the peace and be happy as the book quite frequently suggests, I pray that the author's choice of a higher realm of thinking will conclude one day in a way that she will realize what the ultimate happiness is. I still feel that a lot can be gained from this book to make one question how words and actions can directly influence your own personal happiness. Be warned, this book is LONG and can't be read quickly to fully digest it. ( )
  doehlberg63 | Dec 2, 2023 |
3.5 stars

I love goals. I love making them and tracking them, and I love hearing others' goals and their progress on reaching them. So naturally, I enjoyed Gretchen's project. I appreciated that she included examples of her successes and failures. I liked that she incorporated statistics/studies into her book, but correlated them to her challenges, making them more memorable.

I have to admit, her "Secrets of Adulthood" and "Splendid Truths" were a bit much for me, and she kept repeating them over and over again... After she began including comments from her blog, I also started to tire of that - a few well-placed comments would have been fine, but sometimes she included so many that they went on for pages and simply felt like filler. The book could have easily been reduced by 50-100 pages.

There's nothing new or profound in this book (there usually isn't in this kind of writing) but it was still a fun read. ( )
  RachelRachelRachel | Nov 21, 2023 |
A great book!
I like the tone of the author - it is not preachy. Mrs.Rubin didn't adopt an attitude where she dictates the reader "to do this", "don't do this" , "do this at your peril".
Instead, she puts forth her thoughts on happiness and explains the approach she adopted to maximize happiness in her life. I liked a few ideas the book offered. For example, maintaining a one-sentence journal for each day in life.
The book is insightful and practical.
( )
  harishwriter | Oct 12, 2023 |
recommended by AP English listserv
  pollycallahan | Jul 1, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 176 (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)
 

» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gretchen Rubinprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bernard, DaphnéTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Borda, JulietteCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cipriano, EllenDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ferguson, ArchieCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gittinger, AntoinetteÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kord, RussellCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lenth, LarsOvers.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Van Bree, ChristineCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Walendowska, MonikaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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
First words
A "happiness project" is an approach to changing your life. (A Note to the Reader)
I'd always vaguely expected to outgrow my limitations.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

A thoughtful and prescriptive work on happiness filled with practical advice, sharp insight, charm, and humor. 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.

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Book description
Contents:
January, Vitality: boost energy -- February, Marriage: remember love -- March, Work: aim higher -- April, Parenthood: lighten up -- May, Leisure: be serious about play -- June, Friendship: make time for friends -- July, Money: buy some happiness -- August, Eternity: contemplate the heavens -- September, Books: pursue a passion -- October, Mindfulness: pay attention -- November, Attitude: keep a contented heart -- December, Happiness: boot camp perfect -- Your happiness project -- Further reading.

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