Friday, February 26, 2010

The Happiness Project

Author: Gretchen Rubin
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Harper; 1 edition (December 29, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0061583251

Book Description:
Gretchen Rubin had an epiphany one rainy afternoon in the unlikeliest of places: a city bus. "The days are long, but the years are short," she realized. "Time is passing, and I'm not focusing enough on the things that really matter." In that moment, she decided to dedicate a year to her happiness project.

In this lively and compelling account of that year, Rubin carves out her place alongside the authors of bestselling memoirs such as Julie and Julia, The Year of Living Biblically, and Eat, Pray, Love. With humor and insight, she chronicles her adventures during the twelve months she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific research, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier.

Rubin didn't have the option to uproot herself, nor did she really want to; instead she focused on improving her life as it was. Each month she tackled a new set of resolutions: give proofs of love, ask for help, find more fun, keep a gratitude notebook, forget about results. She immersed herself in principles set forth by all manner of experts, from Epicurus to Thoreau to Oprah to Martin Seligman to the Dalai Lama to see what worked for her—and what didn't.

Her conclusions are sometimes surprising—she finds that money can buy happiness, when spent wisely; that novelty and challenge are powerful sources of happiness; that "treating" yourself can make you feel worse; that venting bad feelings doesn't relieve them; that the very smallest of changes can make the biggest difference—and they range from the practical to the profound.

Written with charm and wit, The Happiness Project is illuminating yet entertaining, thought-provoking yet compulsively readable. Gretchen Rubin's passion for her subject jumps off the page, and reading just a few chapters of this book will inspire you to start your own happiness project.

About the Author
Gretchen Rubin is the author of several books, including the bestselling Forty Ways to Look at Winston Churchill and Forty Ways to Look at JFK. Rubin began her career in law, and she was clerking for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor when she realized that she really wanted to be a writer. Raised in Kansas City, she lives in New York City with her husband and two young daughters.
(Thank you to the author for my review copy.)

8 comments:

A Joyful Chaos said...

Thanks for the review. I will put this book on my reading list.

Linda said...

I'm reading it right now, and I'm enjoying it. I haven't had lots of time to sit with it, I'm taking it slowly--more in a month by month approach like it's laid out in the book.

destrella said...

This book sounds wonderful. Thanks for the review! :O)

Kathy Waller said...

Thanks for the review. I've been wishing for a "compulsively readable" book." This one is going to the top of my list.

Sonya said...

Oh great....I saw this in the store and wanted to buy it. I have so many books in my "library" (a shelf with about 40 books on it). But now I may have to put it on a my next year's Christmas list. ha. Thanks for the review. It looked like it would be good. We all need a happiness project. I've spent a few blog entries not long ago about finding the happy spot and not letting others determine the outcome of your day. lol

Joanne said...

Hi Barbara, I'm "happy" to click over to visit you from Linda's, only to find The Happiness Project here. It's a great book, and I agree with Linda that it is the type of read that doesn't have to be finished in one sitting, but can be almost used as an inspiration/reference.

Just stopping in to say Hi, hope all is well. You have some great reviews going on here! Have a great weekend :)

オテモヤン said...
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Brooklyn Book Lover said...

I need a bit of happiness right about now. Maybe this book will place me on the right path. It sounds like a good read.