Saturday, 3 September 2011

Book Review - The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin



I wish I could remember who told me about this book, I want to go back and give them a huge hug, for introducing me to a book that might just be life changing.


As you can probably tell I really loved The Happiness Project, which is why it's getting a mention here, when it's not YA. Normally I am not a fan of self help books, and I hesitate to call The Happiness Project that. It's more an inspirational memoir of one woman's year. I started my own Happiness Project on the 1st September and I do hope I'll keep going for the whole year. I even set up a blog to detail it all (but I've failed to post there yet - excellent start right?)


The Happiness Project is a really nice mix of Gretchen Rubin's own Happiness Project and all the books she's read on happiness (there are a lot) I loved all the research she did from Ben Franklin to St. Thérèse. She splits the book into twelve months and focuses on a different area of her life each month - love, work, parenthood, etc. I found most of the scientific and psychological research she shared fascinating. I love stuff like that.  I was also completely involved in her story, it was like reading about a friend. She's very honest, and I felt like I knew her by the end of the book. I was also deadly jealous inspired when she set up a book group for adults who love YA .


I think most people will feel a connection to Gretchen Rubin when they read this, due to her style of writing, and the fact that a lot of the small barriers to happiness are things we all deal with but don't give much thought too. For example I would never claim that a pile of papers and junk mail on the side makes me unhappy, but it does annoy me and some days it can be the tipping point. Frequently I look back and realize  I got upset about the small stuff to avoid getting upset about the big stuff. If the small stuff is sorted though then the big stuff becomes more manageable. Or so I'm hoping.


Even if you're a generally upbeat, happy person, I think The Happiness Project is worth reading. It's a great reminder of how important the small things are, and how we should make the most of, and appreciate each moment. As my favourite quote from the book goes "The days are long, but the years are short."






 Gretchen Rubin also has an excellent blog The Happiness Project

4 comments:

  1. Fantastic review! The Happiness Project is not my usual type of read but it sounds like such a positive read :)

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  2. I've heard a lot of good things about this book. I love the philosophy and that quote at the end is just fabulous! :)

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  3. I've never heard of this book before but thanks to your great review (as always) I'm going to have to invest.


    http://keepcalmandbookworm.blogspot.com/

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  4. Well, I'll give you a big hug since you recommended it to me! I too started a project on September 1st. Throughout the book, Rubin writes reminders that she's actually already pretty happy, but she wants to be stronger and happier so that when that inevitable "phone call" comes, she'll be able to deal with it. A week after reading it, I got one of those phone calls and I think, even though I hadn't started my own project yet, just knowing that I had plans to, and then implementing those plans helped me get through. Not that I'm through yet, as it hasn't even been two weeks since the phone call, but the book has been helpful in that respect. And my house is cleaner, too as that's one thing that really makes me unhappy...a messy house!

    Hugs to you Alexa,
    Love, Joelle

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I adore comments, so thanks so much for taking the time. I'll try and return the favour :D