Book Review: The Happiness Project

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happinessprojectThe 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

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

While I appreciated the tone of Rubin’s writing, the depth of her research on the topic of happiness, and the overall organisation of the project, I found the read itself to be a slog. This is likely because I was already familiar with (and a little tired of) the premise through undertaking my own self-improvement projects. My friend Mako’s review of the book was so glowing that I wanted to read the book to find my excitement for self-improvement again. The truth is that whereas Rubin’s book would have been an exciting, inspiring read a year ago, I’m now the wrong audience for it. And I’m okay with that.

One quote did resonate with me: “All this thinking about fun made me realize that I had to make time for it. Too often, I’d give up fun in order to work….In fact, though, turning from one chore to another just made me feel trapped and drained….Fun is energizing.” It sure is.

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: The Happiness Project

  1. Melissa Mencotti

    Funny you should write what you did. I bought this about two years ago and have not even come close to finishing it!

  2. Mako

    I never read this sort of book, and my expectations were low going in, so I was pleasantly surprised and delighted that it wasn’t absolute crap lol. I was also just observing her project, not considering or attempting to do my own, so that certainly influenced my enjoyment of the book. I recommended it to someone and their first question was “Oh, are you doing that?” and I was like “No?” It hadn’t even occurred to me, nor does her specific way of doing things really jive with my specific way of doing things (all those lists!). I dug it as a interesting collection of quotes and ideas, not as a template, guide or judgment, etc.

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