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Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson, and My Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life
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Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson, and My Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life

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3.43 of 5 stars 3.43  ·  rating details  ·  7,205 ratings  ·  1,092 reviews
134175 KB
8 Parts
9 hours 20 minutes
Audiobook, OverDrive WMA Audiobook, 0 pages
Published September 4th 2012 by Books On Tape (first published January 1st 2012)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Karla Starr
Long story short, ugh. I loved The Happiness Project so much that I became a superfan, and wanted to read all I could about Gretchen Rubin. A NY Times article, "On Top of the Happiness Racket" (and a New Yorker Talk of the Town piece) about her revealed how much about her home life she'd kept from the readers: she lives in a triplex in the Upper East Side, and husband Jamie is "a senior partner at BC Partners, a hedge fund. Nor does she mention that her father-in-law, known to readers as the sag ...more
Jamie
I wanted to like this book. It actually makes me a little sad that I really don't. I found that this book is so close to being a carbon copy of The Happiness Project that I had a "haven't I read this before?" sensation throughout. I haven't read her blog regularly in ages, and I haven't read her other book in quite a while, but still I have the feeling--repeatedly--that I've read this before.

Many of the resolutions the author picked are the same or nearly the same as her previous resolutions. Wi
...more
Lindsaygail
I've read The Happiness Project several times now, and I always take away something more from it than I did in previous readings, so I was very excited to read Happier at Home. I was not disappointed. I love how Rubin finds ways to enjoy her life more without changing her life dramatically. And, being a homebody myself, I loved the focus of this book on making ordinary living more enjoyable and fulfilling by appreciating what you already have and working to make the home a happy place. I think t ...more
Gabrielle W.
I really didn't like this book. At times it was OK and I liked it, but most of the time (most of what I read) is common sense or something I already knew (i.e. don't hang onto possessions that don't make you happy. Don't roll your eyes. Under react to a problem. etc.) A lot of her realizations, I already knew about and I'm only 22....
She goes into dramatic details on things that don't need that much explaining. There are time in the book where she'll make her point and then tell you a story abou
...more
Amy
One of my favorite quotes of all time comes from a Dorothy Parker book review: "Some books are meant to be tossed aside lightly, and others to be hurled violently." I did not have great expectations when my turn came up to read this book from the library reserve list. I was more than mildly irritated by her first book, but since the topic is interesting to me, I decided it would be worthwhile to read the second. As expected, this is a gumbo of over-thinking, statements of the obvious, passive ag ...more
Kasey Jueds
Honestly, I felt cranky about this book before I started it. I had just finished reading an Amazon review that's largely about how rich Gretchen Rubin is (husband is a partner is a hedge fund, they own a big apartment in upper Manhattan, etc. etc.). The reviewer was annoyed by this, and, weirdly and surprisingly, I was too. Why? She has just as much of a right to write a book about happiness as anyone else does, I know. I think it's because Rubin never, ever acknowledges how more-than-comfortabl ...more
Judy
Honestly, I have no idea how to rate this book. If books had paternity this one would have Memoir
parents and a Self-help grandparent in the lineage.

The strange thing about this book was it didn't work for me as either a self-help book or a memoir, but yet I am supremely glad I read it for the helpful reminders and tidbits of wisdom sprinkled throughout. On one hand some of Rubin's discoveries about herself, people and the code that she lives resonated with me. For example, her reminder that we
...more
Jennifer
When I read complaints about Gretchen Rubin's original Happiness Project or her new Happier at Home, they center around her having an ideal or enchanted life. In some ways, this is true. She is not writing about finding happiness amidst financial or marital struggles. She is not trying to be happy in a career or location she hates. She is not trying to overcome major adversities in her life. However, she is not giving advice to people in those situations.

She is writing to those, like her, who kn
...more
Shilpa
Loved this book. You have to read it for yourself...but here are the top things I learnt. (You can also access this on my blog: sukasareads.blogspot.com)

MISE EN PLACE, French for "everything in its place".

Mise en place is preparation, but it's also a state of mind. Nothing is more satisfying than working easily and well.

Having more order in my cabinets & closets made me feel as though I had more time in my day.

There's a surgeon's pleasure that comes from sheer order, from putting an objec
...more
Starr
Dear Gretchen,

I read your book. I almost threw my Kindle up against the wall while reading your story. Reasons? Let me count the ways.

1) You don't like a lot of things, even though you have access to almost any experience ever possible due to your wealth. You hate or fear travel, food, driving, relinquishing control. No wonder you're seeking happiness. You want for nothing, and therefore, you don't really want anything. Except to control everything, of course.

2) You're really good at telling peo
...more
Cheryl
I'm lucky; I no longer need this. But my library had it displayed right at me, and I enjoyed the author's other Happiness book, so I grabbed it. So far I'm glad I did. Rubin writes so engagingly and amiably it's just a joy to sit down with her. And I've already got several book-darts in it noting ideas I want to remember.

In fact, I'm trying to read this a chapter or two at a time, in order to more fully absorb the ideas. I'll share a sample here, but there's lots more in the book - if these bit
...more
Audrey
I really liked this. I don't agree with everything covered, but there is definitely some great stuff discussed. I appreciated the practical tips and tidbits, the use of quotes (I love quotes), and the succinct and memorable one-liners she uses to summarize a key idea ("choose the bigger life," "act the way I want to feel," "make the positive argument," etc.). I often find these ideas running through my head. Many of these things almost seem obvious once they are pointed out, but I probably would ...more
Alison
Oof... I could not get into this book; a shame since I liked the first one. This one felt repetitious (from the first book) and *much* less scientific. It felt more like Gretchen's opinions about things and ideas of what she wanted to tackle -- without solid indication of a base in research about why she chose the topics that she did; it seemed like she just said "okay, I'm going to do these nine things!" -- not particularly convincing to me.

To be fair, I only read up to the middle of the first
...more
Julie Bestry
Everyone in my profession loved Gretchen Rubin's first book, The Happiness Project, so I felt a little cowed by the enthusiasm and never reviewed it for fear of stepping on any toes. The first book was well-written, exceptionally well-researched, charming after a fashion, and so self-indulgent that I found myself talking back to the book as if I were talking to the characters in a TV show. The book made me feel, in the vernacular, very "Grrrarrr!"

So, maybe Rubin's become a better writer, but mor
...more
Ciara
yeah, just okay. i read the happiness project & found it o be a bit more prescriptive & obsessive than i may have preferred. so my expectations for this follow-up, which is basically a happiness project loosely centered around the home, weren't stratospheric. even so, it was a bit of a disappointment. now that rubin is a bestselling author, some elements of her personal life are available for public consumption, such as the fact that her father-in-law isn't just some kindly old grandfath ...more
Carmie
A couple of years ago, I read Gretchen Rubin's memoir and first offering on happiness, The Happiness Project. I was keenly interested in the topic of happiness, but I felt that her whole project was a little forced and contrived at first. I know that part of the problem is that I've read WAY too many books wherein the author takes on something really really hard for a year in hopes of self-improvement and then writes about it. I'm actually a sucker for these memoirs, but the stunt journalism asp ...more
Maria M. Elmvang
Fortunately I ended up enjoying this just as much as "The Happiness Project". I had wondered how much new stuff there would be to write on the subject, but I actually thought she managed quite nicely, and there were even some things I preferred about this book compared to THP (of course there were also some things I preferred about THP, but I had expected nothing else).

As the title indicates, this book focused on being happy at home. It wasn't about changing your life, it was about making your h
...more
Mandy
I enjoyed Rubin's first book, The Happiness Project. I thought it was interesting to approach happiness as something you could chart out on a spreadsheet, write reports about, measure and therefore, eventually attain. Of course happiness isn't like that, but a lot of us wish it were, thus the popularity of the first book. And I did start buying and storing more paper towels and toilet paper after reading the first book, as I realized that I was an underbuyer, and that underbuying could create st ...more
Roanne
I absolutely adored Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project. I couldn't wait for this to become available, because I am all about HOME ... I am a true home-body, much like Gretchen. That said, this book is a major disappointment. Happier at Home covers so little new ground that I am puzzled as to why it exists at all; why not just put out a new expanded edition of the original The Happiness Project Book? MUCH of this is simply a reiteration of her original rules and resolutions. And I realize tha ...more
Diane S.
Written in an engaging and easy to read style, I still felt that much of this was just plain ol' common sense. How to be happier at home by sections, show more affection to those you live with, spend some time each day doing something you love, show interest in others personal interests, etc. See common sense, but a good read for those who need reminding or those who are at a lost. May find something in it that will help those who are looking for answers and those who are questioning if what the ...more
Lisa
Jun 30, 2014 Lisa rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa by: Heidi
Shelves: non-fiction
"I'm very good at making myself do things I don't want to do, but sometimes I'm better off not doing those things at all." A good book to remind me to be mindful about those things-- my life is the sum total of my choices. How I spend my time, my attitude, and what "stuff" I choose to have around me all contribute greatly to my happiness.

I appreciated that the author presents this as a memoir of sorts. This is what she did, and how and when she did it, to improve her happiness. Several times sh
...more
Kate
I received happier at home as a first reads giveaway. I was excited to receive the book, and had been thinking about picking up her previous book before. The book started out well enough, and I was excited to learn some little tips to make my home a happier place. My home is a pretty happy place... But we have only been here a year, and have a lot to do as far as decorating and making the place more "homey". Anyways.... I don't feel that the books was true to its title. There were a few obvious ...more
Jessi
A lot of people aren't going to like this book. They'll think that it's too preachy or that Rubin isn't "doing it right." But, I liked it. It's an interesting look at being happy and finding ways to be happy in your own life.
It is NOT a call-to-arms to be "happy in each and every moment dammit or you're not doing it right." It's also not a prescribed method that touts itself as a salve for the life of each and every person. Rather, it's a look at her own life, the fits and foibles of those arou
...more
Kathleen
I'm a bit addicted to the whole how-to-be-happy genre of books, and I really enjoyed Gretchen Rubin's first book on the subject, The Happiness Project.

At the same time, I don't really relate to Rubin's works in many ways. So many issues she addresses seem like the ultimate in First World Problems. Plus, I'm not someone who struggles with worrying about or seeking happiness: I have a pretty even temperament. At times in my life when I'm not happy, there's a lot going on that a) is pretty bad and
...more
Lynh
Gretchen Rubin! I both think we would be very good friends but also you and I would find each other annoying! Why? Well You are kind of picky and finicky. And your problem with driving made me laugh because you live in NYC and could easily deal without a car.

An aside-I find it funny that your sister laughed when you told her you were approaching this life with a project management perspective. (Perhaps mixing book content here). All the same, you are wonderfully weird and GRETCHEN. Thanks for b
...more
Brittany
"Why, I often wonder, is it difficult to push myself to do the things that bring happiness? So often, I know what resolutions would make me happier, but still I have to prod myself to do them. Every day, I struggle to give a kiss, to get enough sleep, to stop checking my email, to give gold stars. Every day, I remind myself to accept myself, and expect more from myself."

“Be Gretchen.”

from Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin

I really enjoyed reading Gretchen Rubin's follow-up to The Happiness Projec
...more
Debby
Like many readers here, I enjoyed Rubin's first book, The Happiness Project, and looked forward to more ideas in the second book on how I might change my thinking or habits to appreciate the blessings in my own life. But also like many readers here, I was disappointed when I finished it.

There are some obvious aspects of happiness that Rubin does not address. Most studies of happiness and well-being indicate that spending time outside in nature, whether playing in the park with your dog or kids,
...more
Ruth Everhart
I found it to be a quick and enjoyable read. There is nothing very surprising within its pages, especially if you're familiar with the author's earlier book or blog. She does a very good job of marketing herself and of expressing her ideas. I'm sure that others have remarked upon the obvious: that it is easy to fixate on personal happiness when a person has all the basics covered: steady employment, a financial safety net, good health, and ready access to health care.

My main critique of the book
...more
Tanya
I had a few new ideas from the book, but mostly want to share the quotes I liked.

P 10 "of everything I'd tried, the greatest benefit...was my increased appreciation for the happiness I already possessed."

P 11 " a broad concept of happiness was big enough for all of us"

P 63 "if I want my life to be a certain way, I must be that way myself"

P 78 Five Fateful Questions to guide difficult choices
What am I waiting for?
What would I do if I weren't scared?
What steps would make things easier?
What would I
...more
Stacey
Fans of the show Ally McBeal will know what I'm talking about when I say "smile therapy": this is when John's therapist recommended that he smile more, and it would result in a general sense of well-being. What it actually resulted in was him walking around with a crazed grin and dead eyes as he braved his day's horrors as an attorney. I bring this up because a) Gretchen Rubin is a Yale-educated attorney who almost certainly once watched Ally McBeal and b) a lot of her advice boils down to this: ...more
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Gretchen Rubin is the author of the blockbuster New York Times bestsellers, Happier at Home and The Happiness Project--accounts of her experiences test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific studies, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier. On her popular blog, The Happiness Project, www.happiness-project.com, she reports on her daily adventures in the pursuit of happi ...more
More about Gretchen Rubin...
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 Forty Ways to Look at Winston Churchill: A Brief Account of a Long Life The Happiness Project One-Sentence Journal: A Five-Year Record Forty Ways to Look at JFK Power Money Fame Sex: A User's Guide

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“It's so easy to wish that we'd made an effort in the past, so that we'd happily be enjoying the benefit now, but when now is the time when that effort must be made, as it always is, that prospect is much less inviting.” 8 likes
“I am living my real life, this is it. Now is now, and if I waited to be happier, waited to have fun, waited to do the things that I know I ought to do, I might never get the chance.” 8 likes
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