The Happiness Project
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The Happiness Project

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3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  56,254 ratings  ·  6,947 reviews
Гретхен Рубин сумела открыть в себе и своей обычной жизни неиссякаемые источники радости. Разработанный ею план по обретению счастья вдохновит вас на составление собственного. Шаг за шагом, благодаря небольшим ежедневным изменениям вы научитесь эффективнее использовать время, избавитесь от беспокойства и недовольства собой, станете лучшей женой, матерью, другом и коллегой...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published December 20th 2010 by HarperCollins Canada
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Laura
I don’t know which is stranger – that people like this book, or that it was written in the first place. It came into being because Gretchen Rubin, a woman with a bizarrely charmed life, decided to spend a year devoting each month to a “theme” designed to make herself happier and then write a book about it. The whole thing smacks not only of a calculated stunt, but also of the sort of “list” approach she used for her breathtakingly trite book on Churchill. Regardless, any reasonable person would...more
Michele Chapman
I couldn't finish it. In fact, I couldn't get past page 49, and that really hurt, because I BOUGHT this book in HARDBACK. Sigh. And I wanted to like it, I swear, but it just wasn't happening for me.

I picked this book up because I have an interest in how others achieve happiness, enjoy getting a glimpse into how others conduct their lives on a daily basis (I even find grocery selections interesting, and what goes into them), and have gotten a kick out of several stunt journalism projects. Rubin's...more
Books Ring Mah Bell
Author Gretchen Rubin dives into the stunt genre (where the author does something for a year and then writes a clever book about it) with a project on living happy for a year. Sitting on the bus one day, she realizes her life is zipping along and wonders if she can't make her days happier, and write a book about it and make some money. She devises a plan for happiness, reading all sorts of books on happiness, from a wide variety of authors.

I would have liked to have been more enthusiastic about...more
Kate
May 20, 2011 Kate rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Anyone who is looking to make personal change
Shelves: memoir, nonfiction
Wow, when did I become so cynical and not even realize it?

Just like Julia from Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen I too am in danger of becoming nothing but a secretary on a road to nowhere, drifting toward frosted hair and menthol addiction.

However, this book helped me get out of my funk and become more creative. I didn't want to review this book until I tried my own "happiness project" because to be honest I was very sceptical about the results.

So, my personal j...more
Alea
I have no idea how to properly convey how I feel about this book. I felt so much for it and because of it and it's kind of crazy. I saw so much of myself in the author and some of the examples she explained, half the time I was sitting there dumbstruck. She breaks down her resolutions in such a way it's very easy to follow along and she is so specific in how they work out you really can't ask for much more.

Rubin writes in a way that it was very easy for me to relate to and understand. It's a rea...more
sleeps9hours
This was an inspiring book in some ways, but also annoying. The author admits that she is part of a new trend in books in which the author takes a year for self improvement. I liked that she seems fairly normal and doesn’t escape her regular routine to make some changes. Over time the book dragged though. I was quite impressed with the plethora of quotes throughout (she collects them), and tons of little ideas and research results I found interesting. I had to get past the fact that her personal...more
Lori
I found it the epitomy of self absorbtion. I've read many happiness books, often looking to use excerpts in my hospice speaches and volunteer training, but I felt this was so dumbed down. If you don't mind the constant references to her clerking for Supreme Court Justice O'Connor and her monied life and the mundane attempts at her "happiness project" you might be ok. Anyone who ever had any religious, marital of psych type of background, ie "Golden Rule", would be able to do this and probably al...more
Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner)
I won this advance copy book through the Goodreads Giveaway and could not have been more stoked! I am always creating lists and goals and things to improve my life. I feel like books, songs, movies always have a way of finding me when I need them most. I just quit my job because I was way too miserable and I have been home for the past few weeks feeling extremely unhappy and like my life was just miserable. This book was just the inspiration to want to change my situation and bring about more ha...more
Tasha
All the navel-gazing of "Eat, Pray, Love" with none of the interesting commentary provided by other characters. Gretchen is the only actual being in her world; everyone else, including her husband and children, is merely a mirror reflecting who she thinks she should appear to be. I'm convinced that the author wants to be happy only because someone else told her she should.

I'm all for fluff reading, but this took it to a new level. The chapter on cleaning her closets (yes, an entire chapter abou...more
Erin
Inspiring! Loved it! Totally want to start my Happiness Project. Gretchen Rubin, happily married mother of 2, had a realization while sitting on a bus that she was letting her life pass her by without fully appreciating it. Being a writer, she decided to research the origins, psychology and elements of happiness and develop her own Happiness Project, a 12-month experiment (each month around a theme like "love", "work" "energy", etc) with carefully measured goals and resolutions to see if she cou...more
Melanie
This is not great literature. This is not earth-shattering or mind blowing in any way.
Yet somehow, underneath the veneer of light-hearted entertainment, this sneaky little book is filled with profound truths.
It is also filled with extremely interesting bits of psychology and sociology research that are sprinkled throughout its pages, mixed with her personal journey and constantly evolving considerations. A study in self-empowerment if I've ever seen one.
A witty, self-examined life which bristle...more
Lisa Lewis
When I started reading this book, I was really underwhelmed. I thought, "why am I interested in a New York yuppie's pursuit of happiness?" but I kept with it because it was so highly recommended by Jessica. I ended up appreciating Rubin and her happiness quest as I went along. One reason is that Rubin seems endearingly honest - ready to admit her flaws and quirks and even embrace them. She is a former lawyer and current writer who adores research, reading and note-taking, and decided to apply th...more
Jeana
Oct 12, 2012 Jeana rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Susannah
I loved some of Rubin's ideas--I was exhilarated during the beginning chapters and it was great because I started reading this book while my husband and girls were out of town for the weekend. I started de-cluttering my house, getting all my exercise and rest. I liked these simplistic ways you can make a difference and be happy within your means and circumstances. I feel Americans "unhappiness" with our surplus of luxuries is a problem. What is it that makes us so unhappy?

I don't know that I'll...more
Gaijinmama
This book got mixed reviews, but I liked it.
It was realistic, very readable, and not exploitative of developing cultures like some of these other "Go find yourself " stunt books (cough cough Eat,Pray cough cough). Rubin is up-front about the fact that she comes from a white, upper-middle class, happily-married, securely employed New York lifestyle that makes it seem a bit narcissistic for her to go out searching for yet more happiness when she has so many advantages compared to so many other peo...more
Jenna Copeland
Wow... what interesting irony that a book on happiness has so many haters. I'm not one of them-- while I don't think the book will change the mostly-good-already trajectory of my life, there were some nice insights and a swift kick in the rump to remember to enjoy life more and nag less. Absolutely worth my investment of time. Do be warned, though, that Gretchen Rubin is a classic Type A overachiever and this book is organized and written accordingly. Being a gold star addict myself, I've gladly...more
MC
At the start, I was very enthusiastic to read this book but by the time I got halfway through, I was still waiting for the "Eureka!" moment where it all seemed worthwhile. It was mostly skippable and some parts were just frustrating (starting a collection for the sake of starting a collection? Plugging in birthdays of friends? A bit hollow...).

I suppose I was expecting a more memoir approach and it seemed more self-help manual than anything else. Dull.
Deb
I really wanted to like this book, but the further and further I got into my reading, the more I realized that such would not be the case. The premise of The Happiness Project was admirable, but I never really felt like the author was really making any strides in truly becoming a happier person through her methodology. I found that the overuse of scientific research on the topic of happiness drove me absolutely crazy; probably due to the fact that I {personally} think of happiness the same way I...more
Anna
Aug 09, 2012 Anna rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Anna by: Alexis Amsterdam
This book is written by a happy person who wanted to maximize her happiness. I loved reading Rubin's research (which spans centuries of literature) on what makes us happy. It was helpful and fun to read how she applied the research to her life. Making small changes each day made life happier for her and her family. It's not one of those, take-time-for-yourself/get-a-massage/indulge-yourself books. Nope. It's about working hard to live what you believe.

Rubin focused on figuring out what really ma...more
Carmen Sisson
Initially, I dismissed this book as fluff. Rubin's self-congratulatory tone, incessant ennui, and frequent carping are grating, particularly when she's discussing her marriage (which seems great) and children (who sound adorable).

However, in the spirit of the book, I decided to make myself finish it and glean whatever I could. Halfway through, I found myself taking notes as insights occurred to me. By the end, I had a good idea of some areas I definitely could improve in my own life.

Most of he...more
Elyse
I'm only reading this because our book club picked it for our 'non-fiction' month ---I'm bored stiff--but I'll finish it. (we read non-fiction every other month) Most of the time we choose better books to read.

I have now finished this book....and I was wrong! I laughed --smiled ---and have respect for the author for the difference she is making with "The Happiness Project".
Casey
The Happiness Project is a perfectly middling book about being happier through monthly projects. Each month, author Gretchen Rubin focuses on happiness by doing things like decluttering and not nagging her husband. Is this book worthy? Nope; it's really just blog worthy. It's not uninteresting, except that everything could be covered in about 5,000 words. Having it all unnecessarily written out into around 300 pages made it all seem annoyingly repetitive. By the sixth month of rich white people...more
Jennifer
"I did, however, vow to stop reading books that I didn't enjoy. I used to pride myself on finishing every book I started -- no longer."

Using the author's own words, that pretty much sums up how I felt about reading this book...although I didn't stop. I read it all the way through and wish that I had actually "Been Gretchen" for a brief moment.

I really liked the concept of the book and of the project; however, I found it to be less inspiring and much more annoying than I would expect a book like...more
Sarah
For fun, someone should do a search through this book to see how many times the phrase "studies show that" actually appears. The entire book reads like a college term project written by a self-absorbed teacher's pet. (The author readily admits to being the type of person who always wants a "gold star" for her efforts.) She strikes me as the type of person who plays everything by the book - from graduating from Yale law school to clerking for Justice O'Connor, so it makes sense that she would tac...more
Katie
Let me preface this review by saying, I really tried to like this book. I found it at Sam's Club for $7 when I was on my monthly TP run. The cover looked fun. The concept up lifting. I went into reading it with high hopes. I didn't look at any previous review (I should have). So, here goes... This book should be re-titled "The Year I Spent Trying To Be Less of an Entitled B*tch (And Failed!)".

The author is a rich white lady living in the upper east side of manhattan with her two healthy little...more
Laura Hancock
Maybe I'll change it to five stars some day. For now, it's a four-star book. (Although, part of me wants to buy a copy -- I borrowed it from the library -- so I can have all the ideas close at hand.)

To me, Gretchen Rubin is an admirable, over-achieving big sister: I want to be more like her, then part of me realizes I'lll never be like her and so I hate her. Just a little.

The Yale law school graduate/former Sandra Day O'Connor law clerk/best-selling author/upper East Side Manhattan resident/wif...more
Greg
Automatic one-star because I couldn't finish this one. I made it up to April, but couldn't cut through the rest. I may skim it for the highlighted sections and then never read it again.

Good news is, there is some "meat" in this book. I'll try to summarize:
* It IS possible to improve your level of happiness, to some degree. 60% of your happiness is uncontrollable (genetics, present life circumstances) but the remaining 40% is dependent on your outlook, choices and personal actions - hence, under...more
Theresa Jones
Full disclosure: I actually couldn't bring myself to finish this book.

The general idea of the book is that Rubin has twelve commandments she decides she must live by, and four resolutions to concentrate on each month. I think... To be honest, I couldn't really follow her methodology in the intro, but the point is, she has resolutions like everyone else. She's clear from the beginning that she isn't depressed; she just wants enjoy the life she's been blessed with much more. She feels a particular...more
Gina
Natasha's review of this book is perfect. I think Natasha should re-write The Happiness Project and then it will truly be a project about happiness.
____________________________________

Natasha wrote ..... "A short while ago I started a blog post by saying that I was depressed about the book The Happiness Project. I felt that I knew what the book was about and that I could have written it but now that it was written by someone else, my idea for a self-help book was taken. I said I was "depressed"...more
Crystal
I love the idea behind this book. It's not a ground breaking idea and it's nothing I haven't already heard/thought/tried/read somewhere before, but somehow right now in my life I related to the authors need to have a happiness project. A project where I take the goals I'm already always and forever striving toward, and actually put it down on paper and formulate a plan to help me reach and keep those goals once and for all. The first half of the book is great. She has some good ideas on how to e...more
molly
I really want to rate this higher, but the author's writing voice and content just grated on me. The whole premise of the book is to give yourself gold stars for doing everyday life type things. There is no sort of higher thinking here- instead, her advice is essentially to trick yourself into being happier with her little tips like singing in the morning, making yourself laugh, etc. Her version of philosophy is to collect quotes and plunk them into the text seemingly at random. I have quibbles...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...
Happier at Home: How I Learned to Pay Attention, Cram My Day with What I Love, Hold More Tightly, Embrace Here, and Remember Now 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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“The belief that unhappiness is selfless and happiness is selfish is misguided. It's more selfless to act happy. It takes energy, generosity, and discipline to be unfailingly lighthearted, yet everyone takes the happy person for granted. No one is careful of his feelings or tries to keep his spirits high. He seems self-sufficient; he becomes a cushion for others. And because happiness seems unforced, that person usually gets no credit.” 409 likes
“The days are long, but the years are short.” 200 likes
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