George's Reviews > 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

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
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Jul 30, 12

bookshelves: ipad, non-fiction, lacpl-epub
Read from July 23 to 29, 2012

SOMEWHAT SCHMALTZY, BUT...

“The days are long, but the years are short”—page 240

It’s probably inevitable that a memoir subtitled: ‘Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun’, would at some point regress to schmaltz. In her optimistically titled: ‘The Happiness Project,’ however, Gretchen Rubin skillfully managed to maintain enthusiasm and playful insights, at least through April/May, before tiring a bit. The pace and enthusiasm seems to pick up again a few months later.

Schmaltz not-with-standing, how can I not love this lady? But for the brilliance and sparkle—hers, not mine—her pragmatic, obsessive-compulsive, over-thinking, overanxious, overachieving, psyche might be a mirror image of my own. And* in this book, Ms Rubin hits a lot of ‘happy’ nails on their shiny heads; with an abundance of bright and practical ideas. For example, with her “Twelve Commandments” and her “Secrets of Adulthood’ (see page 18) which put me in mind of another old favorite: ‘All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten,’ by Robert Fulghum.

Recommendation: It has been written (see page 13) that about 50% of happiness is driven by genetics. That means a substantial number of you are already screwed, and probably shouldn’t bother reading this book. At least not before adjusting your medications. For those more fortunately endowed with a positive genetic affect, however, you’re probably going to enjoy the heck out of most of this read. I did.

*(In her recent blog posting entitled, ‘And: The Rule That Never Was’ at http://www.indiesunlimited.com/2012/0... my dear goodreads.com friend, Krista Tibbs, tells me it’s ‘okay’ to begin a sentence with a capitalized conjunction. Not great. But okay.)

“Shield your joyous ones.”—page 236

Adobe Digital Edition [ePub] on loan from the Country of Los Angeles Public Library at: http://overdrive.colapublib.org/ 270 pages
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