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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

(The Happiness Project #2)

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  14,559 ratings  ·  1,864 reviews
In the spirit of her blockbuster #1 New York Times bestseller The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin embarks on a new project to make home a happier place.
One Sunday afternoon, as she unloaded the dishwasher, Gretchen Rubin felt hit by a wave of homesickness. Homesick—why? She was standing right in her own kitchen. She felt homesick, she realized, with love for home itself
Hardcover, 273 pages
Published September 4th 2012 by Harmony
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Natalie I just read the whole thing during the first week of February. I found it to be inspirational and motivating to change things in my life.
I've ready…more
I just read the whole thing during the first week of February. I found it to be inspirational and motivating to change things in my life.
I've ready several of GR's other books and there is definitely a theme running through them. In the early books she touches on many different topics that she later turns into books. It's great!(less)
Karen Meh. Kind of Boring. She didn't make me care about her opinions.
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3.51  · 
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 ·  14,559 ratings  ·  1,864 reviews

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Sep 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2012
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
Jan 23, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Nov 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Gabrielle W.
Nov 20, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Sue Bridehead (A Pseudonym)
Having read both of Gretchen Rubin's happiness project books, I get the impression that she's a fragile and snappish person. She means well, but she falls short of some self-appointed ideal pretty often, then punishes herself for it with mantras and rules.

Mostly, I read this with an air of detached fascination, imagining a frazzled, Type A, controlling woman running around Manhattan making elaborate sets of laws for herself to follow. Not a behavior or impulse goes unexamined. Wouldn't it be ea
Jan 06, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: half-read
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
May 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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:

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
Jul 02, 2012 rated it liked it
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
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
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
Julie Bestry
Jan 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 29, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I feel this book reveals more about the author's neuroticism then her philosophy. I was struck by her little obsessions, flippant dismissal of the opinions of others while acting like her opinions are the gospel truth, and her self-absorptions. It seems the more one has to say they are happy, the less happy they really are. This quest for happiness is simply a mask for the desperate boredom of a wealthy woman who has everything, but too little that challenges her.

Her anecdotes only serve to mak
Kerry-Anne Gilowey
Gosh. I spent the last 30% of the book rolling my eyes at least once every five minutes. Now my eyeballs hurt. I'm a pretty whimsical person, but this was too much even for me.

I spent the first half of the book expecting each sweet anecdote to lead somewhere, but eventually accepted that they simply DON'T. Most of the stories tail off without a point, and several tail off without any resolution - she has an idea, spends 20 paragraphs explaining it, then her husband shuts her down in four words,
I have mixed feelings about this book. I really liked certain aspects and disliked others. But first of all let me explain that...
•As a Christian, I understand that true joy comes from the Lord. Happiness is an emotion that comes primarily from good circumstances. However, I don't think there is anything wrong with doing little things to boost our emotional happiness... as long as we keep things in the proper perspective. After all... we are supposed be joyful people in the Lord!

Now about the bo
Nov 15, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
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
Carmen Liffengren
Aug 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 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
Sep 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
David Yoon
Really it's a tiny death to preface a review with "it's not terrible". How can you not be wary of a book that embarks on a quest to be happier at home? It could have easily been a tired sort of humble brag novella like Eat, Pray, Love so I'm grateful for small ideas presented as small ideas. Nothing earth shattering, but it's ok to point out the little things, that in hindsight are painfully obvious, that can make people happier.

It just felt a bit formulaic to help the medicine go down. Reveal
Jan 28, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm afraid Gretchen Rubin has become that unemployed or underemployed "friend" on Facebook who posts on a sleeting Monday "I think I'll stay in bed with a mug of hot chocolate and a stack of Cary Grant DVDs today!" And you or, okay, I, want to respond that you are delighted they will be warm and cozy while you are shivering waiting for a bus that is 20 minutes late so that you can pay your mortgage, save for retirement, and hopefully keep the public safe from exploding pipelines.

This book is abo
Sandie Buto
Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Should I talk about the book or the fact that I just looked online at pictures of Gretchen Rubin’s apartment ( she has employed an interior decorator) and the feeling that “she is one of us” totally disappeared...I am sorry that I looked. I still love her writing and her ideas and the feeling of adventure I get every time I read something she has written but will the idea that she “struggles with the same issues that I do” remain or will the reality ruin future readings? This book saw some repea ...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
Dec 28, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Leigh Kramer
Dec 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the last month, I read both The Happiness Project and Happier at Home. Consider me a convert. In Happiness Project, Rubin explores the theories of happiness and focuses on a different aspect each month. She creates resolutions tailored to her life and I learned a lot about myself in reading where her monthly goals took her. In Happier at Home, Rubin focuses on exactly that: happiness in the home.

In showing her desire to be happier at home, Rubin also appreciates how much happiness is there al
Valerie Brett
Oct 20, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
The subtitle should’ve been something like “lessons from the Happiness Project applied at home.” Although she’s also always at home in that one... I hate her attitude toward her marriage which is basically be demure, be better, don’t ask anything of the husband, don’t expect basic communication from him... gross. Her husband is the worst. And honestly she’s kinda the worst too (so self-centered & neurotic & fearful & un-self-aware of her privilege), but at least she sort of realizes ...more
Dec 12, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Much like the previous book, The Happiness Project, this one is a month-by-month account of attempts at sparking joy within the context of home life.

The author is relatable, even when the specifics of her experience are not. She sheds valuable insight into human nature, and the process of adapting individual circumstances and realities to the ideals hoped for in various kinds of objectives.

Nothing truly groundbreaking, but an interesting and worthwhile examination of living home life to the full
Mar 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like Gretchen rubin’s stuff. This was an easy listen. It gave me lots of food for thought. I love that she is able to inspire me to want to explore and build my own happiness without making me feel guilty or pidgeon holing me either.
Sep 28, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
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,
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I am the author of New York Times bestsellers The Happiness Project, Happier at Home, and Better Than Before, and The Four Tendencies. My newest book, Outer Order, Inner Calm , is on sale now.

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Other books in the series

The Happiness Project (2 books)
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“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.” 15 likes
“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.” 12 likes
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