Sherry'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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Jan 15, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: nonfiction
Read in March, 2010

Gretchen Rubin is another author who joins the fad of undertaking a cute project for a year, but she is totally without the charm of A. J. Jacobs or even Julie Powell. I kept hoping for something, anything, that would make me root for her. She did seem to try to be self-deprecating, but she clearly has no practice at it. This is a woman who is full of herself, and has no sense of how fortunate she is. The only likeable person here is Gretchen's husband, and she treats him so poorly that I want to kick her; he's funny, sweet, thoughtful, and all he wants to do is go to the gym once in a while.

Gretchen has two small children, yet one glaring omission in the book is any acknowledgment that there might be childcare involved in the project. Is she embarrassed? She is so concerned about how she looks to the world that I had little faith in her observations about her year and little interest in her happiness tips. I have my own tip for happiness: instead of reading this book, go for something more interesting, like "The Know-It-All" or "The Year of Living Biblically."
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