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

Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin
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's review
Sep 07, 2012

really liked it

I read Rubin's first book, The Happiness Project, thinking it was going to be very "self-helpy" and not in a good way. I was wrong. The Happiness Project was a smart, engaging way to reevaluate the level of satisfaction in one's life, and to see if it could be enhanced with a little attention, even to the point of happiness. I went into reading it pretty happy, and finished the book with a real appreciation of how to keep defining and focusing on the things that could improve my life as well as others around me. Sometimes we all need a gentle reminder or a swift kick in the butt, and The Happiness Project was both for me.

Happier at Home concentrates on exactly that, being happier in one's home life. Again, I'm pretty happy at home, but because I was so impressed with book 1, I had to follow up with the home guide, as I like to call it. And it's as savvy as it's predecessor. The insight and ideas that Rubin experiments with in her own family life don't exactly mimic my own life - she has young children and nearby in-laws - but I still learned a tremendous amount by her emotional legwork. Rubin instilled a couple of new routines for her family, some successfully some not, that didn't just change her but the other members in her household as well. And while many of her ideas had the intention of enhancing the lives of her family, she also outreached to her creative community, neighborhood, and even a cause she cares deeply about, organ donation registry. I really like that Rubin isn't just obsessed with her own happiness, but in creating more happiness for the world around her. The energy of her altruism is addictive and her writing keeps the tone of Happier at Home fun and uplifting, even when dealing with heavier emotional territory.

If you were moved by The Happiness Project, pick up Happier at Home.

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