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The Happiness Project Paperback – Dec 20 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd (Dec 20 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1554682800
  • ISBN-13: 978-1554682805
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2 x 20.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #576 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

“An enlightening, laugh-aloud read. . . . Filled with open, honest glimpses into [Rubin’s] real life, woven together with constant doses of humor.” (Terry Hong, Christian Science Monitor)

“For those who generally loathe the self-help genre, Rubin’s book is a breath of peppermint-scented air. Well-researched and sharply written. . . . Rubin takes an orderly, methodical approach to forging her own path to a happier state of mind.” (Kim Crow, Cleveland Plain Dealer)

“Practical and never preachy . . . the rare self-help tome that doesn’t feel shameful to read.” (Daily Beast)

“Packed with fascinating facts about the science of happiness and rich examples of how she improves her life through changes small and big The Happiness Project made me happier by just reading it.” (Amy Scribner, Bookpage)

Review

"This book made me happy in the first five pages. And the more I read it, the happier I got. It's filled with great insights that have changed every part of my life, from love to money, from work to play, from writing to Diet Coke."
—A.J. Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically

"A cross between the Dalai Lama’s The Art of Happiness and Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love."
—Sonja Lyubomirsky, author of The How of Happiness

"Happiness is contagious. And so is The Happiness Project. This is the rare book that will make you both smile and think—often on the same page." —Daniel H. Pink, author of A Whole New Mind --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

57 of 60 people found the following review helpful By BookChick TOP 500 REVIEWER on Jan. 28 2010
Format: Hardcover
Gretchen Rubin is pretty happy. She's got a wonderful husband, two great little girls, they are financially secure and she's doing what she loves- writing. One day on the bus she comes to a realization- she's happy, but she could be happier. This realization leads her to create a "happiness project"- 12 months of tasks and resolutions that will (hopefully) result in her being the happiest Gretchen that she can be. Armed with her personal 12 commandments and her secrets of adulthood, she sets out on her year-long quest for personal happiness, and "The Happiness Project" is born.

I loved this book! I managed to pick up a lot of great ideas from the tasks that Gretchen set out to do. I learned the most from the months of January (Boost Energy), February (Remember Love), April (Parenthood), and July (Buy Some Happiness). After reading January's chapter I was inspired to organize my home more effectively, February's chapter inspired me to nag my husband less and to be thankful for the great person that he is, April reminded me to be more patient with my frustrating, aggravating, yet amazing children, and July inspired me to make some more concrete goals when it comes to saving money.

Another thing that I liked about the book was that Gretchen never tries to be anything that she isn't. In fact, one of her commandments is "Be Gretchen". When some of her friends tell her that she should take up meditiation, or that she should see a therapist, and those suggestions don't resonate with her personally, she just doesn't do them. She's not saying that they don't work, just that they don't work for her. She doesn't encourage anyone to do "her" happiness project, but to do one that works for "them". She also openly admits when she fails, giving her a human quality that I really appreciated.
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44 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Raj on Jan. 10 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The idea of this book seemed at first compelling enough for me to buy it, but as I went from chapter to chapter, I found it more difficult to read on. Although no doubt genuine, the author comes across as a bit self-obsessed. Now, in all fairness there's a bit of that in all of us, especially if you're going to buy this book. You're most likely buying it because you're searching for ways to increase your own happiness. Fair enough. Overall though, the writing is unengaging and like listening to someone talk about themselves for hours - just not in an interesting way. Phrases like 'studies show' and quoting statistics were already old by page 40.

Chapter after chapter, I kept giving it a try and ultimately grew bored of her rambling. And yet, this is meant to be a #1 Best Seller? That's definitely a sign of the politics involved in choosing what's a best seller because it's definitely not based on the writing style. If you want to read something that is introspective and yet eloquently written, read Thoreau, Krishnamurti or Gibran.

After giving up on the book, I researched the author (and found out that she is the daughter of Robert Rubin, the 70th United States Secretary of the Treasury during both the first and second Clinton administrations), and both she and her husband are multimillionaires. I'm not suggesting that if one is swimming in cash that they don't have a right to search for happiness, but at the same time, when _that_ privileged, with hired help keeping your house clean and minding your children, I can't say I feel too much empathy as you stare out your New York high society home, trying to find ways to cope with how difficult your life seems to be.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Sandra on April 17 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I decided not to finish it. It maybe wasnt what I expected or hoped for more than anything. I found her to be a bit controlling and self absorbed but I am glad for her that her project worked to make her a happier person. It was just not what I expected. It seems though that others really liked it. The idea of creating a happiness project is good and I probably got more out of the title than the actual book itself. I am riding the fence on this one I guess and wishing I had saved the money for a Dalia lama book. :)
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Princess Lucy on June 9 2010
Format: Hardcover
Something that I've contemplated for some time is that it seems to me that with the advent of cell phones and instant communication, it is difficult for the average person to exist in the here and the now, to fully appreciate what is happening right in front of them. The concept of happiness is something you are meant to achieve one day, something you'll have once you accomplish "blank".

At first I wasn't buying in to author Gretchen Rubin's systematic approach to achieving happiness. But when I considered my feelings about being in the here and now, I realized that a systematic approach may be exactly what people need to recognize happiness in their lives.

In "The Happiness Project", you will accompany Gretchen Rubin through her one year of making room for more happiness in her life. Whether you chose to follow the author's monthly resolutions or chose your own, you will find that you can make room for more happiness in your life, that you can and probably are happy today. You will discover that you can achieve happiness by deciding to be happy. Brilliant!
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