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More Bookish Thoughts...,
This review is from: The Happiness Project (Paperback)"Act the way you want to feel." Deceptively simple advice but the most profound concept I took away from "The Happiness Project." In self-help's newest "do something off-beat for a year and write a book about it" memoir, Gretchen Rubin dismisses the notion that increased happiness only comes from sweeping life changes. Instead, the author creates a few resolutions per month based on a specific theme (marriage, money, spirituality etc) and chronicles her struggles to make small adjustments to her everyday attitude.
Rubin writes in an appealing, conversational style and shares many thought-provoking tips on fostering a greater sense of well-being: cut people slack, tackle a nagging task, laugh every day. She backs up her anecdotes with extensive research and always maintains that what makes HER happy won't necessarily make others happy. Thus, she encourages independence in her readers, guiding us to improve our own unique lives instead of simply following her model. Responsibly, she also makes it clear that she offers no magic formula; her book will not treat depression.
Unfortunately, though, a lot of Rubin's memoir feels both tedious and obvious; by the April chapter I started skimming and didn't really stop. Cliches such as, "you can't change your partner, you can only change yourself" crop up all too often and epiphanies like using file boxes to store cards and photos seem ridiculous coming from an intelligent, organized woman who used to clerk for Sandra Day O'Connor.
Finally, much of the book's latter half consists of comments that internet users have left on The Happiness Project's blog. A few insightful thoughts from others may have added interest but the larger volume only disrupted Rubin's flow in the name of filling space.