Book Review #6: “The Happiness Project”

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“Look for happiness under your own roof.”
Gretchen Rubin, 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

I can’t remember where I first heard about this book, but I liked it.

Last summer, I was in Target, and I wandered into the book section. I was instantly drawn to the brightness of the cover, and the the title looked intriguing. I love a good sale, so I was even more excited when I saw the little circular sticker on the cover, advertising 20 percent off. Into my cart it went.

Fast forward six or seven months. At the end of January, Al and I were flying to Florida to see my dad and grandpa (You can read about that trip here).

I like to read on planes, so I was scanning my bookshelves in my bedroom. The cover of this book is very bright, and it stood out to me. I started thinking about how long it had sat there, untouched. So, into my backpack it went.

I powered through the entire book before the weekend was over.

One of the first things that attracted me to this book was the bright colors. I have always considered myself to be a colorful person. The bright blues and yellows of the covers stood out to me.

The other thing I read from the cover (no judging though) was it was going to be funny. The subtitle reads: “Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun”

Wow. Spending a whole year on yourself, and making yourself better, making yourself happier?

Sounded like an interesting ride.

I liked how Rubin divided the chapters into the months of the year. She decided to focus on one thing every month, which is always a good goal to strive for, with anything or any challenge – One thing at a time.

This book made me happier, almost instantly. I loved her humor and her insight into herself and her family. So many of her lines made me laugh out loud over the course of that weekend – I honestly can’t remember the last time a book did that for me.

I like reading about writers. I hope to be one, so it’s inspiring to read about people who have achieved that success and learning about their journeys, their mistakes, their accomplishments, all the ins and outs. And, since I was born in New York City, I’m always intrigued by those who live and work in that area.

I loved this book so much that I plan to read more of her work:

  • Forty Ways to Look at JFK
  • Forty Ways to Look at Winston Churchill
  • Power Money Fame Sex: A User’s Guide
  • Profane Waste (with Dana Hoey) 
  • Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives

I also looked at her website, She has so many resources – Not just for happiness, but for habits as well.

It was published in 2009, but it is almost a timeless book to me. It will always be relevant, in some way, no matter how much time passes.

I plan to re-read this book throughout future stages of my life. The chapters on marriage, leisure, and money as I prepare for my upcoming wedding. The chapter on parenthood down the road. The chapters on vitality and eternity years from now. Every chapter is significant, each one is something that all of us deals with.

All in all, this is one of the best books that I have ever read. I needed to read this book during that weekend in January, and I know my outlook on a lot of things in my life changed as a result. I’m excited to have this on my bookshelf, because I know I will be referencing it now, and for a long time coming.

I’m not one to highlight or underline passages in books (with the exception of my Bible), but I like journaling. I have a notebook beside my bed and in my purse, in case I have a great idea or something strikes me. I have a feeling that every time I reference this book, I’ll need that notebook beside me.

4 1/2 out of 5 stars.

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

5 thoughts on “Book Review #6: “The Happiness Project”

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