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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 Paperback – 5 Jun 2011

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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 + Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson, and My Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life + Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives
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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Paperbacks; Reprint edition (5 Jun. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006158326X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061583261
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.9 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (214 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,341 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm the author of "Happier at Home" and "The Happiness Project," about my experiences as I test-drove the wisdom of the ages, current scientific studies, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happy, to see what really worked. Happily, both books became New York Times bestsellers. My newest book "Better Than Before", releases March 17, 2015.

On my blog, www.gretchenrubin.com, I write about my daily adventures in happiness.

My previous books include a bestselling biography of Winston Churchill, "Forty Ways to Look at Winston Churchill," and one of John Kennedy, "Forty Ways to Look at JFK." My first book, "Power Money Fame S..: A User's Guide," is social criticism in the guise of a user's manual. "Profane Waste" was a collaboration with artist Dana Hoey. I've also written three dreadful novels that are safely locked away in a drawer.

Before turning to writing, I had a career in law. A graduate of Yale and Yale Law School, I clerked for Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and was editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal. I live in New York City with my husband and two young daughters.

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)

From the Back Cover

Over one million copies sold.

Gretchen Rubin had an epiphany one rainy afternoon in the unlikeliest of places: a city bus. "The days are long, but the years are short," she realized. "Time is passing, and I'm not focusing enough on the things that really matter." In that moment, she decided to dedicate a year to her happiness project.

In this lively and compelling account, Rubin chronicles her adventures during the twelve months she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific research, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier. Among other things, she found that novelty and challenge are powerful sources of happiness; that money can help buy happiness, when spent wisely; that outer order contributes to inner calm; and that the very smallest of changes can make the biggest difference.


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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

106 of 111 people found the following review helpful By Max on 27 Mar. 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've enjoyed Gretchen Rubin's blog for many months now so was excited to hear about her book. And when I read it? Utterly brilliant. Really! The book is not just the blog printed out; it's a whole different thing.

She writes SO well, such a warm and engaging and personal style. (I'm tempted to read the biographies she'd written before this, even though I wouldn't normally read biographies, just because she writes so well.)

And the content? Fascinating! Trying out lots of things with an open mind, things that others say will make you happy and seeing what it's like.

I can't praise this book highly enough. It's the best book I've read for a long time, fiction or non-fiction. It made me happy just to read it!

And at the end of it? I'm thinking about what makes me happy and how I can try out some of her ideas for myself. And if a book changes how you think or behave, then it's a Very Good Book.

I do hope someone else discovers what a great book this is because of what I'm writing here. That would make me very happy too!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Ms. Sally Warner on 29 Oct. 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is a lovely book, cannot fail to be inspiring, just implementing one or two of Gretchen's ideas has made a difference... Happier daughter, happier hubby, happier me... This book isn't a cure for anything but it's well worth a read.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Williams on 13 Feb. 2015
Format: Paperback
Have just got to chapter three and like other reviewers I'm not sure I can cope with the banality of this book for much longer. The author has just written a whole chapter on congratulating herself for nagging her husband less. This didn't seem to involve any self-awareness of what a tedious boring nag she clearly is. At one point she is pleased with herself for 'instead of barking out "Now remember you promised to figure out what's wrong with the video camera." she just says "Camera" as her husband gets up from lunch. She has a friend who doesn't say things like "Fix the toilet, it's running again" to her husband, and considers this is an 'impossible ideal, yet inspiring'. She applauds herself for suppressing her desire for praise after she's sent out a pile of Valentine's card to relatives with 'an adorable' picture of her children in ballerina outfits. Oh please. It's all making me quite nauseous. I'll pursue it until the end and hopefully there'll be some major twist which brings about the apocalypse or something similar. If so, I will update my review accordingly.
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51 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Alibongo on 13 Feb. 2010
Format: Hardcover
Very well written, thought provoking, well researched, and full of positive and easily achievable ideas - it gives the impression of someone who is most caring, wishing for everyone to be as happy as they can be. Great website too.
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74 of 81 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 13 Feb. 2010
Format: Hardcover
I appear to have accidentally read this book in less than 24hrs...
Usually I attempt to savour a good book but Rubin's well balanced blend of personal experiences, relevant quotes from inspirational figures and applications of positive psychology research was too enjoyable to put down.

The Happiness Project - it may not cure cancer or single-handedly rescue you from the paralysis of depression but if you aspire to being more present and better able to savour the little moments of enjoyment that everyday life can reveal, then this book is definitely for you.
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer VINE VOICE on 15 May 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is not a guide for beating depression, but a great place to find ideas to bring a bit more happiness into your life. The author did not start off unhappy, but in that rut most of us get to from time to time. A great guide to reinvigorating your life and relationships, and adding a spring to your step. Not everything in this book will suit everyone, but there are enough ideas here to give everyone a good choice of ideas. A good book to keep by your bedside to go back to every now and then.
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40 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Nuria Roca on 14 Feb. 2010
Format: Hardcover
The Happiness Project is a great book for anyone interested in being happy. Very well written, it has an attractive combination of profound insight and practical advice, together with real life anecdotes that make it an easy reading. The structure of monthly goals and resolutions is clear and full of good ideas. Wonderful website also.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Sally Smith on 21 May 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This author is of the opinion that happy people have more chance of getting married and staying married! She met her husband in a high school library, has 2.4 children and no doubt a decent income from writing. If you are equally fortunate then this is the book for you as it is more or less a spring clean or overhaul of an ordinary life on the usual path. If however you have gone it alone through choice or otherwise, or experienced any misfortune or pain from events or people outside (or indeed inside) your control that have affected your being to the core and you are searching for wisdom, experience and to get back to yourself, then this is definatelynot for you.
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