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on 27 March 2010
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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on 29 October 2010
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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on 13 February 2010
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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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I read many different types of success/psychology/human performance type of books for my business. Part of my consultancy is looking at peak performance, so the title of this book stood out on the Vine list.

The book is split into 12 chapters which relate to the 12 months of the year. Each month/chapter Rubin looks at different aspects of her life and what she changed in that month to make her life better and happier. In each chapter are ideas and strategies to make your life happier. It reads more like a diary than a success strategy book.

It is a very straightforward read, nothing complicated and it does remind me of the Bridget Jones....note to self to do......type of writing style. It is humorous and it will make you laugh in places. Whilst the chapters are easy to read there is a depth to Rubin's writing that belies the simple format. Each step towards "happiness" is covered in depth and with a large amount of research to back up what she did.

I feel that the book and the plan if followed, will help people in their pursuit of happiness. I have implemented a few of the strategies into my life and have felt a difference. It is an easy read and is also full of workable ideas that can change your life for the better with simple little tweaks to daily routines. A great read and not your normal popular psychology, self help type of book.

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on 13 February 2015
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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on 18 June 2012
On the plus side there are some good quotes here from all sorts of different writers: Mark Twain, Tolstoy, Erasmus, Jerry Seinfeld. But I found many of Rubin's observations banal. I couldn't see what was interesting about a rich, happy, and happily married writer devoting a year of her life to making herself even more cheerful. And, call me cynical, was this really a genuine Happiness Project - or a Let's-Spend-A-Year-Gathering-Material-For-A-New-Book-About-Happiness Project?
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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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on 4 August 2011
After a good year of following Gretchen's blog and applying most - if not all (!) - of her wonderful advice I didn't think I'd need the book. But, I did! It gave me a lot of insight into who Gretchen is, where the ideas come from, and why they work. In short, I was surprised: it's an inspiring and interesting read. So good, in fact, that I've given away several copies to people who won't go near a computer, and they have all - without exception - endorsed all that I've been saying about the Happiness Project. The tools can and do change lives. It certainly did mine.
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on 21 May 2014
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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on 15 June 2011
I couldn't wait to read The Happiness Project, being in a position that found me crying out for someone to 'just tell me what to do!' This book however, did not turn out as I had anticipated. Being an avid Liz Gilbert fan, the thing that surprised me most, was that in the early stages of my read, I didn't like Gretchen! And I was so disappointed and surprised by this emotion toward the author. Furthermore, it made the prospect of finishing this book a challenge. I am inherently one of the 'joyous people' that Gretchen refers to and so sometimes I didn't gel with her personality.

I have to say however that this sentiment changed as I worked my way through her journey. Ironically, in the end, what I loved about this book was in fact her stark honesty and confessional admission that some of the best preached happiness methods simply don't work and for me this was in fact a relief to hear. I love that Gretchen is bold enough to say ' hey you know what? I CAN'T MEDITATE but I found a version that works for me. The structural idea of having your own commandments, resolutions charts and defining some real truths worked well and made this idea more tangible than the airy fairy philosophies around 'Happiness'. I enjoyed Gretchen's inner debates, her tenacity and most of all her flaws!

If you're thinking of buying this book - Do! Read it, stick with it and in the end you will be glad you did. You will find points where you say 'Oh My God, that's me! and points where you will laugh and most of all if it hits home you will go away with things to think about that will hopefully lead to you having a smile on your face!
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