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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 11 October 2012
I don't read self help books and I don't have a particular obsession with happiness, but when I was given, as a gift, Rubin's first happiness book, the "Happiness Project", I found it very interesting and captivating, so I got this book as well.

Rubin once again explores different ideas about happiness, by first researching both scientific studies, philosophical ideas, and discussing with people what makes them happy, and then by trying these theories herself. I think that what makes Rubin's work special is that she doesn't issue directions and affirmations from her high horse, but makes herself the guinea pig of her own experiment. Like she did with the "Happiness Project", she assigns each month to a specific area of happiness. This time she focuses on ways to be happier at home and her project lasts for a school year, from September to May.

Even though my lifestyle is very different from Rubin's, and probably our only thing in common is our love for reading, I still loved the book. It is written with honesty, a sense of humour, and a great understanding of human nature. Also, Rubin is not afraid to admit what doesn't work for her; I know that for some people it is hard to believe, but meditation or acupuncture don't work for everyone, and I am so glad that I found someone to agree with me. You don't actually have to have anything in common with Rubin to appreciate or even benefit from this book, because it is not a handbook for the reader to imitate her lifestyle and her kind of happiness. Her most important rule is to be yourself and discover what makes you happy. With her books, she provides the tools, the knowledge, encouragement and inspiration, and then it is up to the readers to create their individual Happiness Projects.

I know that some people found that this book hasn't anything new to add, but I disagree. Indeed Gretchen Rubin is still the same Gretchen Rubin, the method she uses is the same, and her understanding of happiness hasn't changed, but that is not the point. In this book she explores new ideas and discoveries, she delves even deeper into her pursuit, and even some of her old themes and ideas are now evolved. Also, I found her writing even more relaxed and personal; reading the book almost feels like discussing happiness with a friend. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed the "Happiness Project", having said that, if you haven't read 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 think you should start from that first book.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 27 December 2013
I read the happiness project and loved it. I finished it in two days or so (whilst travelling) and found it motivating and interesting. However, the opposite has to be said for happier at home. I feel that rather than a second book we are being given the same anecdotes, quotes and examples from the first book- with a different title. The photo books being one specific example of this. If you have read the happiness project, then I would save your time and money and try something else. I have found it so repetitive that I haven't even finished reading happier at home.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 23 October 2013
I loved the first book 'The Happiness Project' - this is pretty much more of the same. Nothing new or groundbreaking, but a useful reminder of what she did before really. I like the author, the writing is a bit heavy on research though and its an intelligent read rather than a book you can dip in and out of. Plenty to think about though and if you are already a fan you'll probably find it useful. If you've never read this authors work before go for 'The Happiness Project' instead of this as its more comprehensive
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 16 September 2012
I loved The Happiness Project and was so looking forward to this follow up. I'm a fan of Gretchen and follow her blog. But be warned - this is very thin and adds very little to the previous book. My advice is look carefully before you commit to buy...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 6 March 2013
if you loved the happiness project then you will love this book. More great tips and projects to make your life that bit happier
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 21 September 2012
A fantastic follow up to 'The Happiness Project'. I loved the first book for its easy to swallow advice, humour and relatability (if that is a word). I've lost count of the times I've read different passages, nodding my head in recognition in spite of the geographical (and probably economic) differences between myself and Rubin. I've seen a few slightly negative reviews along the lines that the second book doesn't break new ground. Well, perhaps in terms of overall themes and theories it doesn't. But I think to say that would be to miss the point. The foundations were laid by the first book and have been built upon in the second. You see, this stuff is a bit like a diet book. You're really inspired while you are reading but after a week or two passes you can start to lose focus and motivation. This second book picks you up and sets you off again. I sincerely hope there will be a third book.

The appeal of both books lay in Rubin's voice which is candid, humourous and engaging. Whether intentional or not, the streets of Manhattan waft straight from the page into my small town in England. So to do Rubin and her family. They feel like characters in a book that you just want to hear more and more about.

I'd never buy a self-help book about learning how to increase my happiness but I do love reading about real peoples lives, particularly when they are working towards a particular goal whatever that may be. Any, yes, there is plenty of advice and helpful ideas, some of which I have put into practice with good effect.

I found Rubin's writing utterly gorgeous. Gold stars to you, Gretchen!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I love The Happiness Project, so I was really keen to read Happier at Home. The book more than lived up to my expectations and explored avenues that the first hadn't covered.

I love Gretchen Rubin's mix of research, literary examples and examples from her own life. Research data is fascinating but what does it actually mean for the woman or man in the street? Gretchen explores this, but as she says herself, she can only comment from the stance of her own personality. I am fascinated by people's personal interpretations and I think it is this that sets the Happiness series apart. However, for those who want to explore their own feelings on the 8 focus areas there are the guidelines and tools in place to set up their own happiness project.

Definitely worth 5 stars, and I am hopeful there will be another happiness book along soon.
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on 26 January 2014
Always considered, funny and thought-provoking, Gretchen Rubin seems to be a one-off in her blend of intellectual curiosity, practical sense, passion for her subject and honest soul-searching. At times, this seems an exhausting search for perfection in every day life where clutter is not tolerated (or continually sniffed out) but this is balanced out by Rubin's self-deprecation and self-awareness. I really enjoyed reading this and feel it is a book I will return to.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 20 November 2012
I loved The Happiness Project, but this seemed much more thrown together and half-hearted, with very little new insight or ideas. Suspect her agent and publisher thought it was a good idea, as the first one sold so well, but her heart wasn't in it.
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on 8 November 2013
I am enjoying this immensely as a follow up to the first happiness project book - so easy to read and many valid comments and ideas. Book arrived very quickly, well packaged and is a/welcome addition to my shelf.
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