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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

4.1 out of 5 stars 264 customer reviews

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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
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  • Better Than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits _ to Sleep More, Quit Sugar, Procrastinate Less, and Generally Build a Happier Life
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  • Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson, and My Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life
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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: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (264 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 74,468 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was recommended to me and I thought I’d give it a go. After the introduction, the author assigns herself tasks each month in the hope of improving her happiness. I got to the end of February and had to give up. I feel I should get a pat on the back (or 'gold star' as the author puts it) for even getting that far).

I thought I waffled on a bit, but this woman uses a thousand words to say what can be said in a hundred. It made it a very difficult and tedious read for me. Rather than being uplifting or inspiring, I actually found it quite draining.

For the most part I didn’t really ‘get’ what the author was saying. One of her goals was to stop nagging her husband. She suggests that rather than asking him to fix the video camera, she just says ‘camera’ at him. Am I missing something?! When he says he doesn’t want to help fill in holiday cards, she does it herself and admits to resenting him, yet then says that she feels happy because she hasn’t nagged him?

There are also far too many percentages and statistics thrown in here, not always with an explanation of where they came from. Also too many quotes and conversations with friends and family that in most cases just draw the book out even further and act as ‘filler’. Needless to say, I wouldn’t recommend.
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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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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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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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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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