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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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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 Cover

ISBN13: 9780061583254
ISBN10: 0061583251
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Staff Pick

In a time when "experiment memoirs" are a dime a dozen, Rubin stands out with this inspiring and entertaining book. The Happiness Project is Eat, Pray, Love for us regular folks who don't have the time or money to go "find" ourselves in India. Poignant and, most importantly, applicable.
Recommended by Martha, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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 of that year, Rubin carves out her place alongside the authors of bestselling memoirs such as Julie and Julia, The Year of Living Biblically, and Eat, Pray, Love. With humor and insight, she 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.

Rubin didn't have the option to uproot herself, nor did she really want to; instead she focused on improving her life as it was. Each month she tackled a new set of resolutions: give proofs of love, ask for help, find more fun, keep a gratitude notebook, forget about results. She immersed herself in principles set forth by all manner of experts, from Epicurus to Thoreau to Oprah to Martin Seligman to the Dalai Lama to see what worked for her — and what didn't.

Her conclusions are sometimes surprising — she finds that money can buy happiness, when spent wisely; that novelty and challenge are powerful sources of happiness; that "treating" yourself can make you feel worse; that venting bad feelings doesn't relieve them; that the very smallest of changes can make the biggest difference — and they range from the practical to the profound.

Written with charm and wit, The Happiness Project is illuminating yet entertaining, thought-provoking yet compulsively readable. Gretchen Rubin's passion for her subject jumps off the page, and reading just a few chapters of this book will inspire you to start your own happiness project.

Review:

"Rubin is not an unhappy woman: she has a loving husband, two great kids and a writing career in New York City. Still, she could-and, arguably, should-be happier. Thus, her methodical (and bizarre) happiness project: spend one year achieving careful, measurable goals in different areas of life (marriage, work, parenting, self-fulfillment) and build on them cumulatively, using concrete steps (such as, in January, going to bed earlier, exercising better, getting organized, and 'acting more energetic'). By December, she's striving bemusedly to keep increasing happiness in every aspect of her life. The outcome is good, not perfect (in accordance with one of her 'Secrets of Adulthood': 'Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good'), but Rubin's funny, perceptive account is both inspirational and forgiving, and sprinkled with just enough wise tips, concrete advice and timely research (including all those other recent books on happiness) to qualify as self-help. Defying self-help expectations, however, Rubin writes with keen senses of self and narrative, balancing the personal and the universal with a light touch. Rubin's project makes curiously compulsive reading, which is enough to make any reader happy." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"This book made me happy in the first five pages." AJ Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible

Review:

"A cross between the Dalai Lama's The Art of Happiness and Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love." Sonja Lyubomirsky, author of The How of Happiness

Synopsis:

What if you could change your life without really changing your life? On the outside, Gretchen Rubin had it all — a good marriage, healthy children and a successful career — but she knew something was missing. Determined to end that nagging feeling, she set out on a year-long quest to learn how to better enjoy the life she already had.

Each month, Gretchen pursued a different set of resolutions — go to sleep earlier, tackle a nagging task, bring people together, take time to be silly — along with dozens of other goals. She read everything from classical philosophy to cutting-edge scientific studies, from Winston Churchill to Oprah, developing her own definition of happiness and a plan for how to achieve it. She kept track of which resolutions worked and which didn't, sharing her stories and collecting those of others through her blog (created to fulfill one of March's resolutions). Bit by bit, she began to appreciate and amplify the happiness in her life.

The Happiness Project is the engaging, relatable and inspiring result of the author's twelve-month adventure in becoming a happier person. Written with a wicked sense of humour and sharp insight, Gretchen Rubin's story will inspire readers to embrace the pleasure in their lives and remind them how to have fun.

Synopsis:

Erin McHugh had spent the better part of her adult life doing community work, but in more recent years, the minutiae of life and working as a bookseller kept her busy and away from those higher impulses. Then one day she learned a distant relative was actually going to be canonized. Was this a sign? What followed next was McHughandrsquo;s sincere urge to recapture a sense of charity, and so she set out on her birthday to do one good deed every day for an entire year. Maybe she wouldnandrsquo;t be saving orphans from burning buildings, but she wanted to take one small, daily detour and make someone elseandrsquo;s life just a little bit better. One Good Deed is the inspiring, smart, and frequently funny chronicle of that year, in which each page represents a day in McHughandrsquo;s journey to reclaim the better part of herself, inspiring readers to do the same.

Praise for One Good Deed:

andldquo;Her memoir will inspire you to flex your do-gooder muscle without being preachy or a Pollyanna.andrdquo; andndash;Fitness

andldquo;7 Good Deeds That Could Change Your Lifeandrdquo; andmdash;Redbook

andldquo;Engaging, funny, wise, and winning. One Good Deed is a measure of humanity and of McHughandrsquo;s own striving towards it.andrdquo;

andmdash;Susan Orlean, author of Rin Tin Tin and The Orchid Thief

andldquo;This instructive, funny, utterly relevant book reminds us that the simple (but not-so-simple) act of paying daily attention can make a profound differenceandmdash;to the world around us, and to our very selves.andrdquo;

andmdash;Dani Shapiro, author of Devotion: A Memoir

andldquo;The best book in the world...because it makes us our best.andrdquo;

andmdash;Nichole Bernier, author of The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D.

Video

About the Author

Gretchen Rubin is the author of several books, including the bestselling Forty Ways to Look at Winston Churchill. She was clerking for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor when she realized that she really wanted to be a writer. She lives in New York City with her husband and two young daughters.

Table of Contents

January, Vitality: boost energy — February, Marriage: remember love — March, Work: aim higher — April, Parenthood: lighten up — May, Leisure: be serious about play — June, Friendship: make time for friends — July, Money: buy some happiness — August, Eternity: contemplate the heavens — September, Books: pursue a passion — October, Mindfulness: pay attention — November, Attitude: keep a contented heart — December, Happiness: boot camp perfect — Your happiness project — Further reading.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 7 comments:

bll1010, October 21, 2014 (view all comments by bll1010)
I just finished reading The Happiness Project with my book club. First of all, what a great choice for a book club! Each chapter focuses on a different area of the author's life in which she was attempting to increase her happiness including her marriage, her work, her relationship with her children, etc. Every person in our book club found something that they could relate directly to their own life. Personally, I felt like reading Rubin's book had the effect of reading a self-help digest. She invested tons of time and energy into researching happiness and ways to improve in 11 different categories, and I got to benefit from the best lessons she learned. She relays her experiences in an easy, anecdotal way that I really appreciated and she was willing to admit that not every technique or strategy she tried worked for her. It was a quick, interesting and beneficial read for me and it made for a fantastic and entertaining book club discussion!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)
Valya, January 12, 2012 (view all comments by Valya)
This book was fun and informative. She did some things that I tried and some that I would not want to do but great ideas.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(3 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)
Valya, January 12, 2012 (view all comments by Valya)
The Happiness Project was a fun and helpful book. I enjoyed her attempts both the successful ones and the failures.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(3 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 7 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780061583254
Author:
Rubin, Gretchen
Publisher:
HarperTorch
Author:
Gretchen Rubin
Author:
Kaplan, Janice
Author:
that "treating" yourself can make you feel worse
Author:
McHugh, Erin
Author:
that venting bad feelings doesn't relieve them
Author:
Rubin, Gretchen Craft
Author:
Cahn, Lu Ann
Subject:
Self-actualization (psychology)
Subject:
Happiness
Subject:
Personal Growth - General
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Sociology - General
Subject:
Personal Growth - Happiness
Subject:
Biography & Autobiography : Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Biography - General
Subject:
Self-Help/Biography
Subject:
Self-Help : General
Subject:
Self Help-Memoirs
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Subject:
Personal Transformation
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Motivational
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20091231
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects


Biography » General
Children's » General
Featured Titles » Biography
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » Biographies
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » General
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » Memoirs
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » World History » General

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 Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.95 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Harper - English 9780061583254 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

In a time when "experiment memoirs" are a dime a dozen, Rubin stands out with this inspiring and entertaining book. The Happiness Project is Eat, Pray, Love for us regular folks who don't have the time or money to go "find" ourselves in India. Poignant and, most importantly, applicable.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Rubin is not an unhappy woman: she has a loving husband, two great kids and a writing career in New York City. Still, she could-and, arguably, should-be happier. Thus, her methodical (and bizarre) happiness project: spend one year achieving careful, measurable goals in different areas of life (marriage, work, parenting, self-fulfillment) and build on them cumulatively, using concrete steps (such as, in January, going to bed earlier, exercising better, getting organized, and 'acting more energetic'). By December, she's striving bemusedly to keep increasing happiness in every aspect of her life. The outcome is good, not perfect (in accordance with one of her 'Secrets of Adulthood': 'Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good'), but Rubin's funny, perceptive account is both inspirational and forgiving, and sprinkled with just enough wise tips, concrete advice and timely research (including all those other recent books on happiness) to qualify as self-help. Defying self-help expectations, however, Rubin writes with keen senses of self and narrative, balancing the personal and the universal with a light touch. Rubin's project makes curiously compulsive reading, which is enough to make any reader happy." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "This book made me happy in the first five pages." AJ Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible
"Review" by , "A cross between the Dalai Lama's The Art of Happiness and Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love."
"Synopsis" by , What if you could change your life without really changing your life? On the outside, Gretchen Rubin had it all — a good marriage, healthy children and a successful career — but she knew something was missing. Determined to end that nagging feeling, she set out on a year-long quest to learn how to better enjoy the life she already had.

Each month, Gretchen pursued a different set of resolutions — go to sleep earlier, tackle a nagging task, bring people together, take time to be silly — along with dozens of other goals. She read everything from classical philosophy to cutting-edge scientific studies, from Winston Churchill to Oprah, developing her own definition of happiness and a plan for how to achieve it. She kept track of which resolutions worked and which didn't, sharing her stories and collecting those of others through her blog (created to fulfill one of March's resolutions). Bit by bit, she began to appreciate and amplify the happiness in her life.

The Happiness Project is the engaging, relatable and inspiring result of the author's twelve-month adventure in becoming a happier person. Written with a wicked sense of humour and sharp insight, Gretchen Rubin's story will inspire readers to embrace the pleasure in their lives and remind them how to have fun.

"Synopsis" by ,
Erin McHugh had spent the better part of her adult life doing community work, but in more recent years, the minutiae of life and working as a bookseller kept her busy and away from those higher impulses. Then one day she learned a distant relative was actually going to be canonized. Was this a sign? What followed next was McHughandrsquo;s sincere urge to recapture a sense of charity, and so she set out on her birthday to do one good deed every day for an entire year. Maybe she wouldnandrsquo;t be saving orphans from burning buildings, but she wanted to take one small, daily detour and make someone elseandrsquo;s life just a little bit better. One Good Deed is the inspiring, smart, and frequently funny chronicle of that year, in which each page represents a day in McHughandrsquo;s journey to reclaim the better part of herself, inspiring readers to do the same.

Praise for One Good Deed:

andldquo;Her memoir will inspire you to flex your do-gooder muscle without being preachy or a Pollyanna.andrdquo; andndash;Fitness

andldquo;7 Good Deeds That Could Change Your Lifeandrdquo; andmdash;Redbook

andldquo;Engaging, funny, wise, and winning. One Good Deed is a measure of humanity and of McHughandrsquo;s own striving towards it.andrdquo;

andmdash;Susan Orlean, author of Rin Tin Tin and The Orchid Thief

andldquo;This instructive, funny, utterly relevant book reminds us that the simple (but not-so-simple) act of paying daily attention can make a profound differenceandmdash;to the world around us, and to our very selves.andrdquo;

andmdash;Dani Shapiro, author of Devotion: A Memoir

andldquo;The best book in the world...because it makes us our best.andrdquo;

andmdash;Nichole Bernier, author of The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D.

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