The Happiness Project
by Gretchen Rubin
Subtitled Or, Why I spent a year trying to sing in the morning, clean my closets, fight right, read Aristotle, and generally have more fun, the author chronicles her year spent making improvements to her life to see if it would make her happier.
I thought this was going to be another how-to-be-happy self-help book, of which I've read my share. They all tell you the same things: Take a walk, eat right, do things for others, meditate, blah, blah, blah. It's hard to incorporate the suggestions into your life when you're down in the dumps and your life is already one big bad habit. This book is different in that it's a journal of Rubin's "happiness project;" I felt that I was subconsciously inhaling the suggestions instead of being told what to do. It was nice.
What I love is that Rubin is a reader. She loves books. And she says people should do what they already love to do instead of trying to love something new. She made me feel that reading is okay! I've always felt so guilty that I love to read, as if it isn't a legitimate passion. Some people like motocross, some like knitting, some like running, well I like to read. I love this saying from the book: "You can choose what you do; you can't choose what you like to do." And this: "The things that go wrong often make the best memories," i.e. rain at a wedding.
Do I Recommend? If you are truly seeking help for a miserable life, no; but if you want a fun read and to pick up a few "happy" hints on the way, definitely yes.
My Rating: 4/5