- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 9 hours and 56 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: HarperAudio
- Audible.com Release Date: December 29, 2009
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0032COUXQ
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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The Happiness Project Audible – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
I found the author's tone whiny and self-important. Inflated sense of ego, anyone? Good grief.
Gretchen is a 40 something, ultra-priveleged mother, "writer", former law clerk to Sandra Day O'Connor and Yale grad (these last two facts are repeated over and over and over just in case the reader didn't catch them the first time). She decides one day that she could be happier, and sets off, in her goal-oriented way, to find more happiness. Also, she likes to give herself gold stars. Lots of them.
The advice she dishes out, however, consists of nuggets of common sense that most of have learned well before age 40. Be nice to everyone! Don't nag the people you love! Spend time with your kids! De-clutter! Get more sleep and exercise more!
Gretchen, as it turns out, lives in a Manhattan triplex, has a nanny, a housekeeper and millions of dollars. Obviously, she has lots of free time and disposable income to fund her 'happiness project'. It's hard to take her seriously when she whines about things like running errands for her daughter's birthday party and how hard it is for her to spend a week being nice to her husband.
I wish she had dug a little deeper into her own psyche - WHY does she need constant approval and attention? That is a question that may have been worth exploring.
In a New York Times article she is quoted as saying about her book, "I don't have anything that's really original".
No you would not, and Harper Collins knows this, which is why the cover features humble tenements and handwritten script and omits any detail that would make you think she's not just an arty mom from Brooklyn looking to focus on the bright side of life.
Who is she really? The way she tells it, she's a lawyer who boldly gave up a law career to pursue her passion, writing. She neglects to mention that this was not much of a risk given that she is married to the son of Robert Rubin, former Treasury Secretary under Clinton, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup guy who personally helped ensure that derivatives stayed unregulated, netting millions for himself and billions of taxpayer bailout for his companies.
Once you know this, the story is unpalatable. Rubin and Harper Collins know this, and go to great lengths to maintain the ruse that Rubin is an everywoman, writing that she hesitates to purchase a $2 pen, or a new blender, or new shirts. Yet how can she really write an honest happy project if she is not truthful?
It is deceitful that she would say how tidying her home made her so much happier when you know that she has had a staff all along that can help her with just that.Read more ›
For example, her relationship epiphany seems to boil down to "you can't change your partner, you can only change yourself." Really? This fact somehow escaped her? Because it seems to me to be the point of pretty much every relationship article that has ever been written.
In another essay, she wracks her brain to think of how on earth she might store all her children's cards, photos, and other paper goods. What to do? Stacks aren't working! Surely there must be some way of filing paper goods away in some kind of storage device...then it hits her: FILE BOXES! Are you freaking kidding me? How does someone get this far in life without having ever heard of organizing papers into files?
There are other such oddities that make me wonder if this woman and I are living on the same planet, such as when she decides that collecting something might make her happy but can't think of anything to collect. Is it me? Does everyone else begin collections by consciously deciding that they need one, then having to try and think up something to collect? Maybe it is me. I just thought that sort of thing tends to happen more organically.
These are just examples, I don't want to belabor the point by stating every single thing that made me roll my eyes throughout the book. There seemed to be something in every single chapter.
She's really not a bad writer and has a nice conversational style, which makes it regrettable that she uses nearly one quarter of the book to share anonymous comments that internet users have left on her blog.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Just the worst. Her time would have been better spent volunteering to find happiness than writing a book detailing her bored, wealthy life style and how she can't remember friends'... Read morePublished 1 day ago by Kara K. Myers
This was an enjoyable book to keep on my phone to dip into in spare moments. There are things to be mindful of about happiness, some fun ideas to try. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Susan Harelson
I was listening to this on my commute each morning, however, this is one the very first times Ive given up on an audio. Read morePublished 4 days ago by s j harris
My favorite part of this book is the way it was presented. I like the idea of a "Happiness Project" and have even started my own after reading about Gretchens.Published 9 days ago by Ohliveuhh
I loved The Happiness Project! As I listened to the Audible edition, I kept thinking that I had read the book. While I may have, I can’t be sure that I did. Read morePublished 10 days ago by lunarchi
I really did like this book because it was relatable. I gave it only 3 stars because the content was nothing new that I haven't already read in other "self-help" books, and... Read morePublished 11 days ago by Nicco Suave