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Showing 1-10 of 177 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 301 reviews
on September 7, 2012
As other reviewers have said, I really wanted to like this book. I loved The Happiness Project, and found it life-changing--in fact, I re-read it at least once a year. I bought copies for family and friends, I recommend it constantly to students in my college writing classes. I love the author and her writing style, too--she is so refreshingly honest, with a wonderfully accessible style.

But this book, which I'd eagerly anticipated since I pre-ordered it earlier this summer, feels more like a diary or a The Life of Gretchen Rubin documentary than a self-help book. I love detail, normally, but so much of this book seemed to be "and then this happened to me, and then I did this." Hard to say how that differs from the first book, but it did--maybe it was the dearth of new insights, or the inclusion of the seemingly trivial (to me, at least). For example, I love scent, too, but the number of pages devoted to Rubin's exploration of smell, including creating a Shrine to Scent, just seemed like an awful lot of attention spent trying to elevate the incredibly mundane.

I do realize that paying attention to the details was a big part of Rubin's prescription for happiness in her very successful first book, and it's hard to put my finger on what made this one less enjoyable. I guess in the end it felt as though this one was rushed--that she put in the effort to record the details, but perhaps not the same effort towards making those details add up to something relevant and useful to the reader. Sort of a "This is what I did" rather than "Here's what to do"--more of a memoir of nine months than the instructional, follow-this-path tone of The Happiness Project. And I love a good memoir--but this wasn't a good memoir, either. It's like she didn't have much significant to say, but still took up a lot of space saying it.

If this is your first Gretchen Rubin book, you may not have the same problem with it that I did--I guess I just loved the first book so much that I had very high expectations. I still do, and will look forward to her next project and her next book. But I probably won't be re-reading this one.
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on April 11, 2015
I am surprised at how much I enjoyed reading and how much insight I have gained by reading both The Happiness Project and Happier at Home. I read them consecutively and am glad I did as this volume builds on the principles outlined in the first. I frequently have little things like, "Show up," "I need to act how I want to feel," and other gems cross my mind during the day that remind and help me keep my own resolutions. This book is well crafted with just the right balance of research info and personal anecdotes. I enjoy the author's style very much and find that we have similar personality traits; that realization made me feel like I'd made a new friend. This will be one of those books (along with its predecessor) that I will keep on my shelf to refer to when I am ready for a new resolution or a new challenge. The main principles (Secrets of Adulthood, The Eight Splendid Truths, Tips to...) are conveniently recapped in the back of the book for quick reference and each chapter heading provides an overview to that month's goal and resolutions. There is also information directing the reader to online resources for personal or group Happiness Projects. I believe most people will benefit from the insights and information in this book; I know I did and will in the future as I implement the ideas in my own life.
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on August 24, 2015
Happiness is an emotion not a to-do list. I stopped reading about ½ way through, couldn't read my way through another page. Yelling at her 5 year old, resenting her husband's lack of attention paid to her and nagging her parents about not visiting their lawyer to get their final papers in order are not examples of "happier at home". The author needs to take a look a how she approaches human emotion, she considers herself a "social scientist" but most social scientist do not use their family as guinea pigs. NOT RECOMMENDED.
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on April 14, 2017
Equally comparable to the first book. Not better just different. Some additional great ideas that inspire me to make some small changes in my life to boost my happiness.
More time with friends and yet more reading for fun. Getting things off my to do list.
Inspires me to try to get out of my normal box. Try new restaurants and go to new places ... even if it is in my own town.
Loved this book. Must read and reread.
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on March 29, 2017
I approve of the concept of this book, less is more if you are true to who you are. Stuff really can make you happy, but not because of the amount of it you have. Stuff make you happy when it is useful to you or someone else or evokes a precious memory for you or your loved ones. Otherwise, the act of decluttering will bring you happiness along with order and ease. The approach this book takes to arriving at this message is gentle and informative. Get Happier at Home now!
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on April 6, 2015
I've been a fan of Rubin's blog for years and I eagerly ordered her first book when it was released. I've read that book twice now and am currently listening to the audiobook version. Her second book, Happier at Home, I trudged getting through. The information in the book seemed familiar. I think there is new information in this book compared to her first, but there is a lot of repetition. This book is just ok - probably not a must-read if you've read The Happiness Project. Skip over this and move to Before and After.
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on November 6, 2013
I felt inspired by reading Gretchen Rubin's first book on "happiness" and was eager to read this book. I found it to be just as filled with ideas to help me create more happiness at home. Some of these ways are not what one normally hears and it was good to have a different perspective in this quest. After reading both of these books I also signed up for Gretchen Rubin's "quote a day" emails that I look forward to each morning. She seems to go above and beyond to insure that her readers are encouraged to seek more happiness in their lives.
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on January 4, 2016
This was a fitting start to the new year. I mean, who doesn't want to be happier, especially at home. Though I found the book started off strong and somewhat sputtered to an end, I was engaged throughout (even if I skipped over a few of Rubin's more theoretical ponderings of happiness. Notes were taken; plans were put into action; and I recommend giving it a read.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon February 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )|Verified Purchase
Gretchen Rubin's first book, The Happiness Project, focused on her efforts to build a more fulfilled, joyful life. So naturally some readers may wonder: why a second book on happiness? But this time around she takes some of the principles from The Happiness Project and narrows it down. This doesn't mean the information is "watered down" in any way. Instead, as Rubin writes (taking a quote from William Morris), "The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life." And one of those details is life at home.

The book was spurred by a sudden yearning not to take daily family and home life for granted. Yes, she'd learned how to be more joyful in general but what about taking some of the same principles - and adding new ones - to the elements that truly mattered for her family and home? So she decided to create a year's worth of resolutions, focusing on a different one each month (but there are only 9 chapters so some resolutions must have taken longer than a month to achieve)

The topics covered were: possessions, marriage, parenthood, interior design, time, body, family, neighborhood, and living in the present. Rubin realized that major changes had to come primarily from within herself, not by expecting her family to change in the same ways she did. Otherwise, everything could backfire and she'd become a nagging control freak. A guiding motto was "First, do no harm."

The parts of the book which resonated most with me were the sections on appreciating present joys as well as interior design. I have trouble slowing down and appreciating the daily gifts of life, large and small. Instead, I think about what still needs to be accomplished. But Rubin helped me to step back and refocus. I now make space for quiet moments and deep appreciation for all that I have.

Then there is the part of the book on interior design - but not in the conventional sense, not room decor. Rubin's idea of interior design was to renovate herself, her spirit, her perspective. She decided to resist the impulse to take her happiness completely from her husband and children. Yes, she cared about their joy but she also knew that she had to "dig deep" to create her own built-in happiness. That way, her positive outlook was more likely to contribute to her family's happiness - as well as her own.

There is far too much to cover in a reasonably brief review but I want to stress that this book went beyond the type of self-help books which contain general platitudes. There is specific and detailed information about how Rubin approached each resolution. There is also a section called "Your Happiness Project" at the back of the book. This is useful as a starting point for readers who want to start a Happiness Project of their own. Instead of instructing readers exactly what to do, Rubin offers a set of questions and beliefs. Examples of questions include: what makes you feel good? What makes you feel bad? Is there any way you don't feel right about your life (job, city, family situation, etc? I found much helpful info here.
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on November 19, 2012
Normally, I do not read this kind of "self help" book, considering myself a more "literary" sort of person, but Rubin's writing is so engaging and her insights so apt and thoughtful that I found myself totally engaged. And I learned a lot about simple ways to make myself more productive and, yes, happy. The sections on organization were particularly helpful, as I've always felt guilty taking the time to get organized and have therefore lived in a constant state of siege. With Rubin's wisdom in mind, I am learning to give myself the gift of organization. The happiness is sticking with me. I am so very grateful!
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