- Hardcover: 301 pages
- Publisher: Harper; 1 edition (December 29, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0061583251
- ISBN-13: 978-0061583254
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1,506 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,296 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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 Hardcover – December 29, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred 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.
“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)
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Top Customer Reviews
Unlike a lot of other books in the 'concentrate on what's important' genre, Rubin seems to have done her research. Yes, this book is a memoir, but it's not completely based on anecdotal and personal experience. Rubin cites scientists, philosophers, alongside her own experience. It's incredibly refreshing.
Edit: I've read some other reviews of this book, there's a lot of 'Who wants to hear about a rich white lady who has it all?' Well, at the outset of the book Rubin admits she's living a charmed life. She seems to struggle a little bit with it through the book... but the principles are pretty universal. I don't think that anyone is going to argue that Rubin is the new Dalai Lama for spiritual enlightenment... this doesn't mean that despite the fact she leads a privileged and wonderful life that she has nothing whatsoever to say. I liked her honesty, though there seem to be quite a few reviewers who thought she was bitchy. I enjoyed Eat, Pray, Love a few years ago and liked it a lot as a travelogue and a memoir, but there wasn't a whole lot I could take away from that book to actually implement in my own life, the fact that Rubin focuses on the small things (that 99% of people could stand to work on) is what makes this book great.
There's also something really authentic about Rubin who offers up the resources that she found useful during her journey to readers. She invites people interested to actually contact her, she could have made more money selling all these materials commercially, instead she offers them up for free... which I think is a testament to her desire to help people by publishing her journey - despite it being 'stunt journalism'.
Also, what the heck does what her in-laws fiscal worth have to do with anything?
the basic premise is that the author recognizes 12 main aspects of her life to work upon to be happier and then alots of month for each. she then goes about reading all she can about those aspects like work, parenting, relationships, etc and then implementing those strategies and researches on herself.
if you want to read a book on happiness then just get this and you will get all the knowledge you want to know.
small contract - the last few chapters somehow didn't feel as meaty as the earlier ones. In fact the middle chapters were the most meaty one's and the last few chapters felt almost as fillers. that none the less doesn't take even a smidge of the book.
and lastly I do wish the author had given meditation a more real try . It is life changing and millions swear by it/.b but again that doesn't take a thing away from this great book and I whole heartedly recommend it.
Con- The author is a highly educated, highly successful, upper middle class, urban dwelling white American female, who does not seem to have a very complicated/challenging upbringing, marriage, or other obviously serious life challenges, so for some people it might be challenging to relate to her. What helps is that she is very candid about her position in life and the fact that she may not be dealing with the most serious challenges and she comes across very authentic which helps take her more seriously. T
hat being said, the book is full of good research and the writing style is easy to read and I believe this book would be beneficial to most readers.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My therapist recommended it and I was hesitant at first because I thought it was going to be preachy and dull.Read more