Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin

The full title of Ms. Rubin's book is, "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."

Here's the outline:  Ms. Rubin epiphany was on a New York City bus when she saw another women out the window struggling to multitask and wondered, "Is this really it?"   This eventually turned into asking herself how she could feel happier.  And that became her happiness project, culminating in this book, a description of her year long quest to be happier.

After introducing that during her happiness project year she started a blog, Ms. Rubin started using comments from that blog as filler; I found that distracting.

Overall there is not much new news here.  A net-net review of actions that are well supported as increasing one's happiness would be a magazine article, that's not the sort of crisp exposition we have here.  There are tons of anecdotes (many of which lead to me believing that Ms. Rubin is rather a difficult person), and some interesting narrative, but it is a bit rambling.   And shallow.   And insufficiently informative.  And really not worth the bother.

One positive: I might be inspired to read another (better) book on this topic now, perhaps Haidt's The Happiness Hypothesis .

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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