Jeremy reads The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

Why did you read this book? As noted, a goal for 2014 is to read 24 books related to personal growth. I tend to be averse to these books because they look hokey when I see them on the shelf, and yet I rarely regret reading them afterward. Anyway, one of the department stores here has a whole “goals stationery” section that got me thinking about all this, and they had this book also sitting on the shelf as a suggested impulse buy. (What I actually did was pull out my iPad and buy the book for my Kindle, but still the store had the right idea marketing-wise.)

Has Beckie read it? Yes, long time ago.

42 word review: Useful on the whole. Good writing; insightful about their experiences, accompanied by many asides to research and quotes. Sometimes gets bogged down by excessive personal narrative and repasted blog comments. Also has such a privleged life already, can be hard to relate.

A sampling quotes I found useful:

  • Samuel Johnson, who had an opinion about everything, did remark, “No money is better spent that what is laid out for domestic satisfaction.”
  • “I felt particularly oppressed by aspirational clutter—things that I owned but only aspired to use: the glue gun I never mastered, mysteriously specific silver serving pieces untouched since our wedding, my beige pumps with superhigh heels.”
  • My Eighth Commandment is “Identify the problem.” I’d realized that often I put up with a problem for years because I never examined the nature of the problem and how it might be solved. It turns out that stating a problem clearly often suggests its solution.
  • “[F]or both men and women…the most reliable predictor of not being lonely is the amount of contact with women. Time spent with men doesn’t make a difference.” [Note: the book has no references, but I would love to look up this study.]
  • “However, if you want to know how people would like to be treated, it’s more helpful to look at how they themselves act than what they say.”

Overall rating: 4 yearlong stunts (out of 5)

2 thoughts on “Jeremy reads The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

  1. I liked this book enough to want to read her second book (Happier at Home), but I haven’t gotten around to it. Would you want to read it too? The one she’s writing now is about habits and sounds more practically useful.

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