Happier at Home

Happier at Home

Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon A Project, Read Samuel Johnson, and My Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life

Book - 2012
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Random House, Inc.

Tolstoy wrote, "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." This is the statement that inspired bestselling author Gretchen Rubin to wonder whether she could foster an even greater happiness in her home. DuringThe Happiness Project, the same questions kept tugging at her. How can I raise happy children? How can I maintain a tender, romantic relationship with my spouse--after fifteen years of marriage? How do I keep my Blackberry from taking over my private life? How can I foster a well-ordered, light-hearted atmosphere in my house, when no one else will lift a finger to cooperate?

This book is Gretchen's account of her second journey in pursuit of happiness. Prescriptive, easy-to-follow, and anecdotal,Happier at Home offers readers a way of thinking and being that is positive and life-affirming. With specific examples following the calendar year, an intimate voice, and drawing from science and pop culture, this book will resonate with anyone looking to strengthen the bonds of family.



Publisher: [Toronto] : Doubleday Canada, c2012
Description: xiii, 273 p. : ill. ; 25 cm
ISBN: 9780385670821
Branch Call Number: 152.42 Rub
Additional Contributors: Rubin, Gretchen Craft

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ohbejoyful
Dec 31, 2015

I ejoyed Gretchen Ruben's yearlong Happiness Project. She showed how humans typically define and pursue happiness. She brought to her readers radically different ways of looking at the quality of each of lives, wherever we stood in our journey and regardless of the struggles each of us. Her principles were general enough to apply across social class stratifications - gender, race, wealth, gender orientation, etc.

Happier At Home comes from a different place. Lacking purpose after the success of her first book leads her to a desperate attempt to work on another yearlong happiness project. When she lands on the idea that she could be happier specifically within the confines of home, she literally has to force her husband and children to participate. Her family goes along reluctantly, and even at times choose to disregard the project's requirements of them. In my opinion this impacts the believability of her work. Oddly enough, she begins the book with repeated illustrations of how happy, how content she already is at home: "Jamie and I lived with our two girls under our roof, with our own parents strong and busy, with two little nephews just learning to talk and play, everyone healthy despite a few longstanding, nagging medical concerns, and no disaster looming except the woes of sixth grade."

But more importantly - she departs from addressing a universal audience. It feels that most of her suggestions stem from a place of upperclass privilege, inaccessible to many of her readers.

Ruben does talk about judging her possessions with the concern that she has trouble getting rid of things that are broken (because she wonders if she could be happier if she did), but I think that Marie Kondo does a *much* better job of this, philosophically, in her book "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up".

I have faith in her writing, and will still check out future publications, but this one was a fail for me.

w
writermala
Sep 18, 2015

At first I felt this book was not as good as 'the happiness project;' but soon I realized the value of this one. I guess I'd expected it to be more humorous than it was. The books did make some very astute comments like "working is the most dangerous form of procrastination." So true in this techno age.

m
MindyTureau
Nov 15, 2013

I assumed that this book would be filled with actual advice for making oneself happier in the home. Instead, it was a bunch of random thoughts and quirky, off-the-mark anecdotes. While it did motivate me to purge my home of things I didn't need, and to get my office more organized, overall it just frustrated me. Most of her stories are about attempting to sit and write about happiness while being distracted by her children and ignoring her husband. This book is practically a blog.

s
salsaladybug
May 24, 2013

Gretchen is very honest and down to earth...just like normal people. Her book was very helpful and enlightening. It motivated me to get organized and clean out a lot of unwanted clutter. I just needed a push.

ChristchurchLib Jan 24, 2013

"...It’s that “happier” that is the key. Because Rubin is already happy at home. She has a supportive husband, two lovely daughters, a very good job, no money problems, is more than passably good looking and appears to be in robust good health. Some of you nay-sayers out there will already be thinking: 'V for Vomit – she is altogether too perfect for my poor tattered little life'..." Read more about "Happier at Home" in our blog post http://cclblog.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/happier-at-home/

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