The Happiness Project – Gretchen Rubin (2009) 

The Happiness Project started as one woman’s goal to spend a year trying to be happier. To enjoy her life more, to snap at her kids less, to appreciate your husband, and became a glasslike phenomenon. I picked up the book while in the midst of a difficult pregnancy, while mothering a *slightly* difficult toddler. In short, I was desperate for something that would “teach me” to feel happy. A fan of AJ Jacobs’ books, chronicling his years as a guinea pig, or reading the encyclopedia, or living biblically, I was curious about a year spent finding happiness. I thoroughly enjoyed and agreed with the concept, and found it interesting how similar my own likes, interests and reactions are to Rubin’s. However, unlike myself, Rubin is very organized and thinks very linearly. One key take away from The Happiness Project was to spend less time doing things you hate to do, in Rubin’s case – trying new foods, and spend more time doing things you love to do, for example making miniature dioramas in shelves around your home. The book is easy to read, at 352 pages, and will leave the reader feeling inspired to declutter their life, however, there is a portion of the project that would require the same sort of dedication that New Year’s Resolutions take, and readers may feel disheartened by their lack of “results”, when they do not have the goal of completing a book and life and work and children and spouses get in the way.

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