Gretchen Rubin read "The Happiness Project" herself, and I loved her goofy, cheerful voice. She genuinely sounded happy! Her projects are nerdy and offbeat, but they feel authentic.
The projects feel less fun without the author's infectious, silly enthusiasm to win me over. The narrator isn't bad, she just isn't as genuinely excited about the projects and resolutions. This makes the experience sound less exhilarating and more exhausting. I also don't like her use of actual character voices for Gretchen's daughters, who sound like Rugrats. These are small things, but they definitely shaped my experience of the audiobook.
This book is definitely informed by the author's experiences with "The Happiness Project." She feels the need to remind readers that she knows how lucky she is to be able to be living a writerly life in New York City. She responds to some of the criticisms of the last book in this one in a way that feels defensive. I hope she realizes that many people enjoyed the book exactly as it was, and though we might envy her freedom and her great Manhattan apartment, we enjoy the chance to live vicariously through her experience. I appreciate her willingness to write so openly about her life and her experience. The people who did not like the last book are not going to be interested in reading this one.
I am not ready to tackle such a huge number of resolutions and projects all at once, but I like many of the ideas here. It's nice to think about giving more attention to greetings and goodbyes, for example. It's a good idea to remember that 15 minutes of unpleasant work each day can make me happier in the long run.
If you liked "The Happiness Project," you will probably enjoy "Happier at Home." If you haven't read "The Happiness Project" yet, read it first, because this book doesn't stand completely on its own, it relies heavily on material covered in the first book. Besides, as I said, the first book was more fun.
I found myself skipping large chunks of this book where the author wanted readers to draw a chart or write down a recipe. Such material doesn't work in audio. A PDF supplement should have been provided with the charts, graphs, and recipes.
I would recommend skipping this one -- the basic material is good but not particularly new or fresh. I liked the case studies, but those were few and far between.
Like Wendy McClure, I have been a longtime fan of the Little House books and had a lot of unanswered questions about the real girl behind the stories. I enjoyed having someone with a similar sensibility as mine (skeptical, a bit snarky, but also sincere) do the hard work of answering those questions for me. I had gotten as far as reading _The Ghost in the Little House_, but no further. This book helps me to better understand my own feelings about the Little House series.
Like the author, I do not feel completely comfortable with the books' other types of fans: homeschoolers, end-timers, etc. I think the narrator's at-times-too-perky voice, however, seems to feel like a bit of a mismatch for the author's wry, witty writing. I like audiobooks enough to let this slide, but I wondered if those casting had assumed this was an uncritical homage to all things Laura.
This book would work much better in paper form -- it has lots of lists and web links and quizzes, which don't translate well to audio. I am a huge fan of Jillian Michaels but it is painfully dull to listen to her spell out web links that I couldn't really use anyway.
A better way to have executed this would be to put the tips in audio and have a companion PDF file with all the links, quizzes, and other similar material. That would have been much more useful and made the audiobook more engaging.
The author is, for the most part, engaging, and he definitely has solid information to share. Some of his humor falls flat to me -- I loved his joke about immigrants vs. Americans eating chicken wings, but many of the others are just annoying. He is obviously a smart guy who is not a leering frat boy, so his attempts to sound like one just feel inauthentic.
Overall, worth listening to if you want some basics on how to manage personal finances. The information is most targeted to those in their 20s and early 30s, but I still got a lot out of it at 42.
I'd hoped to learn some new things about how a healthy body works, but this was mostly a collection of oddities. There were some interesting moments, like learning that organ meats have more vitamins than vegetables. I think it was just a bad fit for me.
I have only listened to part of the book, which I purchased on impulse without listening to the sample. The narrator's voice would be more suited to scientific or other scholarly content. His voice is reminiscent of a narrator from an educational program.
This book really could have used someone who had a more mellow and relaxed style, and who could pronounce French correctly. I'm feeling conflicted -- I am really interested in the content, but I'm not sure I can get through the rest of it.
From now on I will always, always listen to the sample before purchasing.
There is some important and interesting information here, but the narrator is not a great audiobook reader. So many of the better readers use their voice to help guide the listener to what is most important. This one seems excited about everything, which, ironically, made the book feel monotonous. She might do better with a different kind of book. Until I checked, I thought the book had been read by the author.
The story was well-told and the characters were complex and believable, even though the adventure itself was a bit unlikely.
Harold's first breakfast away from home, alternately encouraged and heckled by the B&B guests.
I love Harold but I think Maureen is even more sympathetic, to me.
I was in tears at the end but will not say any more for fear of spoiling it.
There are a lot of important reflections on marriage here -- it seems that Harold and his wife had to spend time apart to really see each other.
This book uses stories to illustrate the history and current understanding of genetics. I first heard about this book on Radio Lab, and this book uses the same kind of narrative style to engage listeners in serious science through compelling mysteries and human dramas. I would recommend it to other amateur science geeks.
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