In the spirit of her blockbuster number-one New York Times best-seller The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin embarks on a new project to make home a happier place.
One Sunday afternoon, as she unloaded the dishwasher, Gretchen Rubin felt hit by a wave of homesickness. Homesick - why? She was standing right in her own kitchen. She felt homesick, she realized, with love for home itself. “Of all the elements of a happy life,” she thought, “my home is the most important.” In a flash, she decided to undertake a new happiness project, and this time, to focus on home.
And what did she want from her home? A place that calmed her and energized her. A place that, by making her feel safe, would free her to take risks. Also, while Rubin wanted to be happier at home, she wanted to appreciate how much happiness was there already.
So, starting in September (the new January), Rubin dedicated a school year - September through May - to making her home a place of greater simplicity, comfort, and love.
In The Happiness Project, she worked out general theories of happiness. Here she goes deeper on factors that matter for home, such as possessions, marriage, time, and parenthood. How can she control the cubicle in her pocket? How might she spotlight her family’s treasured possessions? And it really was time to replace that dud toaster.
Each month, Rubin tackles a different theme as she experiments with concrete, manageable resolutions - and this time, she coaxes her family to try some resolutions, as well.
With her signature blend of memoir, science, philosophy, and experimentation, Rubin’s passion for her subject jumps off the page, and reading just a few chapters of this book will inspire readers to find more happiness in their own lives.
©2012 Gretchen Rubin (P)2012 Random House Audio
The content is very similar to The Happiness Project, without being too repetitive. I listened to one book right after the other and enjoyed both pretty equally. The both provide inspiration and motivation to tackle self-improvement projects, while also being excellent reminders to keep our lives and thoughts focused on the positive. In Happier at Home, Rubin's resolutions are focused on home life, which is especially useful for anyone who has a family and wants to find more balance.
I wish the author or someone with a similar sardonic take on the content had read this book, as she did The Happiness Project. The narrator Kathe Mazur over-dramatized the book, reading it as if it were a juicy secret she was whispering to a friend, and her tone was too saccharine for my taste. As a result, the author sometimes comes across sounding annoying, while I know from having listened to her previous book that her own tone when reading has the right level of self-deprecation to let you know she understands when she's not being her most admirable self.
I especially cringed at Mazur's children's voices, which were just...AWFUL. So sickly sweet I had to wonder if she's ever actually met a normal child.
She's a talented reader--I just really dislike what she did with this book.
I loved the first book (The Happiness Project), but I could barely make it through the first half of this book because I found the reader to be TERRIBLE. Soft, whispery, she has a "self-help, slow talking" voice that made me miss Gretchen Rubin's intent completely. Sbe would be better suited to that Saturday Night Live NPR skit where she says "Good times, good times" over and over. Rubin read her first book and I was entranced by how real she was and how great her ideas came across in her own voice...this reader COMPLETELY missed the mark for me.
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 think there are such fun and great systems in here. She has great ideas, and they are jumping off points to come up with what applies to you. Working on monthly themes is a great and do-able way to change things around in your life, and it's actually fun to break it down this way, and invent ideas for yourself.
I like the way she lays it out. It's easy, accessible, and she has a nice personality. I went to Youtube and watched interviews with her after listening to the book, and she is such a likable person.
I loved hearing Gretchen narrate her first "Happiness" book. It was so "her." And I hate hearing someone else narrate her follow-up book. It doesn't feel real having someone else read a book written in first person. I keep thinking: "How would Gretchen have said that?" I'm only a few chapters into the book, but the narrator is so distracting that I may need to just buy the print edition instead.
Alert reader Karen
Yes. As long as Gretchen Rubin was narrating. I love her expression, tone, and speed of narration.
Finding a book dealing with home is interesting to me, especially since we live in a very transient culture. Least interesting? Gretchen's cushy life.
If Gretchen had read her own work, just like in The Happiness Project.
Not sure. I think I would have enjoyed it more in printed form.
I am thinking about playing this narrator's work for my kids at bedtime to help them fall asleep faster.
i LOVED her first book and this book is very pleasent to listen as well. my only regret is that this time (unlike with the happiness project) mrs rubin is not the narrator. i think her voice adds a lot to the book overall.
I found this book very hard to listen too. My suspicions are the physical book would be more engaging. Gretchen's books are amazing and it was likely just the format I chose to listen.
I found this particular 'read' tough as it was life help vs a novel. Perhaps that was the issue. Novels are better on audio format for me.
I honestly couldn't even get through 20 minutes of listening to this book with this narrator. I listened to the Happiness Project narrated by Gretchen Rubin and loved it.
I am interested in this book, but am going to have to read it as opposed to listening it. Very disappointing since I was looking forward to listening so much.
Gretchen Ruben, author of "The Happiness Project," has now turned her attention to creating more happiness at home. She decided to spend one school year on this project as her youngest child has started school. She decided to work on relationships, interior design, possessions, marriage, parenthood, neighborhood, body, and now.
I loved the accessibility of this book. None of the things that Gretchen does to make her life happier are too time consuming, costly, or onerous.
Probably the most expensive thing that she did was having wisteria painted on the wall of her windowless office. I think that this paid off in increased production in her writing. Some things cost her nothing but practice such as getting rid of the mean mommy look which even her husband deemed cringeworthy. A couple of cute things that she did for her children was to randomly practice celebrating their birthdays with mini cupcakes and she also would make special breakfasts for holidays such as Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's Day.
This book would be good for anyone who is interested in bringing a little more happiness into her life and the life of those she loves. (Even though I used the female pronoun, this book would work equally well for men).
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