Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Review & Giveaway: Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin

Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson, and My Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life by Gretchen Rubin

Reviewed by Christine-Chioma

The publisher, Crown, is sponsoring a giveaway of the book. Enter to win your own copy at the end of this review. There will be three winners (one per household).

Published: 2012

It's about: Gretchen Rubin previously embarked on a "happiness project" to improve her happiness levels in her every day life. This book is a sequel of sorts in which she tries another happiness project with the main focus and theme of home. Each month she focused on different aspects of home such as possessions  interior design, time, and neighborhoods.

I thought: As a single after graduating college sometimes nowhere really feels like "home" so this was a good read for me. I learned that having a sense of home is very important to happiness. Rubin's life and circumstances are very different from mine, but I was still able to glean truths from it. I  especially liked the interesting facts about various factors that contribute to a home environment that Rubin weaved into her personal experiences (for example, Rubin's parents never allowed teasing growing up and Rubin discovered in her research that people who tease believe they are conveying a spirit of playfulness whereas the person being teased finds it more mean-spirited). I appreciated the fact that the book was to the point--in her first book, Rubin already figured out how to have a happiness project so in this book she was able to jump in with the project immediately. I appreciated being able to see the things Rubin described through the various images and pictures in the book and I was glad there weren't reader comments like there were in the previous book.

Verdict: Stick it on the shelf or Rubbish Bin? In-between. I really enjoyed the book myself, but I am generally an introspective person who likes pondering happiness.  For most people I would suggest either her first book or this one, but I don't necessarily see the need for both---unless you're a happiness fanatic.

Reading Recommendations: The intended audience is people who are already happy who need a happiness boost. It is not for people who are unhappy. As well, it is not a how-to guide. The book is more of a memoir with suggestions and tips.

Warnings: Nothing

Favorite excerpts: "An unhappy truth about happiness is that one of the best predictors of whether a person will be happy in the future is whether they have been happy in the past."

"To 'Be Gretchen' was the way to happiness, but there was also a sadness to this resolution--the sadness that comes from admitting my limitations, my indifferences, all the things that I wish I were that I will never be".

*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

To enter the giveaway for a free copy of this book, like "The Blue Bookcase" facebook page and/or become a follower then leave a comment on this post including your email address. We will leave the giveaway open until 12:00 am on Wednesday, November 14th.