The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun

Gretchen Rubin

Book cover

I got started on this book because, while I was sick a couple of weeks ago, Elise was reading it and I asked her to read some of it aloud to me. At the time I was tired of reading my other book (which is long and which I don’t like very much) and just wanted some undemanding entertainment. Thus I started calling this my “TV book,” and started reading it on my own when I wasn’t feeling like reading my other book.

This book successfully played the role I wanted it to. It was somewhat interesting, somewhat entertaining, and easy to read. Like Elise, I didn’t really come to it because I felt the need to increase my happiness, nor did I come away from it with anything that felt like major insights. Mostly, I came away from the book feeling like I do a fairly good job of the things that Rubin describes as cultivating happiness. Probably the main thing I feel like I can work on is cutting back on negativity/cynicism. Rubin is fond of quoting Chesterton’s phrase that it is “easy to be heavy, hard to be light,” and I think that’s a useful insight. I don’t think I’m a terrible offender, but I do catch myself in it sometimes now that I’m thinking about it. Maybe worse, though, is that I notice other people’s negativity, and am bothered by it, more than I used to!

My Goodreads rating: 3 stars