Book Review - Happier At Home by Gretchen Rubin

Happier at Home book review by Tea in the Morning Too


My sister-in-law gave me this book to read when she was finished with it. At first I thought it was a book about Stay At Home Moms. Far from it! The author does work at home, but is unlike most stay at home moms in my circles. She lives in an apartment in NYC, send her children to school, and gets up at the crack of dawn to write.

The author, Gretchen Rubin, has previously written a book called The Happiness Project that you may consider reading first, as she refers to her first book often in her second book. I haven't read the first book yet, but I plan to add it to my reading list soon.

My reading time is in spurts while I rock my littlest one to sleep for a nap in the afternoon and sometimes in the evening. Happier At Home is easy to read in short periods of time.

The author, Getchen Rubin, is a married mother of 2 young children and an author who lives in an apartment in New York City. She had decided to spend an entire year on happiness projects that would affect specifict areas of her life - as a mother, a wife, in her work life, and her own personal happiness. She wants to fill her home, and then all that revolves around her home, with greater simplicity, comfort and love. She works hard and succeeds to get her family involved with her projects themselves.

She writes with a  light touch towards self help with plenty of research, timely advise and personal tips thrown in.

Each chapter of the book is dedicated to a specific month of the year and area of her life in which she focuses on to increase her happiness.

For example September's theme is Possessions - finding her true personal simplicity. The author and I don't agree on the minimalism concept, but she does have a valid point or two. She thinks that if a whole shelf of clutter makes you happy looking at it, then you shouldn't get rid of any of it. What makes one person happy isn't the same thing that makes another happy - it's an individual matter, no de-cluttering necessary!

The author continues to focus each month on herself and her family - her children, her husband, and then her family as a whole - trying to incorporate ideas and activities to increase the happiness in each area. After focusing mainly on her family, she ventures out to her house, her time, and then her neighborhood and community.

By then end of the book she has learned a lot about herself and what she values - what makes her happiest - and created numerous memories that she can continue to enjoy for a long time.

While this is an interesting book, it's probably not on my top 10 list. It hovers between light reading and a book I feel I should be taking notes from.

I gleaned a few new ideas for myself, so I appreciate the book for that.

One idea is to make an effort to spend one on one time with each child, doing something that they enjoy. I also loved her idea of having a project that you and your husband work on together - they chose Organ Donation.

If you've read the book, let me know what you thought.

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