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Happier at Home - Gretchen Rubin
I was pretty harsh on Rubin’s The Happiness Project a couple years ago.
This book in my opinion has the same problems, but I enjoyed it much more. I don’t have much in common with Rubin, but being a homebody myself, there was more to identify with.
Gretchen has grown on me, I admit. Her writing is far past the point of self indulgence, yet it is somehow charming and comforting- I was a bit sad when the book ended, even though I did not find much practical value in it.
Rubin is unapologetic and understands that her specific view of things, and her specific ideas of happiness may not be for everyone. This takes her off the hook to have an actual theory, but also leaves a lot of us out who don’t have a similar lifestyle or outlook to the author.
For this reason, I believe that upper-middle class, middle aged and married women with children will get most out of this book, or be most likely to enjoy it. That very specific type of person will probably empathize with Gretchen the most.
As a man without children, who lives deep in the country (not NYC like Rubin), I didn’t find much to grasp onto, even though I found myself enjoying Rubins' thoughts and story. She’s well read and her perfectionism is obvious - she did a fine job creating a book, but I do wish it’s range was wider. I tried to imagine that Gretchen’s happiness project could somehow help me make my wife happier, only because I couldn’t see it applying to my own life.
I paid 25 cents for this book and I have no complaints about its value for that price. But, probably only mature women would actually find it useful.
I am looking forward to reading more from Rubin. This book and the Happiness Project seem to fall a bit flat when you realize that Rubin struggles to permanently implement most of the things she goes through in the books. I felt like not much progress had been made for the author, and definitely not for the reader. But, again, Gretchen is likable and talented, and hopefully she gives us something more concrete in future.