:: Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin ::
You know I love me some self-help books, and this one is just so sweet and fun! It's a really nice book to read right around the beginning of the year because it fills you with a sense of possibility and the desire to intention-set.
Gretchen Rubin takes a month-by-month approach to tackle different areas meant to improve her happiness as it relates to home and family. Each chapter chronicles her ideation period and records where she succeeded, stumbled and, sometimes, gave up. The format is basically the same as The Happiness Project, which I also loved.
Gretchen's (I'll call her by her first name since I feel like we're friends after reading her for so long) writing style is so, so readable. She is chatty and relateable, not in an omigod-be-my-best-friend way, but in a wow-it-would-be-cool-if-you-were-in-my-extended-family-and-we-hung-out-at-Thanksgiving way. Like, I'm not always on the same page as her, but she expresses herself so well in a way that is honest and self-aware that it feels impossible not to feel a kinship with her after reading the book.
(Critics say that she's annoying because focusing on happiness and the changes she suggests are definitely for those who are already meeting basic needs without a ton of stress (not everyone can think about visiting an art museum)... but hey, that's me. So I like it.)
If you want to test-drive the material (or are looking for more), Gretchen keeps up a Happiness Project blog, which she updates regularly. This is also where she chronicled her research in real-time as she prepped for the first book, so dig through the archives.
And I'll give you a little teaser: one of my favorite things from her first book is her realization that what makes other people happy, isn't what necessarily makes her happy, and vice versa. So... it's okay that I hate pot lucks and don't think Betty White is funny.
Did you read any good books over the holidays?
P.S. I'm going to try to stick with a regular posting schedule -- I'm giving Tuesdays and Thursdays a spin. Tuesdays may or may not be a Tip Tuesday (that'll keep you on your toes!)... depends on if I hear of any good tips.