Chosen by Sonya
A non-fiction book detailing the year the New York author spent dedicated to becoming happier.
❍ “I used to have a (slightly embarrassing!) soft spot for ‘self help’ and personal development type books! So The Happiness Project appealed to me. I was drawn in by ideas about what makes us happy, the philosophy and thinking behind bringing more joy to our daily lives. And so I read it from this viewpoint, less affected than others by questions around the author’s authenticity. In this way I did enjoy aspects of it, and I found myself making small positive adjustments to little things I do. However, I lost interest towards the end. Perhaps, like others, it felt somewhat contrived and I lost the initial connection I felt for the author.” – Sonya
❍ “Gretchen Rubin is an admirable woman; her ability to achieve her targets set during ‘the happiness project’ year of her life is astounding. However the sheer number of goals set for each month during the book is overwhelming and perhaps the reason for a superficial examination of each task rather than a longed for depth of analysis with a greater emotional content. I was left feeling unable to relate to her as it lacked legitimacy for me – why would a happy person commit to completing a happiness project? How on earth did she do what she said she did with a young family? Although her goals or resolutions had merit the book generally seemed like an opportunity to grandstand to me and ultimately was a disappointing read.” – Jo
❍ “I wondered how much of this book was fiction, ie a ‘self-help’ book written for a niche market, as it all seemed a bit unrealistic and quite narcissistic. There were a few ideas I picked up on for maximising time in a busy day, but ultimately this was neither a believable self-help book nor reputable fiction. I fail to see where it lies in the market.” – Rachel