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Literary Friday: Happier at Home

Friday, September 21, 2012


This week I read Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin.  Rubin also wrote the #1 New York Times bestseller The Happiness Project, and she also writes a wildly popular blog.

I read this book because it's this moth's selection for If You Give a Blogger a Book Book Club.  I was also intrigued because I have been participating in the weekly My Happy List link party for well over a year.  I must say that this was the perfect week to read this book because we have been struggling with scheduling, projects, and harmony.  I am grateful that this book came into my life when I truly needed it.

Young and Relentless 

I love how Rubin organized Happier at Home.  Her nine chapters are divided according to the school calendar, beginning with September's Possessions. As a mom this makes perfect sense to me, and I also consider September as being a time for new beginnings.  Other chapters include Family, Time, and Parenthood.  My two favorite chapters are October's Marriage and April's Neighborhood.  Rubin shares insight into her marriage and her commitment to being a more attentive wife.  I found her decision to actively pursue "giving gold stars" to her husband, Jamie, brilliant.  :D  I was also fascinated with April's chapter, Neighborhood.  Rubin lives in new York City, quite different from my suburban Birmingham gated community.  The only thing to discover here are homes, gardens, lakes, ducks, herons, and the crazy Cooper's hawk who lives in the woods behind our home.  Rubin and her daughter discover Charles Simonds' Dwellings, parts two and three while on a Wednesday Adventure at the Whitney Museum. This discovery leads to the idea of creating a secret place, and the Rubins now have a secret landscape in their kitchen cupboard.  {So.  Cool.}  Rubin did remind me that there are wonderful things to discover where I live.  I might start with the newly-opened Norman Rockwell's America exhibit at the Birmingham Museum of Art.  :D

I also appreciate Rubin's voice.  She is so honest, and in her chapter on marriage she reveals her fear of driving and how she conquers it through driving lessons.  She is also very aware of her faults, and how to just "be Gretchen".  I do think that acceptance of who we are can lead to greater happiness.  As much as I enjoy Rubin's own personal philosophy (including her 8 Splendid Truths), I also appreciate her sharing insight from philosophers, poets, and saints.  I highly recommend this book, and I will also check out her blog later today.

Don't forget about my Banned Books Week celebration on Friday, October 5th. Read your favorite banned or challenged book and link-up.  *there will be prizes, too* I will be re-reading To Kill a Mockingbird.  


What have you been reading this week?  Write about it and link-up!

Until next time...
Happy reading!
Ricki Jill


  1. I actually won her Happiness book from a television show last year! It was fun....I'll have to check this Home book out, thanks for sharing.

    Ciao Bella
    Creative Carmelina

  2. I do not think I would want to read this or pursue her ideas, but am pleased it worked for you, right time right place. :)

  3. I was leafing through this book at Target and I could see that it mostly applied to women with small children so I didn't think it would be of much help to me now. Boy, I would have loved the help and inspiration about 6 years ago! Great review and I'm pleased you got so much out of it!


  4. Ricki Jill,
    I'm thrilled with your book review. I've been a huge Gretchen Rubin since she first started her blog, The Happiness Project. I read it daily for years and then purchased her first book. I'm an optimistic person by nature and still I learned some new things from her. One of her tips that I still use is, "act how you want to feel", amazingly simple and yet so can make the worst day turn around. I will definitely order her book now that I've read your review.
    Thanks for this.

  5. I've never read this author but I know I would enjoy this book. I'm reading a book I picked up at a book sale, "A False Sense of Well Being". So far it's nice and easy...just what I need right now! Hugs

  6. Hi RJ, I am not familiar with this book it but sounds like a good read, especially while you still have your children at home. Your review is great! As you know I was at the beach last weekend and I love old favorites to take along. I love A Year in Provence, the Peter Mayle books. They always keep me happy. I read them over and over, especially this one. I think I love it because it is what I would love to do, purchase a house in the French countryside. Such amusing tales of the home renovations with the contractors. I think this book keeps me grounded knowing I wouldn't want to go through this!
    Have a great weekend! Are you coming to T-Town? Roll Tide..........

    The French Hutch

  7. You make me want to pick up this book and read it right now! It definitely will be on my list to read. I loved the little book trailer. The music was so upbeat as well.

    To Kill a Mockingbird was one of my favorite books. I remember it starting very slow but what a joy it was near the middle to end. So far 3 of my 4 have been made to read it as well in school. All have wanted to quit reading it near the beginning, but I told to keep with it besides it being required because it is a great book. Once they finished reading they all agreed. I can not wait for the youngest to be forced to ready it as well. LOL

  8. That book sounds great, I'm going to add it to my list, thanks do much for sharing!

  9. Happier at Home sounds like an interesting read. I completely agree with you --> "I do think that acceptance of who we are can lead to greater happiness". I'll have to check out Gretchen's blog.

  10. I love getting the inside scoop on great books! Sound like winners to me.

    Favorite banned book - my vintage copy of In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak. Those censors did not like that little boy in the buff!

  11. Ever since I started blogging, I hardly have time to read real books!

  12. I'm so excited to read this book. And I think Mimi and I have decided that we're going to discuss a chapter a month so get ready to have some fun discussions!


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I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.

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