the happiness project review//nerdy non-fiction 2013

I really do need to hop into bed but I have to finish this review while the material is freshest in my mind.

Today I finished Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project as part of a book swap with my friend Eddie.  I must say, it was quite the delightful read!  It was light, funny and the writer in me jumped at the bits of lists, quotes, and tips!  I’m happy I read it ;).

The Happiness ProjectSPOILER ALERT: If you have not yet read this book and plan to in the future, keep reading. I won’t give too much away! ;).

Gretchen Rubin was happy.  Or so she thought.  One day, on a crowded bus, she realized that she wasn’t as happy as she could be.  She wasn’t taking the time to enjoy the present. She realized that “The days are long, but the years are short,” and if her life was going change, she would have to change it.  So after much reading, thought, and questioning, she set out on a year-long happiness project.

She decided to set resolutions for each month of the year targeting different areas in her life from ‘Tackling a Nagging Task’ to ‘Give Proof of Love’ to ‘Laugh Out Loud’.  All the while she continued to glean inspiration from her favorite writers from past generations.  Some of what she discovered along the way about herself and her family proved surprising.  Determined to be Gretchen, she remains honest with herself as she struggles to break bad habits, acquire new skills, play more often with her girls, and quit nagging her husband.

In the end…well I’ll leave that for you to discover.  Let’s just say that with all adventures in self-discovery, there really isn’t an end.  There’s always more to learn, more to work on, more to experience.

I, of course, couldn’t help but filter this book through the lens of the Christian experience.  Everyone is searching for happiness, contentment, and fulfillment in life.  While I think that it’d do everyone a world of good to look for the tangible things that can improve that which is intangible, I personally believe there is a peace that passes all understanding and that is something that can only come from knowing Jesus Christ for yourself!  And I may be grasping at semantic straws when I say that I’m not looking for a happy life so much as I’m seeking to live a joyous one.  And that idea struck me even deeper this afternoon when I went on the Christian Audio website to check out this month’s free audio book.  I chuckled when I saw the book cover.

chose joy

How funny is that?  I’m looking forward to what this author says about joy and happiness!  You can download the audiobook for free this month at

Have any of you read The Happiness Project?  Better yet, have you embarked on one of your own?  What do you think about happiness and joy? Is there a difference?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Good night!

Stay blessed :).


4 thoughts on “the happiness project review//nerdy non-fiction 2013

  1. Pingback: Popcorn & Purple Ink | Currently…

  2. Have you read One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp? It sounds a bit on the same line. She keeps a grateful journal. I haven’t read the book myself, but I read her blog, and have gleaned much wisdom and love keeping my own ‘Drops of Grace’ journal :)

  3. I found this book made me want to read more broadly but i was inspired by it too. The idea of simplifying your life is a core message – and not entirely different to Jesus! I really enjoyed reading the book about the saint mentioned in this (but total mental blank on her name!) Though I have to say there are easier ways to prove yourself a good person than sleeping in the cold on a hard bed in France in winter!

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