Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Happier at Home

Hello after a long time away!

It's been a fun, busy, interesting summer, with life sort of filled to the brim with things I can't summarize in blog posts or tweets.  (In memoirist terms, I'm living book #3!)

But I wanted to share a FAB reading recommendation for you as we all head into autumn, in case you're looking for a bit of that "back-to-school" feeling to kick of this new month. And let me disclose: I gush a bit in this one, but it's not a paid review! Gretchen was kind enough to send me an early copy of her new book because I adore her and wanted the chance to share it with you guys. 

HAPPIER AT HOME is Gretchen Rubin's second book about exploring happiness.  It's wonderful.  I loved her first book on this topic, THE HAPPINESS PROJECT (along with millions of other people--it's pretty much the nonfiction counterpart to HARRY POTTER in terms of how long it's been on the NYTimes bestseller list) and was delighted to hear that Gretchen was digging even deeper in her pursuit of happiness.

I'll admit, I didn't think I'd be the target audience for HAPPIER AT HOME.  True, I'm a total homebody.  But Steve & I live in a rather, um, uniquely appointed apartment here in Cambridge.  We landed here because of circumstance, and have stayed because of family &'s perfect for us in this complex season of life.  But let's just say that the decorating magazines won't be coming by for a photo shoot anytime soon :)

One of the things I love about Gretchen is her candor, and this book is no exception. Right off the bat she admits that she's not interested in perfect decor as a path to happiness.  She has a hilarious riff about how the pressure to "make a room reflect who she is" is way too much to handle, which is a great point.  How many of us can be summarized by a throw pillow?

Instead, Gretchen focused on relationships, and how her home life was fostering them...or not.  Then she explored ways to change or adjust the "nots" to create more love, fun, joy, memories, and yes...happiness.  As I read it, I found myself considering how these ideas and possibilities might apply to my own life. It was fun, but not intimidating (a nice combination). I came away with lots of ideas I might try someday, when things slow down a bit.  I simply loved this book, and think you might, too.

And one other addition to loving her writing projects, I also adore Gretchen.  She's the real deal: generous, enthusiastic, supportive.  She's done as much for other authors as anyone I know, exemplifying that old saying about how "a rising tide lifts all boats."

There are a ton of ways for you to check out Gretchen and her work.  The link to her blog includes a sample chapter, book club reading guide, a video & and behind-the-scenes extras.  She's also going on a HUGE book tour.  (Boston peeps, she'll be at Brookline Books on September 13 at 6pm.  Get there early...last time it was standing room only!)

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. Let me know.
Happy Autumn!