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What did you love best about Happier at Home?
The content is very similar to The Happiness Project, without being too repetitive. I listened to one book right after the other and enjoyed both pretty equally. The both provide inspiration and motivation to tackle self-improvement projects, while also being excellent reminders to keep our lives and thoughts focused on the positive. In Happier at Home, Rubin's resolutions are focused on home life, which is especially useful for anyone who has a family and wants to find more balance.
Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Kathe Mazur?
I wish the author or someone with a similar sardonic take on the content had read this book, as she did The Happiness Project. The narrator Kathe Mazur over-dramatized the book, reading it as if it were a juicy secret she was whispering to a friend, and her tone was too saccharine for my taste. As a result, the author sometimes comes across sounding annoying, while I know from having listened to her previous book that her own tone when reading has the right level of self-deprecation to let you know she understands when she's not being her most admirable self.
I especially cringed at Mazur's children's voices, which were just...AWFUL. So sickly sweet I had to wonder if she's ever actually met a normal child.
She's a talented reader--I just really dislike what she did with this book.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful
Gretchen Rubin read "The Happiness Project" herself, and I loved her goofy, cheerful voice. She genuinely sounded happy! Her projects are nerdy and offbeat, but they feel authentic.
The projects feel less fun without the author's infectious, silly enthusiasm to win me over. The narrator isn't bad, she just isn't as genuinely excited about the projects and resolutions. This makes the experience sound less exhilarating and more exhausting. I also don't like her use of actual character voices for Gretchen's daughters, who sound like Rugrats. These are small things, but they definitely shaped my experience of the audiobook.
This book is definitely informed by the author's experiences with "The Happiness Project." She feels the need to remind readers that she knows how lucky she is to be able to be living a writerly life in New York City. She responds to some of the criticisms of the last book in this one in a way that feels defensive. I hope she realizes that many people enjoyed the book exactly as it was, and though we might envy her freedom and her great Manhattan apartment, we enjoy the chance to live vicariously through her experience. I appreciate her willingness to write so openly about her life and her experience. The people who did not like the last book are not going to be interested in reading this one.
I am not ready to tackle such a huge number of resolutions and projects all at once, but I like many of the ideas here. It's nice to think about giving more attention to greetings and goodbyes, for example. It's a good idea to remember that 15 minutes of unpleasant work each day can make me happier in the long run.
If you liked "The Happiness Project," you will probably enjoy "Happier at Home." If you haven't read "The Happiness Project" yet, read it first, because this book doesn't stand completely on its own, it relies heavily on material covered in the first book. Besides, as I said, the first book was more fun.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful