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39. Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin


"To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition,
 the end to which every enterprise and labour tends, 
and of which every desire prompts the prosecution."

Johnson: Rambler #68 (November 10, 1750)

I wrote my thoughts on this book yesterday in a freewrite, but in case you do not read them (who would?), this is what I said:


I am listening to this book called Happier at Home by a woman who apparently wrote another book called The Happiness Project. I only came upon it because I was looking for a book by Samuel Johnson in my library, and since she read Samuel Johnson and has it as part of her subtitle, this book popped up.  
I am reading the sequel, but it is speaking to me. Mostly confirming what I have already discovered on my own.  I think this lady and I are a lot alike. So, that is fun. 
She was just talking about routines as I was making my chai tea which is one of my routines! I make it and usually listen to a book as I make it. Then I sit down to write for the whole morning (with a walk around the block for inspiration and back relief). I am not usually a "routine" kind of gal, but she said that is important, and I am glad that I am doing something important.
I really, really liked this book. As you might notice, I have read two "memoirs" in a row. I like women's memoirs quite a bit. It is not my "Happiness Project," but as she says in the preface to her first book (that I am now reading but cannot listen to because my library doesn't have it on audio - boohoo):
During my study of happiness, I noticed something that surprised me: I often learn more from one person's highly idiosyncratic experiences than I do from sources that detail universal principles or cite up-to-date  studies. I find greater value in what specific individuals tell me worked for them than in any other kind of argument -- and that's true even when we seem to have nothing in common. In my case, for example, I would never have supposed that a witty lexicographer with Tourette's syndrome, a twenty-something tubercular saint a hypocritical Russian novelist, and one of the Founding Fathers would be my most helpful guides -- but so it happened.

That "witty lexicographer with Tourette's syndrome" is Samuel Johnson and the whole reason I read this book in the first place. This book is poignant and insightful in all the right places. She and I are so much alike. I am an under-buyer, (A favorite quote from both my husband and best friend is, "Carol, you can afford this.") decorator hater, and lover of Johnson too.  While I am not afraid of it, I HATE to drive! :) 

There is so much to love about this book. I will stop. 


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