Daily Archives: June 7, 2010

3rd Annual BBAW

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The Book Blogger Appreciate Week was originally started by My Friend Amy as a way to support, encourage and promote the emergence of book blogs.

The 3rd Annual Book Blogger Appreciation Week registration form is now up and running! I haven’t registered yet, but I did scan through the process and it is lengthy! Right off the bat, you are asked to place your blog in a niche, in place of voters placing you in whatever niche they deemed appropriate. You are also asked to give detailed information about various new books for all ages and genres (including ISBNs, author names, titles, etc). Also 5 fives that you want to be considered for the BBAW if you want to be in the running for one of the awards.

The deadline to submit your entries is July 7th, and the actual awards week will be held in September, the 13th to the 17th.

Make sure you check out the official website for more information as well as following BBAW on Twitter for regular update and announcements.

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The Happiness Project – Review

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The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

Age: Adult

During one rainy afternoon, New York mother, Gretchen Rubin was struck with a realization that she wasn’t living her life to its best potential. So, she decided to dedicate an entire year of her life to becoming happier. The year is broken down into twelve months and each month covers a certain area that Gretchen wants to improve in her life: vitality, marriage, work, parenthood, leisure, friendship, money, eternity, books, mindfulness, attitude, and happiness.

I first read a review of this book on Pop Culture Junkie and the concept stayed with me for quite a while. A woman, who isn’t necessarily unhappy with her life, is seeking ways to make minor improvements that end up causing a ripple effect through her relationships and habits.

She dedicated each month to a different portion of her life to improve. January – Boost Energy. February – Remember Love. March – Aim Higher. April –  Lighten Up. May – Be Serious About Play. June – Make Time for Friends. July –  Buy Some Happiness. August – Contemplate Heaven. September – Pursue a Passion. October – Pay Attention. November – Keep a Contented Heart. December – Book Camp Perfect.

I have mixed feelings about this book. I think that Gretchen Rubin is a fantastic author, with a fantastic sense of humor and great insight. However, I also felt that this book was somewhat superficial. Although she discussed some really interesting statistics and concepts about happiness, I felt that the focus got lost towards the end and just turned into a tale of a happy person trying to become happier.

Rubin did identify this glitch with her project a number of times in her book. She’s a stay at home mom, a full time writer, living in a wealthy part of New York with a wonderful and bright family. Not much to improve, and not much for me to relate with either.

I think she had a great passion for this book, and finding happiness is a struggle we all face in our own way. Her book highlighted some interesting thoughts such as identifying what makes us happy versus what we want to make us happy. Two very different things. The path to happiness is an experience that is different for each person.

It seems like the most important lessons she learned are the cliches that you see written in boxes of tea and and T-shirts. Lessons like “Be true to yourself, your interests and your hobbies.” I didn’t feel as if I learned anything new after having finished this book. I didn’t feel that the author took any great strides out of her comfort zones to find happiness either. She held back her criticisms and learned to play along with her kids rather than constantly discipline and instruct.

I felt that this book lasted too long with too few new ideas, but it did inspire me to examine my own ideas of what happiness is, and question my decisions and actions in regular situations in my life.

The Happiness Project
by Gretchen Rubin
HarperCollins, 2009
ISBN 0061583251
296 pages

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Find this book at your local library