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  • gretchenrubin 14:00:47 on 2017/11/18 Permalink
    Tags: , , , novel, , , Scarlett Thomas   

    Which Do You Prefer? “Simple Beauty with No Explanation, or Knowing Exactly How and Why?” 


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    'You know, I haven't been able to look at flowers the same way since I learnt about the Fibonacci sequence,' Violet says, stroking the pink daisies with her thin white hand as we walk along the wall. 'I don't know which is better: simple beauty with no explanation, or knowing exactly how and why seed pods are organized.'

    --Scarlett Thomas, PopCo

    This comment reminded me of the conversation Elizabeth and I had on episode 105 of the "Happier" podcast, about the question of "Do you prefer childlike wonder or adultlike wonder?"

    Which do you prefer? I prefer adultlike wonder, myself. The more I know about something, the more I enjoy and appreciate it.

    How I love the novels of Scarlett Thomas! I'm working my way through everything she's written. I can't recommend her work highly enough. It's thrilling to discover a new author.

     
  • gretchenrubin 14:00:21 on 2017/07/06 Permalink
    Tags: , Courtney Maum, , novel,   

    “It Is Not Just Okay But Necessary to Let Myself Feel Good.” 


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    Courtney Maum

    Interview: Courtney Maum.

    Courtney Maum is a gifted writer, and her terrific new novel Touch just hit the shelves — so if you’re looking for a book to read this summer, here’s one for your stack.

    It’s getting a tremendous amount of buzz, such as being chosen as an Editors’ Choice by the New York Times Book Review, as one of “The 6 Juiciest Summer Reads” by Glamour, and as one of “The 29 Best Books of the Summer” by the New York Post.

    And while I know we’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, I always do, and I think that Touch has one of the best covers I’ve seen in a long time.

    It’s about Sloane, a trend forecaster who goes on a quest to understand the value of “in personism,” that is, real-life human interaction. Many of the fictional trends mentioned in Touch have already proved to be eerily prescient.

    In addition to writing, Courtney Maum also has a position that instantly caught my attention – she is a product namer for the cosmetics MAC cosmetics and other companies. As someone who is obsessed both with color and language, this fascinates me.

    A great job for a novelist!

    Gretchen: What’s a simple habit that consistently makes you happier?

    Courtney: Horseback riding. This was something I got great joy from when I was a little girl, but I stopped riding when I was ten. Thirty years later, I decided to start again. At first, I was reluctant: it felt really indulgent, it takes a lot of time and resources to ride. But it brings my mind and body such strength and honest joy. Now I feel proud that this is something I’ve decided to do for myself, on my own terms. The fact that I’ve made a habit of it reminds me to remind myself that I am worth it: that it is not just okay but necessary to let myself feel good.

    What’s something you know now about forming healthy habits that you didn’t know when you were 18 years old?

    Do not drink three Venti servings of Starbucks coffee in one day! I ruined my young adulthood with caffeine. I became completely hooked at a young age. I’ve always been incompetent at math, and growing up, I was at the kind of school where it wasn’t kosher to underperform, so I had a math tutor. I was thirteen, and she’d show up to our sessions with the huge cups of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, which have such a specific smell. I was so entranced by her beverage, she started bringing one along for me as well. And that was it. I became addicted to caffeine.

    In high school and college, I worked at Starbucks—this was back in the late 90s when Starbucks was still novel, and I got the coffee for free, so I’d just take it around everywhere with me, like a designer handbag. I got free refills. I was drinking it all the time. I was awake my entire sophomore year.

    I haven’t given up “caffeine” per se—although I stopped drinking coffee about ten years ago. I’m a black tea drinker now, one cup of tea a day. I don’t get jittery and nervous and sick-feeling the way I did with coffee. If I could go back, I’d tell my younger self that caffeine addiction is not a good look for a person who already struggles with sleep issues.

    Do you have any habits that continually get in the way of your happiness?

    Insomnia. I’ve always struggled with sleep issues, even when I was a little girl. It’s never been easy for me to quiet my mind, and like many people with similar challenges, the less I sleep, the more I worry about not sleeping, and so the less I sleep.

    After touring for my first book, my insomnia got so bad, that (along with some other personal issues I was dealing with) I spiraled into a depression. So over the last year, I decided to do whatever I could to tackle this unhealthy habit. I saw a therapist and a pharmacologist; I tried different medications. I went to an acupuncturist, a shaman, the works. I saw a nutritionist who put me on an herbal regimen that helped. I tried going off of stimulants, off of dark chocolate, off of white rice…I tried whatever the professionals wanted me to try, but the irony of course, is that you can’t be stressed out about adhering to the rituals that are supposed to improve your sleep, because stress just makes it worse. So what I’m focusing on mostly right now is treating the root cause—my brain. I do what I can to give myself access to real happiness and rest. There are inevitable periods when I’m overworked, but I no longer want “overworked” to be my way of life. And I don’t give myself a hard time about taking medication anymore. I used to be really dyed-in-the-wool against that: I used to think that I could treat anxiety and depression by going for a run. Now, if I need support, I take a sleeping pill, and I don’t beat myself up about it.

    Which habits are most important to you? (for health, for creativity, for productivity, for leisure, etc.)

    De-connected quality time is extremely important to me. And I literally mean de-connected: time spent away from the Internet and my phone. I try to start workdays writing by hand with my phone off and my computer stored away somewhere out of sight.  When we join friends for dinner, I don’t tolerate cell phones being out. I can’t stand the sight of that frenetic slab pinging away while we’re trying to settle into a conversation. It’s tough being a parent, because ideally I really want to spend time with my daughter without my cell phone on me so that I don’t even have the option to be distracted, but this is hard to do because common sense tells you that you should always have the capability to place an emergency call. This is one of the reasons I’m tempted to get a dumb phone: a secondary cell that only calls and texts. Light Phone has a great one out right now.

    Have you ever been hit by a lightning bolt, where you changed a major habit very suddenly, as a consequence of reading a book, a conversation with a friend, a milestone birthday, a health scare, etc.?

    Oh, yes! Earlier in my career, I gravitated toward professional opportunities that had me in close contact with a super intelligent, super creative, super passive aggressive boss. I would constantly find myself unhappy and destabilized in a job that was unpredictable and usually underpaid. And I’d drop everything for these bosses, time and time again. A single email from them would see me decimating an entire weekend of plans just so I could come through for them, be asked “what they would ever do without me?” in a thank-you text. [Courtney, I suspect that in my Four Tendencies framework, you are an Obliger.]

    As creatively fulfilling as a lot of these jobs were, I often felt terrifically unhappy and unsure, and I was always nervous: I couldn’t settle into my present or enjoy a moment with friends because I was constantly expecting a missive from my high-powered boss.

    The lightning bolt came in 2007 when my husband, on another day that I’d come home from work crying, told me, “You know, this job pays nothing. You went to a great college! You get that there are other jobs out there, right?” But although I quit that particular position, it took me a decade to break the bad pattern I was in. I’m mostly freelancing in the branding world now, but I now choose to collaborate with people who respect that I have a personal life, that I need private time. This has resulted in my private time feeling like a much safer space. I don’t have to worry about crazy desperate “need this ASAP” emails any more.

    The post “It Is Not Just Okay But Necessary to Let Myself Feel Good.” appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • gretchenrubin 10:00:58 on 2017/04/07 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , influence, , , novel, , , , young-adult literature   

    Revealed! Three Excellent Books for April: How to Influence Others, a Romance, and an Art-Filled Memoir. 


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    Because nothing boosts happiness more than a great book, each month, I suggest:

    — one outstanding book about happiness or habits or human nature

    — one outstanding work of children’s or young-adult literature–I have a crazy passion for kidlit

    — one eccentric pick–a widely admired and excellent book that I love, yes, but one that may not appeal to everyone

    Shop at IndieBound, BN.com, or Amazon (I’m an affiliate), or your favorite local bookstore. Or my favorite, visit the library!

    For all the books I choose, I love them; I’ve read most of them at least twice if not many times; and they’re widely admired.

    Now, for the three book-club choices. Drumroll…


    A book about happiness, good habits, or human nature:

    Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini

    This is an absolutely fascinating book about persuasion — how do we persuade other people, and what do they do to persuade us? It’s written in an accessible, interesting way, and is one of the rare books that truly transformed my way of seeing the world around me.

     

    Buy from IndieBound; BN.com; Amazon.


    An outstanding children’s book:

    Flower by Elizabeth Craft and Shea Olsen

    Of course I can’t resist recommending the excellent young-adult novel by my sister. The tag line is “She had a plan, then she met him.” There’s romance, temptation, secrets, family drama, best friends, college applications, extravagant gestures, celebrity...delicious. If you enjoy listening to Elizabeth on the Happier podcast, you might get a kick out of reading her book.

    Buy from IndieBound; BN.com; Amazon.


    An eccentric pick:

    Another Part of the Wood: A Self-Portrait by Kenneth Clark

    I love memoirs, and I loved reading this self-portrait of Kenneth Clark, the museum director, art historian, and presenter of the blockbuster TV series Civilisation. I especially love reading memoirs by people who describe why they love their work so much.

    Buy from IndieBound; BN.com; Amazon.


    If you want to make sure you never miss a month’s selections, sign up here for the book club newsletter.

    Remember, if you want to see what I read each week, I post a photo of my pile of completed books on my Facebook Page every Sunday night, #GretchenRubinReads.

    I continue to read book after book on the subject of color — it’s odd to find myself fascinated by this highly specialized topic. It’s definitely contributing to my desire to collect giant sets of colored pens and colored markers — which I can now use in the coloring book I created! The Happiness Project Mini-Posters: A Coloring Book with 20 Hand-lettered Quotes to Pull Out and Frame hit the shelves this week. It shot to  #1 in Adult Coloring Books (a surprisingly large category) which made me very happy.

    Lately I’ve been in the mood for memoirs. Any great ones to recommend? Or books about color, of course.

    The post Revealed! Three Excellent Books for April: How to Influence Others, a Romance, and an Art-Filled Memoir. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • gretchenrubin 10:00:35 on 2017/03/30 Permalink
    Tags: architecture, , , , , John Freeman Gill, , , novel, The Gargoyle Hunters, , ,   

    “Deciding to Write Consistently and Actually Doing So for 5 Years Are Very Different Things.” 


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    John Freeman Gill

    Interview: John Freeman Gill.

    I’ve been friends with briliant writer John Gill since the first months of our freshman year at Yale — the days are long, but the years are short!

    He’s been a New York Times contributor for many years, and writes for many other publications as well. He has just published his debut novel, The Gargoyle Hunters, and it is so good. I was thrilled to have the chance to write a blurb for the cover, and here’s what I said:

    John Freeman Gill’s The Gargoyle Hunters is a brilliant evocation of many things: the world of a thirteen-year-old boy, with its mixture of thoughtless destructiveness and wrenching emotion; a son’s relationship with a charismatic, architecture-loving, thieving father; the endless changes to timeless Manhattan during the crumbling, tumultuous 1970s. Funny, heartbreaking, elegiac, unforgettable—David Mitchell’s Black Swan Green meets E. B. White’s Here Is New York.

    The novel is getting tremendous buzz and praise. Among other things, The Gargoyle Hunters was named one of Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection for Spring 2017. And if you’d like to read a (terrific) review, check out “‘The Gargoyle Hunters’: A Love Letter to New York City.

    I’m going to do a Facebook Live interview with John on Friday, March 31, at 3:00 pm Eastern — we’re going to do the interview on the steps of the townhouse where the novel is set. How great is that!

    John has been working on this novel for a long time, and I was curious to learn how his habits helped (or hurt) the process.

    GRETCHEN: Have you ever been hit by a lightning bolt, where you changed a major habit very suddenly, as a consequence of reading a book, a conversation with a friend, a milestone birthday, etc.?

    JOHN: Yes, but to explain I’ll first need to give a bit of background. I’ve wanted to be a novelist ever since fifth grade, when I wrote a series of waggish short stories about a raffish British private detective named Anthony Bristol. My tastes became more literary as I grew up, and ever since high school, my favorite novel has been The Horse’s Mouth, by the Anglo-Irish writer Joyce Cary. The book is a hilarious and irresistible 1944 tale about a winningly irreverent old London painter named Gulley Jimson, who begs, borrows, steals, and cons his way through life, shoving all else aside in a relentless drive to finish a gigantic modern painting that has seized his imagination and won’t let go.

    When I was in my twenties, I attended an MFA program in creative writing, and in 1995, the first week after I graduated and was on my own, I sat down in a fever and banged out 15 pages of a novel. I liked those pages, but life took me in another direction (screenwriting), and then another (journalism). Over the next two decades, despite writing no new fiction, I read literary novels nonstop and never stopped seeing myself as a novelist who just happened to be writing other kinds of stories. But somehow I never quite took the plunge and committed myself to writing a novel.

    Then, a few years ago, I was walking around in Park Slope, Brooklyn, not far from my home, and I stumbled upon a cardboard box full of discarded books in front of an old brownstone. One of the books was a crumbling, yellowed paperback copy of The Horse’s Mouth, a 1957 edition with a tattered purple cover. The serendipity of that moment really did feel like a lightning bolt. I’d forgotten how much I loved Gulley and his relentless artistic drive, and I’d forgotten how much I needed to write fiction. That old paperback book, its spine broken and its pages falling out, reminded me. I gathered up the pages and began to read as I walked home, so engrossed that I nearly got hit by a car in a crosswalk. The novel is narrated in the first person by Gulley himself, and one sentence in particular resonated with me. “And I perceived I hadn’t time to waste on pleasure,” Gulley writes on the very first page. “A man of my age has to get on with the job.”

    “The job,” of course, is the making of art. And I, in my forties at the time, decided that Gulley had it exactly right. The time for procrastination was past. I began writing my novel the next morning and didn’t stop until I finished it five years later. It’s called The Gargoyle Hunters, and Knopf is publishing it.

    So it sounds like you managed to gain a challenging healthy habit—writing fiction consistently—that had eluded you for ages. How did you do it?

    It’s a fair question. Because, of course, deciding to write consistently and actually doing so for five years are very different things. The new habit that I think proved most important was that I began keeping a daily log of how many hours I wrote. This kept me from lying to myself with all kinds of rationalizations about how hard I was working if I wasn’t really buckling down.

    When you’re writing a novel, see, you don’t have a boss either to pat you on the head or kick you in the ass. All you have is your own constantly fluctuating sense of how good a day’s work you just performed and how the novel is going over all. So I felt it was necessary to superimpose an overarching structure on the writing process, to simulate having a boss who would take me to task if I was underachieving. And for me, the best way to ensure steady progress was to monitor the time spent at my desk. For me, time equals writing. Some writers talk about how many words they write each day, and I’ve always admired authors who can crank out page after page in a single sitting. But for me, that measurement is pretty meaningless. I’m a very slow, methodical writer who labors over the language, so for me, word count is sort of beside the point. I mean, the idea is to write the right words, not just a lot of them, isn’t it? So by logging the number of hours I write, rather than the number of words, I free myself from the tyranny of quantity and permit myself to take as long as I need to get every sentence and paragraph into a form I’m happy with.

    Do you have any habits that continually get in the way of your happiness?

    I’m terrible at going to bed. I just won’t do it. I’m a sleep idiot. I stay up too late, which saps my energy and keeps me from ever becoming that well-organized fellow of lore who leaps out of bed each morning, carpe-ing the diem and immediately penning reams of deathless prose.

    Which habits are most important to you? (for health, for creativity, for productivity, for leisure, etc.)

    I think the most important newish habit I have is swimming. I have no fear of the water—I grew up in the ocean at Fire Island, exultantly body-surfing hours a day—but I’ve never been a strong swimmer; for most of my life I was never good enough to do more than three or four frantic, exhausted laps at a time. My wife’s parents have a beautiful pool up in the Berkshires, though, and two summers ago I basically taught myself to swim. I’m sure I’m doing it all wrong—I’m just going on memory from the lessons I was given as a child—but by taking it slowly and breaking down the elements of what my body was doing in the water, I taught myself to breathe properly, and now I can basically swim laps indefinitely. I belong to a gym that has an Olympic-size pool, and it’s just half a block from my house in Brooklyn, so anytime I’m feeling stressed or just need to escape my own mind, I go swim until I’ve got my zonk on. Immersing yourself in the world of a novel for several years is so consuming that it’s hard to turn your mind off at the end of the work day. Your brain wants to keep rehashing those creative issues you’ve been grappling with all day. And that’s just really destructive and counter-productive. So I’ve found that the best way to make a clean break from the day’s mental efforts is to swim myself to exhaustion. When I do that, I get out of the pool happily devoid of thoughts. Part of the secret to writing, it turns out, is to learn how not to write.

    Does anything tend to interfere with your ability to keep your healthy habits?

    The Internet is the enemy. And lunch. I know from experience that if I ever meet someone for lunch, I never refocus on my work again properly that day. So I solve that problem simply by never having lunch with anyone. I meet someone for lunch maybe five times a year.

    The Internet is even more insidious. There’s simply no way to do serious creative work if you keep interrupting yourself to check e-mail or read online articles that fuel your righteous indignation about the state of our national politics. I used to belong to a writers room here in New York, and I found it very enlightening and motivating. On the one hand, there are writers—usually women in their fifties or sixties, I’ve found—who are hardcore: banging away at the keyboard as if they can barely type fast enough to keep up with the rapid-fire verbiage their Muse is shouting in their ear. On the other hand, though, you wouldn’t believe how many people spend their writing days reading about celebrity Scientologists or shopping for shoes. News flash: You can’t write fiction while checking out sparkly high-tops on Zappos.

    The truth is, though, I don’t have particularly good self-control myself. So I installed a great piece of software on my laptop called Freedom, which you can program to lock you out of the Internet for whatever period of time you like. It’s a life-changer. I think of it as prosthetic will-power.

    The post “Deciding to Write Consistently and Actually Doing So for 5 Years Are Very Different Things.” appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • feedwordpress 12:19:56 on 2016/11/27 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Jonathan Tropper, novel, , , , , ,   

    Agree? “Nothing Doesn’t Happen All at Once. It Starts Slow, So Slow that You Don’t Even Notice it.” 


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    tropper_0911_gregyaitanes-jpg-644x433_q100

    “It took me a few years to realize that nothing was happening for me. Nothing doesn’t happen all at once. It starts slow, so slow that you don’t even notice it. And then, when you do, you banish it to the back of your mind in a hail of rationalizations and resolutions. You get busy, you bury yourself in your meaningless work, and for a while you keep the consciousness of Nothing at bay. But then something happens and you’re forced to face the fact that Nothing is happening to you right now, and has been for some time.”

    –Jonathan Tropper, Plan B

    Have you ever had that feeling — that Nothing was happening for you?

    The post Agree? “Nothing Doesn’t Happen All at Once. It Starts Slow, So Slow that You Don’t Even Notice it.” appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • feedwordpress 17:38:10 on 2016/10/04 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , ghosts, , Karl Ove Knausguaard, , , novel, Patricia Clapp, read, ,   

    Revealed! Three Book Club Choices for October. Happy Reading! 


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    bookclubchoicesoct16

    Because nothing boosts happiness more than a great book, each month, I suggest:

    • one outstanding book about happiness or habits
    • one outstanding work of children’s or young-adult literature–I have a crazy passion for kidlit
    • one eccentric pick–a widely admired and excellent book that I love, yes, but one that may not appeal to everyone

     

    Shop at IndieBound, BN.com, or Amazon (I’m an affiliate), or your favorite local bookstore. Or my favorite, visit the library!

    For all the books I choose, I love them; I’ve read most of them at least twice if not many times; and they’re widely admired.  Drumroll…

    A book about happiness, good habits, or human nature:

    My Antonia by Willa Cather

    Buy from IndieBound; BN.com; Amazon.

     

    An outstanding children’s book:

    Jane-Emily by Patricial Clapp

    Buy from IndieBound; BN.com; Amazon.

     

    An eccentric pick:

    My Struggle, Book 1 by Karl Ove Knausgaard

    Buy from IndieBound; BN.com; Amazon.

     

    Some readers have said that they wished that I’d describe and make the case for my book choices, instead of just providing links. I’ve noticed that many times, when someone describes a book to me, I want to read it less. And often, weirdly, the better a book is, the worse it sounds.

    Nevertheless, because so many readers have requested it, I’ve decided to give a bit more context for these choices in the book-club newsletter. So if you’d like to know more about why I made these selections, check there. To get that free monthly book-club newsletter, and to make sure you don’ t miss any recommendations, sign up here.

    Remember, if you want to see what I read each week, I post a photo of my pile of completed books on my Facebook Page every Sunday night, #GretchenRubinReads.

    The post Revealed! Three Book Club Choices for October. Happy Reading! appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • feedwordpress 16:07:52 on 2016/08/22 Permalink
    Tags: A Litte Happier, , famiily, , honesty, Laura Ingalls Wilder, , , Little House, , novel, ,   

    A Little Happier: Laura Ingalls Wilder, and We Can Admit that the People We Love Aren’t Perfect. 


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    PaFiddle

    I’m a huge fan of children’s literature. I’m in three children’s literature reading groups, and I read that literature all the time.

    So naturally one of my favorite writers is Laura Ingalls Wilder. Her Little House books are masterpieces.

    The passage I read can be found in The Selected Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder, in a letter from Laura Ingalls Wilder to Rose Wilder Lane, March 23, 1937:

    You can see that all of this cost money. I would have no idea how much. I know Pa sent money home for doctor bills after he was working for the railroad. But Pa was no businessman, He was a hunter and trapper, a musician and poet.

    Such a moving tribute to Pa — a wonderful, wonderful father.

    If  you’d like to discover some great children’s literature, here’s a list of just a few of my favorites.

    What are some of your favorite children’s books? I’m always looking for new suggestions.

    Want to get in touch? I love hearing from listeners:

     

    Happier listening!

    The post A Little Happier: Laura Ingalls Wilder, and We Can Admit that the People We Love Aren’t Perfect. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • feedwordpress 11:05:08 on 2016/05/24 Permalink
    Tags: anger, , , , novel, , , , , self-mastery   

    Agree? “A Little Too Much Anger Can Destroy More Than You Would Ever Imagine.” 


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    robinson

    “A little too much anger, too often or at the wrong time, can destroy more than you would ever imagine. Above all, mind what you say.”

    — Marilynne Robinson, Gilead

    How I love all the novels of Marilynne Robinson. Housekeeping, so brilliant. I just read Lila for the first time, which made me want to re-read Gilead. It is a rare kind of book: a novel told from the perspective of a deeply good person. A beautiful, beautiful book.

    The post Agree? “A Little Too Much Anger Can Destroy More Than You Would Ever Imagine.” appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • feedwordpress 20:32:34 on 2016/03/31 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Natalie Babbit, Neil Gaiman, novel, , ,   

    Revealed! Three Terrific Books to Read in April. 


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    Book recomendations

    For all the books I choose, I love them; I’ve read most of them at least twice if not many times; and they’re widely admired. Because nothing boosts happiness more than a great book, each month, I suggest:

    • one outstanding book about happiness or habits
    • one outstanding work of children’s or young-adult literature–I have a crazy passion for kidlit
    • one eccentric pick–a widely admired and excellent book that I love, yes, but one that may not appeal to everyone

     

    Shop at IndieBound, BN.com, or Amazon (I’m an affiliate), or your favorite local bookstore.

    Or my favorite, visit the library! In fact, for my second episode of “A Little Happier” — the new 2-minute mini-episodes of my podcast I’m doing each week — I talked about how much I love going to the library. Listen here.

    Drumroll…

    A book about happiness, good habits, or human nature:

    Letters from a Stoic by Seneca

    Buy from IndieBound; BN.com; Amazon.

     

    An outstanding children’s book:

    Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit

    Buy from IndieBound; BN.com; Amazon.

     

    An eccentric pick:

    American Gods by Neil Gaiman

    Buy from IndieBound; BN.com; Amazon.

     

    Some readers have said that they wished that I’d describe and make the case for my book choices, instead of just providing links. I’ve noticed that many times, when someone describes a book to me, I want to read it less. And often, weirdly, the better a book is, the worse it sounds.

    Nevertheless, because so many readers have requested it, I’ve decided to give a bit more context for these choices in the book-club newsletter. So if you’d like to know more about why I made these selections, check there. To get that free monthly book-club newsletter, and to make sure you don’ t miss any recommendations, sign up here.

    If you read last month’s recommendations…what did you think?

    The post Revealed! Three Terrific Books to Read in April. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • feedwordpress 06:13:21 on 2016/03/04 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , Katherine Paterson, novel, , , ,   

    Revealed! Book Club Choices for March. Happy Reading! 


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    Book Club Suggestions

    Because nothing boosts happiness more than a great book, each month, I suggest:

    • one outstanding book about happiness or habits
    • one outstanding work of children’s or young-adult literature–I have a crazy passion for kidlit
    • one eccentric pick–a widely admired and excellent book that I love, yes, but one that may not appeal to everyone

     

    Shop at IndieBound, BN.com, or Amazon (I’m an affiliate), or your favorite local bookstore. Or my favorite, visit the library! Drumroll…

    A book about happiness, good habits, or human nature:

    The Wisdom of the Enneagram by Don Riso

    Buy from IndieBound; BN.com; Amazon.

     

    An outstanding children’s book:

    The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson

    Buy from IndieBound; BN.com; Amazon.

     

    An eccentric pick:

    Revenge of the Lawn by Richard Brautigan

    Buy from IndieBound; BN.com; Amazon.

     

    Some readers have said that they wished that I’d describe and make the case for my book choices, instead of just providing links. I’ve noticed that many times, when someone describes a book to me, I want to read it less. And often, weirdly, the better a book is, the worse it sounds.

    Nevertheless, because so many readers have requested it, I’ve decided to give a bit more context for these choices in the book-club newsletter. So if you’d like to know more about why I made these selections, check there. To get that free monthly book-club newsletter, and to make sure you don’ t miss any recommendations, sign up here.

    In any event, I assure you that, for all the books I choose, I love them; I’ve read them at least twice if not many times; and they’re widely admired.

    If you read last month’s recommendations…what did you think?

    The post Revealed! Book Club Choices for March. Happy Reading! appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
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