Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin – Audiobook Review

happierathome pictureHappier at Home by Gretchen Rubin, narrated by Kathe Mazur
Published in audio by Random House Audio, published in print by Crown, an imprint of Random House

Synopsis:

In The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin discovered the ways to make herself happy. In Happier at Home, she reprises her attempts to make herself more happy, this time focusing on that center of a happy life, her home.

Thoughts on the story:

I’m starting to get a bit overwhelmed by Rubin’s attempts at happiness. Not the projects she undertakes, but her lists. She has personal commandments, splendid truths, and rules of adulthood. These were, by and large, laid out in her first book, The Happiness Project, and simply referenced (and added to) in Happier at Home. This was, frankly, sort of confusing. Perhaps in the printed version these are listed in an appendix, but for the audio I would have liked to have them all listed out at the beginning. It has been two years and probably 400 books since I read The Happiness Project, so I really didn’t remember what all of Rubin’s splendid truths are, which had a tendency to make them seem a bit out of left field when she mentioned one.

Something about Happier at Home seemed much more personal than The Happiness Project. In The Happiness Project I more got the idea that we were looking at broad ideas and then how Rubin fit them with her commandment to “be Gretchen.” Happier at Home seemed to be closer to “here are things  that will make me happy.” That is all well and good and does make for interesting reading, but there seems to be less that is directly applicable.

Thoughts on the audio production:

The structure of Happier at Home is not the easiest to discern in audio. There are subsections within each chapter, but it took me a few chapters to figure out that at the beginning of each chapter Mazur was reading a list of the subsections before she delved into the first topic. There isn’t much that Mazur could have changed about this, as a narrator, and I’m not entirely sure what I would have liked the director or producer to do, but this confusion definitely hampered my listening experience. Other than that, the audio is a good way to experience Happier at Home if you are not looking to take notes on what Rubin did to try for yourself. In this way I think Happier at Home is a better listen than The Happiness Project would be because of its seemingly more personal nature.

soundbytes pictureOverall:

Despite Kathe Mazur’s good narration, I think the organization of Happier at Home would make print a better choice here. You also may only want to pick this up if you are reasonably familiar with The Happiness Project.

Buy this book from:
Powells: Audio/Print*
Indiebound: Audio/Print*

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