a note about critique cache + the happiness project.

around six months ago, i started a feature here on siddathornton called critique cache. the idea was that i would review a book or movie that i had read or viewed that month, while also inviting my readers to link-up & share a critique of their own. while i loved being able to share with everyone my love of books & movies, as the wedding [and all the festivities that went along with it] approached, i found myself neither reading nor watching any new movies.

for that reason, i decided to discontinue critique cache until i was again ready to put in the appropriate amount of time & effort to produce something worthwhile for both me & those who happen to read this blog.

which brings me to the exciting news that critique cache will officially be back on wednesday, january 9! all subsequent months' posts will go live the second wednesday of every month.

a couple changes: i will announce the book i plan to review the following month on each critique cache post. that way, you can plan on reading it to link up with the review - thus, making it more like a virtual book club, which was the original premise.

with all that being said, i thought i'd go ahead & write up a book that i finished a few weeks ago...

i'm going to be completely honest: i was expecting a little bit more out of the happiness project, than what i found. maybe it's my tendency to have really high hopes for practically everything, but i feel like this book could have been so much more than what it was. 

when i first started reading the book, i couldn't get over the similarities between myself & rubin. these quotes especially gripped me:

whenever you read this, and wherever you are, you are in the right place to begin.

more than twenty years later, i still remember that gold star, and i still want more of them.

but, as the book went on, i found myself identifying less & less with the author, which made the book hard to get into. this, obviously, doesn't necessarily mean the book is bad, it just means it stopped resonating with me. and that made it difficult to finish.

one thing i also didn't really enjoy was the outline-like fashion in which the topics were laid out at the beginning of each chapter. the generic terms called to mind the type of material i could never commit to memory in school. i guess the bottom line with this, is that i felt it lacked originality, which caused a lack in interest on my part. 

on the flip side, i largely envy rubin's amazing knack for information recall & organization. where most of the time i feel like there's a huge jumble of info bouncing around in my head, making things difficult to retrieve, it seems rubin has all of her thoughts catalogued in a virtual filing cabinet, stored in her head. for me, that was both inspiring & interesting, in equal parts. 

i was also impressed with her drive & self control. these aren't really things that were discussed in the book, but - i guess, indirectly - the purpose of her book was served, in that i was encouraged to make some improvements to better myself, leading to happiness. 

overall grade: B-

did you read the happiness project? write about it & link up below!


I have this book waiting for me, but I honestly just can't bring myself to start it. I thought I would be so excited to read it, but eh. Maybe I'm just too happy already? Doubtful...

I swear, I'm going to have you edit and review my book once/if I finish it ;) xoxo
I never completely finished this book, but I'm working on it. I also picked up her second book and I'm slowly working my way through that as well. I'm on board with you about it being a little underwhelming for what I was expecting, but the psychology dork in me is obsessed with all of her research :) xoxo! eliza
Ellie said…
I haven't read this book, and I think the reason why is because I'm expecting to feel exactly how you did about it. However, there is a documentary on the same theme called Happy that is really interesting and inspiring... it's not so much self-help as a collection of case studies, and I highly recommend it if you're interested in the question of what makes people from all different backgrounds "truly happy"! Hope you have fun with The Hobbit :)
Ashley said…
I have to be honest, I didn't really like The Happiness Project. I read it last year, and like you had a difficult time getting into it and finishing.

I may have also had high expectations, because it seemed like that book was everywhere for quite a while. I finally broke down, read it, and was a bit underwhelmed by it.

I also read The Hobbit this summer and am excited to hear what you have to say about it. (: I love that story!
Wendy said…
I agree with you all, I started it but haven't been able to finish. It's kind of bland.

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