Tag Archives: art

Book Club Choices Revealed! Three Terrific Books to Read in May.

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.

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:

First Impressions: What You Don’t Know About How Others See You by Ann Demarais and Valerie White

Buy from IndieBound; BN.com; Amazon.

 

An outstanding children’s book:

Mary Poppins by P. L. Travers

Buy from IndieBound; BN.com; Amazon.

 

An eccentric pick:

Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris by Leanne Shapton

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?

In Honor of Shakespeare’s Birthday: My Favorite Shakespeare Passage.

It’s Shakespeare’s birthday! (At least, according to tradition.)

So, in honor of the day, here’s my favorite Shakespeare passage, from Antony and Cleopatra, when Cleopatra is mourning the dead Antony:

For his bounty,
There was no winter in’t; an autumn ’twas
That grew the more by reaping: his delights
Were dolphin-like; they show’d his back above
The element they lived in: in his livery
Walk’d crowns and crownets; realms and islands were
As plates dropp’d from his pocket. (V.2.79)

 

In this three-minute podcast, A Little Happier, I talk about why I love this passage: Enthusiasm is the best teacher. Listen here.

What’s your favorite line or passage from Shakespeare? There are so many.

7 Great Movies about the Nature of Happiness and Love.

I love making lists, and here’s a list of seven of my favorite movies about happiness. They don’t necessarily make me feel light-hearted, but they’ve all inspired me to think deeply about the nature of happiness and love.

As I look at my choices, I see to my surprise that as a group, they’re a bit strange. And also quite R-rated.

Happiness and…the porn industry? Happiness and…strangers beating each other up? And yet I think that each of these movies is very transcendent, in its own way.

  1. Junebug — a haunting movie about the deep mysteries of family; what we know about each other; how we show love and respect for each other
  2. Saturday Night Fever –– the disco music is better than I remembered, and the movie is also about sharing a passion with another person, and the bonds that can create
  3. All That Jazz — I talk about my crazy love for this movie in episode 57 of the podcast
  4. Boogie Nights — true, this movie takes place in the porn industry, but it’s also a movie that makes me think about friendship, work, and how we find out path in the world
  5. Terms of Endearment — funny, sad, thought-provoking. I’ll never forget the scene where the mother demands pain medication for her daughter.
  6. Fight Club — the novel is also brilliant. Strange, yes. Deeply strange, yes. But brilliant.
  7. Husbands and Wives — I’ve seen this movie five times, and I see new things every time. A fascinating picture of a place (New York City), a time of life, several kinds of romantic relationships.

What movies would you remove – and more interesting, what movies would you add? I’d love to get a long list of movies about happiness.

Podcast 51: What to Do If You Can’t Remember a Name, Why We Should Plan to Fail, and Adult Coloring Books.

It’s time for the next installment of  “Happier with Gretchen Rubin.

Update: Elizabeth is in her new office in the old Animation Building on the Disney lot. As promised, here’s a photo of the Seven Dwarfs building. If you want to see the trailer for Elizabeth’s new show, The Family, watch here.sevendwarvesbuilding1pix

We got a huge response to episode 48, when we talked about the “Sunday Blues” or “Sunday Dreads.” Listeners suggested many thoughtful solutions for dealing with them.

Try This at Home: Disguise the fact that you can’t remember something important about someone—such as that person’s name. Lots of strategies—and we’re asking for more!

Better Than Before Habits Strategy: The Strategy of Safeguards. It helps us to plan to fail.

Listener Question: Terry from Walnut Creek: “How do I keep up with phone calls and voice mails from family members?” Terry mentions that she’s an “Obliger” in the Four Tendencies framework. If you want to learn more about the Four Tendencies, and take the Quiz to find out your Tendency, go here.

Elizabeth’s Demerit: Despite the fact that Elizabeth lost all her photos when her phone died many months ago, she still doesn’t back up her phone. Bonus demerit: I don’t back up my phone either! Yikes.

Gretchen’s Gold Star: Adult coloring books! I’m going to buy one for myself. Are you a fan?

Bonus: Check out Quiet, the new podcast by Susan Cain, the author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, about being the parent of introverted children.

 

As always, thanks to our terrific sponsors

Check out The Great Courses Plus for a wide variety of fascinating courses taught by top professors and experts in their fields. Special offer for our listeners: free access to one of their most popular courses! To get The Fundamentals of Photography for free, go to thegreatcoursesplus.com/happier Limited time.

And check out Stamps.com. Want to avoid post-office pain, and buy and print official U.S. postage for any letter or package, right from your own computer and printer? Visit Stamps.com to sign up for a no-risk trial, plus a $110 bonus offer — just enter the promo code HAPPIER.

1pix

We love hearing from listeners

 

To sign up for my free monthly newsletter, text me at 66866 and enter the word (surprise) “happier.“ Or click here.

If you enjoyed the podcast, please tell your friends and give us a rating or review. Click here to tell your friends on Twitter.

Listeners really respect the views of other listeners, so your response helps people find good material. (Not sure how to review? Instructions here; scroll to the bottom.)

 

How to Subscribe

If you’re like me (until recently) you’re intrigued by podcasts, but you don’t know how to listen or subscribe. It’s very easy, really. Really.  To listen to more than one episode, and to have it all in a handier way, on your phone or tablet, it’s better to subscribe. Really, it’s easy.

Want to know what to expect from other episodes of the podcast, when you listen toHappier with Gretchen Rubin?” We talk about how to build happier habits into everyday life, as we draw from cutting-edge science, ancient wisdom, lessons from pop culture—and our own experiences (and mistakes).  We’re sisters, so we don’t let each other get away with much!

HAPPIER listening!

Do You Ever Get a Huge Pleasure Just From Looking at a Particular Object? What?

“The rack stood as if it had been there forever across the landscape and lit by the sun with its long shadow behind it, and in harmony with every fold of the field and finally turned into a mere form, a primordial form, even if that was not the word I used then, and it gave me huge pleasure just to look at it. I can still feel the same thing today when I see a hayrack in a photograph from a book, but all that is a thing of the past now…so the feeling of pleasure slips into the feeling that time has passed, that it is very long ago, and the sudden feeling of being old.”

Per Petterson, Out Stealing Horses