For the last several years, I’ve given a theme to my summer reading. I had the Summer of Proust, the Summer of Woolf, the Summer of Re-Reading…this summer is the Summer of Abraham Lincoln, with a focus on Lincoln’s skill at using storytelling and jokes to communicate and persuade.

I love an aphorism, which is why I’m working on my Secrets of Adulthood collection. I love a teaching story, which is why I do my “A Little Happier” episodes each week for the Happier podcast. So I want to learn more about Lincoln’s approach.


5 Things Making Me Happy​

Every year on the Happier podcast, Elizabeth and I dedicate an episode to “Design Your Summer” to help us and listeners make the most of the season. This year, I’ve created a new way to use the “Spin the Wheel” tool in the Happier™ app to help you design your summer and do more of the things that make you happier. For the month of June, every Spin-the-Wheel challenge will suggest something to add to your summer bucket list, an idea to spark a new tradition, or an activity that will help the season feel distinct. The app is free to download and you get three spins per day—it’s so fun.

As someone who loves the sense of smell, and who has—at last count—seventeen favorite perfumes, I was interested to read that because of a trend of “smellmaxxing,” teenage boys are now becoming interested in wearing expensive designer fragrances. Axe is out, Tobacco Vanille is in (I love Tobacco Vanille myself).

I was recently at a conference in Arizona. I love a conference, and I love a cactus! I met a lot of interesting people, and I especially enjoyed seeing some of my writer friends, such as Lori Gottlieb and Kate Bowler—I forgot to get a photo with Charles Duhigg, Dan Pink, Tara Schuster, and others.

If, like me, you plan to do some reading this summer, I wrote a blog post for Barnes & Noble about designing your summer reading list. I include different approaches you might take, tips for getting more reading done, my summer reading recommendations, and books I’m looking forward to reading for my Summer of Abraham Lincoln. I do love summer reading.

Know Yourself Better: What fictional universe would you want to spend time in? I recently posed this question on social media and enjoyed seeing other people’s answers. I’d love to visit Narnia, myself, from C. S. Lewis’s Narnia novels or the House from Susanna Clarke’s Piranesi (interesting: I love the House, but someone told me they thought it seemed frightening). Also my sister Elizabeth’s version of Fantasy Island, of course!


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This week on Happier with Gretchen Rubin


We discuss why it can be useful to write down bad feelings on a piece of paper, then shred, toss, or burn it. We also mention a hack from a listener that makes it easier to stay in touch with far-flung friends and family, and listeners share their stories about how they’ve trained (or plan to train) for a tough transition.

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