For the month of March, I am participating in Fabulous Finds by Tiffany’s 31 Day Blog Challenge. Today’s prompt: the last book you read.
I want to talk about two books in this post: Four of a Kind by Valerie Frankel and The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.
Four of a Kind, synopsis: Four of a Kind is a novel is split into parts, and each part is further divided into chapters, each of which is told from the point of view of one of the four main characters: Bess, Robin, Alicia, and Carla. All four women have children who attend Brownstone, a private school in Brooklyn Heights. They come together as members of the Diversity Committee, and in order to break the ice at their first meeting, they play a game of poker. However, instead of playing for money, they play for secrets. Soon, the four become close friends and a support system, helping each other to challenge the “givens” of their lives and their families.
Four of Kind, my thoughts: I was interested in this book for a few reasons: (1) It falls into one of my two favorite categories, chick lit; (2) the premise intrigued me; and (3) it is authored by a woman who writes articles in Self that I just love. I was not let down. This book was very engaging. The characters were well-developed, with relatable responsibilities, desires, hopes, and fears. Even though I am not married (yet!), I don’t have children, and I don’t share the same career as any of the characters in the book, there were dozens of times throughout the reading that I felt a strong connection to the readers’ feelings and situations. I felt inspired and strengthened to deal challenges of my own. Aside from feeling an emotional connection to the characters, it was just a really good story. I had trouble putting it down to work on things I had to get done! I highly recommend it.
The Happiness Project, synopsis: Gretchen Rubin decided she was going increase her happiness to its maximum potential, and spent a year in pursuit of doing so. She did tons of research and documented the entire process. Each month she focused on a different theme: energy, marriage, work, parenthood, leisure, friendship, money, eternity, a passion (books, in her case), mindfulness, attitude, and overall “boot camp perfect.” Rubin perfectly blends humor, research, and honesty.
The Happiness Project, my thoughts: I am blown away by this book – totally inspired, marking up the whole thing with notes, reading parts over and over. Rubin has a blog that I am now 100% subscribed and addicted to, and another happiness work that I immediately went out and purchased upon finishing her first. Rubin has developed and put out many tips and materials for readers to pursue their own happiness project, and I have already begun to take full advantage of it. I cannot recommend this book enough. I feel happier just having read it and recalling its lessons and stories on a daily basis.
Have you read either of these books? What did you think of them? What was the last book you read?