Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Grechen Rubin | Rating: ★★☆☆☆
“How about this,” I suggested. “Instead of feeling that you’ve blown the day and thinking, ‘I’ll get back on track tomorrow,’ try thinking of each day as a set of four quarters: morning, midday, afternoon, evening. If you blow one quarter, you get back on track for the next quarter. Fail small, not big.”
As a note, this novel was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for a review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.
I had heard about Gretchen Rubin before, The Happiness Project being one of those books which is surrounded by enormous buzz, but Better Than Before is my first experience with her writing. I have to say that while she is extremely thoughtful and talented, this book wasn't all that good to me. And that's unfortunate, because I had such high hopes for it -- alas, some things just aren't meant to be everyone's cup of tea and this simply wasn't mine.
The weird thing is, though, when the book shined and was truly helpful, boy was it good. There are quite a few passages here and there that I marked and wrote down because they are helpful and beautiful, but it just couldn't save the rest of it for me personally. I guess this goes to show that even if the book isn't entirely for you, you can still almost always find bits here and there that speak to you in a way that the rest neglects to.
Then again, self-help books just must not be all that interesting to me. Because in theory, Better Than Before sounds like a rare, shining hope in the land of self help and based on many of my friends and family's reactions, it is quite helpful to them. Which is why I must encourage you to make your own opinions, read the book and see how your opinion forms. Whereas it wasn't helpful for me, or interesting, it could be that book for you; the one you've been waiting for to spark a revolution in your day to day life.
Gretchen's main goal is to break those nasty little day to day habits you've gathered over the year and make a batch of new ones. For many people, the way she breaks it down for you, can be a great help. I mean it, there's some good stuff in here -- even I, though not a fan, can admit will be helpful to many others besides myself.
Gretchen Rubin, as well, as a hopeful and quick-to-the-point way of suggesting things for her reader; which makes it that much more obvious to why she's been such a hit amongst readers. However, there's nothing remarkable or new or solid in her suggestions for someone like me. There's an air of stiff, privileged in some things and it really irked me and got under my skin. Which makes it nothing to rave about in my opinion, but again -- different strokes for different folks.
Even though I found it, at times, to be a chore to read -- I did finish it pretty quickly. So I can only imagine how fast of a read it will be to those who actually enjoyed it.