RCM Virtual Book Club Reads Happiness for Beginners
Here at RCM, we love books. We also love any opportunity participate in an awesome book club. So we decided to smoosh the two together and create the virtual Rocket City Mom Book Club! More info about our next title is below, and you can request to join the conversation here. Happy reading!
This month’s RCM Virtual Book Club title is Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Center. Join us virtually on Thursday, April 27 at 8:30 PM CST. If you can’t make it at THAT time, check back in throughout the week to keep the discussion going. Big thanks to The Snail On the Wall Books for sponsoring our title selections, and Shannan for her review below!
Happiness for Beginners Review
I have always been on a journey to happiness. To enjoy the years, months, weeks, days, and moments of my life. To understand how to attain it in a very tangible and meaningful way. This journey began in earnest in 2012 when, during a particular period of malaise, my sister pressed The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin into my hand. I read it in a day and have been on the lookout for books to aid in my journey to enjoy my life ever since.
With its beautiful orange floral cover, you might think that Happiness for Beginners is a lovely and light novel, a romance even. But when I read it, I had the opposite thought.
Its original cover gave me the impression that it was a serious, “literary” novel that had a lot to say about the human condition. I mean, it had a blurb by Brené Brown on the cover where she said that Katherine Center writes about “falling down and growing up and finding love like no one else.” I hoped it would assist me on my journey to happiness. Imagine my surprise when I realized that it was a contemporary novel, indeed an almost romance, and that it included answers to the very questions that I had been raising in my own life..”
Helen Carpenter has just gone through a divorce at thirty-two, but more importantly she has “lost something that [she] couldn’t even articulate.” So, she sets out to do this daring and unexpected thing: a hardcore wilderness survival course, she believes is exactly what she needs. Time to focus on herself, pushing herself beyond her limitations, both physical and emotional. Experiences that will toughen her up, and help her find a deeper spiritual connection. But things take a turn early on when her brother’s best-friend, Jake, also participates in the same hardcore wilderness survival course, distracting and derailing her from her mission. What happens next is fun but serious also, as Helen finds the bits of what she lost.
I never expected to find bits of what I had lost in this novel but I did and I continue to. I have now read Happiness for Beginners three times. I have read a number of Katherine Center novels since then and like Katherine, Happiness for Beginners is my favorite. I go back to it when life gets hard again and again, and can’t we all agree that life has been all kinds of hard these past few years.
“[L]ife will hand each one of us our fair share of despair and loss and suffering–and then some. That’s certain. But just as certain: It will also give us slices of chocolate cake, and sunny, seventy-two-degree days, and breezes that rustle the trees. Good things are so easy to overlook, but that doesn’t make them any less there.”
I’m glad that Happiness for Beginners is one of those good things that are there.
Let’s discuss Happiness for Beginners in our Virtual Book Club Facebook Page on Thursday, April 27 at 8:30 PM CT. See you there!
Shannan Moore Malone squeezes in the time to write while taking care of the Buddy Man. As you already know, she loves books but she also loves great movies, running, and is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, a foodie. Though generally more on the quiet side, you can get her talking by mentioning living authentically, the importance of clarity and organization, and enjoying life, which she occasionally writes about on her blog her blog and posts about on Instagram.