Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Center
If you enjoyed the outdoorsy-ness of The Force of Nature, but want something a bit more positive, check out Happiness for Beginners! It’s Wild by Cheryl Strayed meets Eat Prey Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. While the title sounds like a self help book, it’s not. It’s simply a feel good story about a woman overcoming obstacles to find peace and happiness.
The Premise: Helen got divorced a year ago. Her life is not fulfilling and she knows she needs to do something drastic when her younger (and often unreliable) brother suggests that she sign up for a 3 week hiking retreat. This is another example of how similar books find their way into my reading. I chose this book to be my book club’s October pick and then my library chose Force of Nature to be their October pick. Both books involve people with no real outdoorsy skill heading out into the wilderness to hike.
Luckily, like it’s name suggests, Happiness for Beginners was a much more uplifting book. Back to the premise….As Helen stops to drop her dog off to her brother (to pet sit while she is away), she learns that her brother has offered her up to give a ride to his best friend, who is also doing the hike. Helen is upset because she wanted to do this on her own, and now her annoying brother’s friend is going to be there too. Then, once they arrive at the meetup location, she realizes that she is the oldest person in the group. She feels like an outsider, which just adds to her unhappiness.
The book touches on her personal struggles, but also how getting to know other people can teach you a lot about yourself and how gratitude and happiness are always obtainable.
Funny and inspiring, it’s a feel good book that doesn’t seem too unbelievable. Oh and yes, all the members of my book club enjoyed this book too!!