reviews · writing wednesday

Writing Wednesday: The Happy Book by Rachel Kempster and Meg Leder

Welcome to a new “category” of posts! I like to write just as much as I do reading, and so I thought I’d take some time once in a while to talk about the process, and journaling, and all kinds of writerly things.

To start off, I have a unique journal for you.

Official Summary

It’s your happiness-in a book.
Packed with quirky and creative prompts, ideas, and activities, The Happy Book gives you an easy way to put a happy smile on your face.
Scribble thoughts, make lists, paste pictures, doodle, and dream about whatever makes you glad. (Think…hot chocolate with churros. ’80s hair bands. The first snowfall of the year!) You’ll create your own personal pick-me-up that you can flip through whenever you want.
It’s your happy book–discover and celebrate all the things (both big and small) that make you happy.

The Book

I like to journal…meaning, creating physical copies of memories. But long entries give me writers’ cramp. I could always just type on a computer, which I’ve also done, but that’s not nearly as special.

Enter The Happy Book. If you’re looking for an “adult activity book” that isn’t “adult coloring” (those detailed images stress me out more than anything!), you’ve found the place. When I first flipped through it on Christmas Day, I knew that hours of fun lay ahead. And it wouldn’t be a waste of time, because it would ultimately become a pick-me-up and even a memento.

Inside you’ll find:

*Lists of things to do, like office olympics at work, cakes to make, and how to use postcards to spread the happiness
*List pages, like ones for your favorite people, songs, or dance music or other things like good birthday memories
*Doodle pages, where you can invent an animal or just scribble colors
*Pages to save those all-important mementos like candy wrappers and nice emails
*Lists by contributors, in their own handwriting, of moments that make them happy

There’s a lot to do here. I did noticed that some pages repeated (there are several music lists and sticker pages, for example), so more attention might have been given to editing so those pages could have focused on different topics. Still, there’s plenty here. Despite being a little book, it’s packed with pages and ideas, so expect to spend lots of time on it.

Your friends can also take part in the action. While that aspect significantly decreases my chance of ever officially completing it (yes, there are pages at the end to celebrate your completion), you can invite friends to write nice things about you, or make lists together. Or you can simply draw portraits of the people who make life worthwhile.

Here is a personal list I’m working on now:

It’s a very versatile book that you can use in any way you’d like. Even tweens would probably be happy with The Happy Book, though I would caution that the playful tone of the book makes it more appropriate for women. (In a greater sense, of course that doesn’t matter, but in general…)

This was a great Christmas gift that beats boredom and makes memories. If you need something to do, I highly recommend The Happy Book.

Do you have this journal? If not, does it inspire you to pick it up?