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Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon Self-Control, and My Other Experiments in Everyday Life Paperback – December 31, 2013

3.8 out of 5 stars 291 customer reviews

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  • Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon Self-Control, and My Other Experiments in Everyday Life
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Editorial Reviews


"With her characteristic mix of delightful charm, thoughtful research, and insightful advice, In Happier at Home Gretchen Rubin shows how to add fun,  joy, and harmony to your home life. As usual with Rubin's work, I couldn't put this book down."
--Susan Cain, New York Times bestselling author of QUIET: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

"Gretchen Rubin's inventive approach to creating a happier home life is as inspiring as it is informative. Happier At Home is a soulful and enlightening guide for happiness-seekers of all stripes."
--Cheryl Strayed, bestselling author of WILD

“In her brilliantly insightful book Happier at Home, Gretchen Rubin shows how small changes can make a big difference to our  everyday happiness. What better place to start than in our own homes?” -- Chris Guillebeau, author of The Art of Non-Conformity, and The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future

“From ‘threshold rituals’ to ‘cultivating a shrine,’ Happier at Home has brought more joy into my life. It’s a rare book that inspires personal change and takes you on a rollicking adventure through history and into the minds of great thinkers. I’m grateful for Gretchen Rubin's work.”
-- Brené Brown, Ph.D. Author of #1 New York Times bestselling book, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way we Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

"A happy home is the elusive ideal we all strive for--whether we  live in the city or suburbs, with children or parents, with partners, roommates, or on our own. In Happier at Home, Gretchen Rubin brilliantly shows us how to create an environment that embraces the people and the things that give us a sense of comfort, tranquility, and joy."
--Harlan Coben, bestselling author of Six Years and Stay Close 

“Self-help fans rejoice. A new book just came out that’s just as good as Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project. It’s her latest release called Happier at Home. . . Rubin’s warm, doable and sweet tips seem small when you check them off one by one. But the advice, added together, is a big ball of happy. . . Every mom will find gems in this book.”

Praise for The Happiness Project

“Once you’ve read Gretchen Rubin’s tale of a year spent searching for satisfaction, you’ll want to start your own happiness project and get your friends and family to join you. This is the rare book that will make you both smile and think—often on the same page.”
–Daniel H. Pink, bestselling author of Drive

"A friendly, approachable, and compulsively readable narrative that will not only make you want to start your own happiness project but will also make you want to invite Rubin out for a cup of coffee."
San Diego Union-Tribune
"For those who generally loathe the self-help genre, Rubin's book is a breath of peppermint-scented air. Well-researched and sharply written."
–The Cleveland Plain Dealer
"The Happiness Project made me happier by just reading it."
“An enlightening, laugh-aloud read…Filled with open, honest glimpses into [Rubin’s] real life, woven together with constant doses of humor.”
Christian Science Monitor
“Whether you devote a day or a year, The Happiness Project can give you the tools to find lasting fulfillment.”
Psychology Today
“Gretchen's compelling voice, great stories, and first person-perspective…make the book simply irresistible.”
–Bob Sutton, Stanford Professor and author of Weird Ideas That Work
“A cross between the Dalai Lama’s The Art of Happiness and Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love, seamlessly buttressed by insights from sources as diverse as psychological scientists, novelists, poets, and philosophers, Gretchen Rubin’s book is one that readers will revisit again and again as they seek to fulfill their own dreams for happiness.”
–Sonja Lyubomirsky, author of The How of Happiness

From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

GRETCHEN RUBIN is the author of several books, including the blockbuster #1 New York Times bestseller The Happiness Project. Rubin started her career in law and was clerking for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor when she realized that she really wanted to be a writer. Raised in Kansas City, she lives in New York City with her husband and two daughters.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony (December 31, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307886794
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307886798
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (291 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,423 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As other reviewers have said, I really wanted to like this book. I loved The Happiness Project, and found it life-changing--in fact, I re-read it at least once a year. I bought copies for family and friends, I recommend it constantly to students in my college writing classes. I love the author and her writing style, too--she is so refreshingly honest, with a wonderfully accessible style.

But this book, which I'd eagerly anticipated since I pre-ordered it earlier this summer, feels more like a diary or a The Life of Gretchen Rubin documentary than a self-help book. I love detail, normally, but so much of this book seemed to be "and then this happened to me, and then I did this." Hard to say how that differs from the first book, but it did--maybe it was the dearth of new insights, or the inclusion of the seemingly trivial (to me, at least). For example, I love scent, too, but the number of pages devoted to Rubin's exploration of smell, including creating a Shrine to Scent, just seemed like an awful lot of attention spent trying to elevate the incredibly mundane.

I do realize that paying attention to the details was a big part of Rubin's prescription for happiness in her very successful first book, and it's hard to put my finger on what made this one less enjoyable. I guess in the end it felt as though this one was rushed--that she put in the effort to record the details, but perhaps not the same effort towards making those details add up to something relevant and useful to the reader. Sort of a "This is what I did" rather than "Here's what to do"--more of a memoir of nine months than the instructional, follow-this-path tone of The Happiness Project. And I love a good memoir--but this wasn't a good memoir, either.
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Format: Hardcover
I just finished both "The Happiness Project" and "Happier at Home," back to back. I am baffled at how different these books are, yet they appear on the surface to be in the same vein.

The Happiness Project not only gave me great insights and practical inspiration, it also caused me to reflect on my relationship with those around me. I found myself, for the first time in my life, appreciating quotations from great thinkers and contemplating them throughout the day. (I may have to pick up a copy of Walden thanks to Gretchen!) I enjoyed this book so much, as soon as I finished the last page, I turned back to the beginning to re-read and re-enjoy it once more!

However, I had a hard time with Rubin's second offering on the same theme.

1. Repetition. If you've read The Happiness Project, there's really not much new in "Happier at Home." In fact, it was drudgery getting through the first month of her experiment, seeing that she copied much verbatim (!!!) from the first book. I found that borderline insulting, and it almost hindered me from reaching the next chapter. I can't believe the editor didn't at least recommend adding new anecdotes - talk about déjà vu! Throughout the rest of the book, the same quotes and themes are hammered on again and again, despite the fact that The Happiness Project already fully explored them.

2. I couldn't relate. As I read The Happiness Project, I found myself thinking, "wow, I wish I knew the author personally! We would probably make great friends!" But, strangely, I couldn't relate to her at all in this book. I am a stay at home mom who, despite a college education, has chosen to stay home with my children. They are still quite young, so my life pretty much revolves around their needs.
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Format: Hardcover
I loved The Happiness Project so much that I became a superfan, and wanted to read all I could about Gretchen Rubin. A NY Times article about her, "On Top of the Happiness Racket" revealed how much of her home life she'd kept from readers: husband Jamie is "a senior partner at BC Partners, a hedge fund." Her "father-in-law, known to readers as the sage, affable "Bob," is known to the world as Robert Rubin, the former Treasury secretary, who stepped down last year as an adviser to Citigroup." In Happier at Home, she mentions 'mortgage papers'; owning a triplex in the Upper East Side means you're a millionaire.

It matters that Ms. Rubin is so wealthy because most of the things that affect my daily happiness at home don't even register as a blip on her radar. Money is only mentioned when she mentions the expensive family portraits she ordered for the holidays. In many homes, you have to choose between sources of happiness: we can buy an iPad or go away for a long weekend, but not both; we can go out to eat tonight or I can go on a lavish scent shopping spree (which she does), but not both. In many households, a great source of tension is when spouses disagree about how to save and what to buy. She mentions that she's an under-buyer, but never has to deal with the stress of not being able to buy something, or having to choose between two things. The only restraint that Rubin encounters is not being able to fit in all of her Type-A helicopter mom activities into one afternoon.

It also seems that her family is fortunate enough to hire housekeeping help, since the only chores and home maintenance she mentions are activities like tidying up all of her books, organizing trinkets, making photo albums, and painting the home office.
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