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This Is Where You Belong: The Art and Science of Loving the Place You Live Hardcover – June 21, 2016
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“With this book by your side, a happier life is just around the corner.”—Gretchen Rubin, bestselling author of The Happiness Project
"[Warnick's] journey to feeling attached to where she lives is scientific and packed with research, but also feels like an old friend's casual banter. This practical exercise in intentional place-based happiness is for the homesick and the optimistic alike."—Shelf Awareness
"Two books in one: a well-researched survey of the literature on place attachment, and a how-to guide for readers wanting to fall in love with where they live."—Library Journal
"A series of research-backed ways to be happy in a new home."—Time
“Where we choose to live is the single most important decision we make. Melody Warnick shows you how to find a place you truly love and even more importantly how to make it your very own. This Is Where You Belong is an important book for so many people out there who are choosing their place to live.”—Richard Florida, author of Who’s Your City? and Rise of the Creative Class
"This Is Where You Belong deconstructs one of the most important decisions a person makes in the new gig economy: where to call home. With boundless curiosity and spirited, seamless prose, Melody Warnick's placemaking manifesto will make you want to be a better neighbor, wanderer, and citizen of the world."—Beth Macy, author of Factory Man
"Between the lines of this marvelous book is a deeper message for those who seek it. Yes, you can find happiness just about anywhere—and Melody Warnick will show you how—but some places are happier than others, and those considering a move would be wise to read these pages first and see where they lead."—Jeff Speck, author, Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time
“A charming, thoughtful book about how to find new joys in your own hometown. With suggestions on walking, buying locally, and visiting farmer’s markets, it’s a reminder that the best place to live can be where you already are.”—Janice Kaplan, New York Times bestselling author of The Gratitude Diaries
“Our neighbors are an overlooked but critical resource in so many ways. This great, readable book from Melody Warnick nails why we should all be doing more to invest in our communities and neighborhoods to create more connected, happier, healthier, and safer spaces.”—Daniel P. Aldrich, author of Building Resilience and Site Fights
“I live in and write about a small Alaskan town and Melody Warnick quantified so many of the reasons why I love Haines. This must be the best how-to book ever written on how (and why) to love the place you live. Read it and share it, and then go out and make your community better.”—Heather Lende, author of Find the Good: Unexpected Life Lessons from a Small-town Obituary Writer
"Thoughtful, witty, and engaging, Warnick combines personal anecdotes and thorough research to uncover the power and impact of connecting with the people around you. A fun and worthwhile read.”—Marc J. Dunkelman, visiting fellow at Brown’s Taubman Center for Public Policy and American Institutions, and author of The Vanishing Neighbor
“Warnick convincingly argues that one of the most important relationships in your life is with where you live. This book is an empowering guide for anyone who wonders if they will ever feel like they really belong to a community. I already feel more inspired.”—Kelly McGonigal, author of The Upside of Stress
About the Author
A freelance journalist for more than a decade, Melody Warnick has written for Reader’s Digest, O: The Oprah Magazine, Redbook, Better Homes and Gardens, Ladies’ Home Journal, Woman’s Day, Parents, and The Atlantic’s CityLab. She lives with her family in Blacksburg, Virginia.
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Top Customer Reviews
What changed was that this unique book fell into my hands at the right time. In less than 3 months I'm leaving my home state with my husband, dog, and all our worldly possessions to cross mountains, desert, and snow (all of which this Houston, TX girl has never seen in her 28 years) on my husbands 30th birthday because we are chasing a dream of the grass is greener WAY on the other side. Vancouver, WA might turn out to be a huge disappointment but that craving for a fresh start has promoted us to hit the reset button and start life anew in another state.
Melody Warnick, the author of this book, has done what I'm about to do 6 times in her life. According to Warnick on average a person will jump ship 11.7 times. These statics show that a lot of us have fallen into a habit of chasing the next best thing, hoping that in a new land they will finally feel that internal warmth and inner knowing of "home".
For Warnick after move number six from Austin, Texas to Blacksburg, Virginia she was sure that she would finally be wooed by Blacksburg and be at peace. But Real Blacksburg as opposed to Fictional Blacksburg (the one Warnick had created in her head while obessessing scrolling through Google Street View at 1:00 am) was, as she said, bleak. She wasn't happy and the thought she will once again have to move didn't make her joyful. Her girls were getting to be school age and she wanted them to have something permanent. A real sense of home. And so, Warnick begins Love Where You Live Experiments in her new hometown. This time she was staying.
How does a book about staying help someone like me who has decided to go? The answer is complicated. In reading this book I have learned the reason why I have felt so uneasy all these years in my home state isn't about the politics, the heat, or the bugs. Because the things she writes about are things I have done and still have felt no attachment to my place. Texas has been the home of my head but not my heart. And once I land in Washington with nothing more than my bed, dog, and husband what I'll be searching for to make me feel at home won't be the next Pottery Barn duvet cover. I will be walking the streets, eating local foods, saying hi to my neighbors, and spend my money at the local art supply store as opposed to the mammoth Hobby Lobby. Maybe I'll volunteer at the library and go to coffee houses rather than stay at home sobbing on my bathroom floor and lamenting that I ever moved in the first place.
When I go I will be sure to take this book and the reminder that the warmth of home doesn't happen overnight. That just because I pack up and leave doesn't mean that I'm a newly made person. And that to truly love a place and stay where you are beings with the simple act of experiencing joy for as long as you are there.
In This Is Where You Belong, Melody Warnick offers 10 strategies for increasing your sense of "rootedness" or place attachment - ranging from shopping locally to traveling by bike or foot and getting involved in the community. Reading the book has made me think differently about how I participate in my own environment, what I love about it, and how I can up my own game to deepen my attachment.