The last day of the year always seems auspicious to me, so I'm very happy that today is the release date for the paperback of Happier at Home. (The publication date for the hardback was my wedding anniversary, so that also seemed auspicious.)
“Um, why should I buy your book,” some people have asked nicely, “when I can read the blog for free?” Other people have asked, “I read The Happiness Project; is this book more of the same?” Here are some reasons to read Happier at Home:
1. One smart friend who has read both said she thought the blog was process, the book was conclusion. The ideas in the book are presented in a more distilled, thoughtful way, and the book framework allows me to tell longer stories and explain more complicated ideas. Also, I can be funnier (or at least, try to be funnier).
2. On the blog, I write about whatever subject interests me that day, so it skips from topic to topic. The book is organized by subject matter: Time, Possessions, Parenthood, Body, Marriage, Neighborhood, etc. If you’re interested in particular subjects, you can focus there.
3. The Happiness Project is broad and lays out general principles; Happier at Home goes deeper into the one particular area of life that, at least for me, and I think for many people, is the foundation of happiness. It has a more specific focus and carries ideas further. My sister, in fact, says that Happier at Home is my best book.
4. If you’ve been enjoying the blog, and you’d like to share it with a friend, you can give the book as a gift. You can’t give the blog as a gift. Or if a friend was a fan of The Happiness Project, you can give Happier at Home.
5. In a book, you can more easily take notes about what applies to you and your happiness project. Underlining, highlighting, and taking notes in the margin allow you to engage with the material.
6. In Happier at Home, I write about many ideas and episodes that I’ve never mentioned elsewhere. Also, I include photos from my own life (which I took myself). No one ever mentions the photos! I got such a kick out of doing this!
7. Many of my readers have written that they want to buy Happier at Home to show their support—a “thank you” for everything I do for free. Which I very much appreciate.
8. The ending of Happier at Home may be the best thing I've ever written--and my specialty, as a writer, is endings. I love the ending to this book.
Of course, the book may be of special interest to anyone particularly interested in “home”: college or grad students, recent graduates, empty-nesters, newlyweds, new parents, people who have just moved, people overwhelmed with clutter, people who feel like they have no leisure, single people, people with spouses and/or kids, people with health issues…hmm, looks like that covers just about everyone! Because the fact is, for most people, home is a very significant element of their happiness.
If you’re thinking, “Yes! I’m intrigued! But, Gretchen, how can I learn more about Happier at Home?” well, you’re in luck. You can…
– read the chapter on possessions, “Find a true simplicity”
– listen to a clip from the audio-book
– watch the Behind-the-Scenes video or request the Behind-the-Scenes extra. It was so fun to do these–I’d never done anything like this before. Yes, you can know the true story of “artisanal pickles.” All is revealed.
-- request the one-page book-club discussion guide, also for spirituality book clubs, Bible study groups, and the like.
Thank you as always, dear readers, for your enthusiasm, ideas, and support. You make me very happy.