Books by Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin is one of today’s most influential and thought-provoking observers of happiness and human nature. A highly acclaimed writer, she’s known for her ability to distill and convey complex ideas with humor and clarity.

Book cover of Outer Order, Inner Calm by Gretchen Rubin

Outer Order, Inner Calm

Declutter & Organize to Make More Room for Happiness

New York Times Bestseller

With clarity and humor, Gretchen Rubin illuminates one of her key realizations about happiness: For most of us, outer order contributes to inner calm. And for most of us, a rigid, one-size-fits-all solution doesn’t work.

The Four Tendencies

The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People’s Lives Better, Too)

New York Times Bestseller

During her years of exploration into human nature and habits, Gretchen Rubin realized that by answering the deceptively simple question of “How do I respond to inner and outer expectations?” we gain self-insight that can help us to change our habits—and our lives.

Rubin discovered that people fit into Four Tendencies: Upholders, Questioners, Obligers, and Rebels. Our Tendency shapes every aspect of our behavior, so understanding this framework lets us make better decisions, meet deadlines, suffer less stress and burnout, and engage more effectively. The Four Tendencies explain why we act and why we don’t act.

Better Than Before

What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits—to Sleep More, Quit Sugar, Procrastinate Less, and Generally Build a Happier Life

New York Times Bestseller

Habits are the invisible architecture of daily life. We repeat about forty percent of our behavior almost daily, so if we change our habits, we change our lives.

With her signature mix of rigorous research, easy humor, and personal experimentation, author Gretchen Rubin identifies the 21 habit-change strategies that will help every reader to create the habits that will transform their lives. In a book that’s bursting with big, provocative ideas, Rubin shows readers how to find what works for them, even if they’ve failed before.

Happier at Home

Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon Self-Control, and My Other Experiments in Everyday Life

New York Times Bestseller

Gretchen Rubin realized that her home, in all its aspects, was the most crucial element influencing her happiness.

So, starting in September (the new January), Rubin dedicated a school year—from September through May—to concentrate on the factors that matter for home, such as possessions, marriage, time, parenthood, body, neighborhood. Happier at Home is the account of what she tried, and what she learned, when she undertook to be happier at home.

The Happiness Project

Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun

New York Times Bestseller

One rainy afternoon, while riding a city bus, Gretchen Rubin asked herself, “What do I want from life, anyway?” She answered, “I want to be happy”—yet she spent no time thinking about her happiness. In a flash, she decided to dedicate a year to a happiness project. The result? One of the most thoughtful and engaging works on happiness to have emerged from the recent explosion of interest in the subject.

The Happiness Project synthesizes the wisdom of the ages with current scientific research, as Rubin brings readers along on her year to greater happiness.

Forty Ways to Look at JFK

This biography relates the gripping details of JFK’s colorful life and tackles the enduring puzzle: what made Kennedy Kennedy? It illuminates Kennedy’s provocative character and explains the source of his enduring magic as not even the most exhaustive studies have managed to do.

Forty Ways to Look at Winston Churchill

A Brief Account of a Long Life

Warrior and writer, genius and crank, rider in the British cavalry’s last charge and inventor of the tank, Winston Churchill is a towering figure of the last century. With penetrating insight, Rubin reveals the complexity of Churchill’s story with forty contrasting views of the man. In this short volume, Rubin captures Churchill’s virtues and flaws, his humor and his pomposity, his inspired words and his oddball notions.

Power Money Fame Sex

A User's Guide

A self-help satire that exposes the techniques exploited by strivers—a guide to what actually works, rather than what ought to work. Ruthless, subversive, and entertaining, it dissects these strategies and illustrates them with rules, tips, and quizzes. Lurking beneath this blunt advice is a piercing social critique.

Profane Waste

Jewels buried in a grave, cigarettes smoked in $100 bills, champagne poured into a bathtub…what explains these seemingly perverse and irrational, yet also thrilling, acts? Rubin uses lucid analysis and explosive examples—by Rauschenberg, Jesus, Boesky, Thoreau, Goebbels—to illuminate the workings of an unacknowledged taboo; photographer Hoey presents a series of haunting images that are at once ultra-real and uncanny.