The Happiness Project

A chronicle of my attempts to test-drive every tip, principle and scientific study that promotes happiness

Revealed! The Book Jacket for Happier At Home

At least I think it looks terrific.

One of the most important steps in publishing a book is designing the book jacket.

I always feel out of my element at this stage. I think book jackets matter hugely—I know I've judged books by their covers, many times—but I don't have much knowledge in this area. When I look at a piece of writing, I know whether I think it's good, and how I might make it better. With images, I feel much less certain.

Therefore, I'm thrilled to report that the book jacket for Happier at Home is finished—and terrific! At least I think it looks terrific.

Voilà!

I hope you like it, too. Note the birdhouse imagery; it's meant to combine the "bluebird" of happiness with the "home" emphasis of Happier at Home. And birdhouses are cozy, light-hearted, and engaging, which is the spirit I sought to create in my home with this project.

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Here's a description:

One Sunday afternoon, as she unloaded the dishwasher, Gretchen Rubin felt hit by a wave of homesickness. Homesick—why? She was standing right in her own kitchen. She felt homesick, she realized, with love for home itself. “Of all the elements of a happy life,” she thought, “my home is the most important.” In a flash, she decided to undertake a new happiness project, and this time, to focus on home.

And what did she want from her home? A place that calmed her, and energized her. A place that, by making her feel safe, would free her to take risks. Also, while Rubin wanted to be happier at home, she wanted to appreciate how much happiness was there already.

In The Happiness Project, she worked out general theories of happiness. Here she goes deeper on factors that matter for home, such as possessions, marriage, time, and parenthood. How can she control the cubicle in her pocket? How might she spotlight her family’s treasured possessions? And it really was time to replace that dud toaster.

Each month, Rubin tackles a different theme as she experiments with concrete, manageable resolutions—and this time, she coaxes her family to try some resolutions, as well.

Every time I work on a book, I think, "Never again will I write a book that I love as much as this one. No subject can ever be as interesting as this one." And every time, I've loved the next book even more. I loved working on Happier at Home, and I'm excited that it's almost out in the world, at last.

* I just discovered Cool Hunting. Lots to see there.

* Are you reading The Happiness Project in your book group? Email me at gretchenrubin1@gretchenrubin.com if you'd like the 1-page discussion guide. Or if you're reading it in your spirituality book group, Bible study group, or the like, email me at gretchenrubin1@gretchenrubin.com for the 1-page spirituality discussion guide.

Gretchen Rubin is the author of The Happiness Project, a book and a blog about her adventures learning to be happier.

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