You Can Buy Happiness (and It’s Cheap): How One Woman Radically Simplified Her Life and How You Can, Too

Tammy Strobel, Author
Tammy Strobel. New World Library, $14.95 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-60868-083-2
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-986-272-393-7
Open Ebook - 226 pages - 978-1-60868-084-9
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This cheerful handbook offers the emotional and practical lessons Strobel learned while radically downsizing her living space, disposing of most of her possessions, and simplifying her lifestyle. Through her RowdyKittens blog, Strobel and her husband have shared their transition from a generous two-bedroom apartment in 2004 to the TV-free, refrigerator-free, 128-square-foot house-on-wheels parked in a corner of a friend’s Portland, Ore., yard. She makes a persuasive argument for simplification and is careful to offer advice not only to Small Living movement radicals but to anyone looking to “right-size” their life. Social relationships, she argues, should be both the core of personal satisfaction and a way to share resources. Additionally, Strobel urges budgeting for experiences rather than objects and finding ways to spend less time commuting and working just to pay for unnecessary goods. A list of “micro-actions” that anyone can do—like the “100 Thing Challenge” or the “one in, one out rule”—is offered to aid in re-evaluating one’s relationship with space and ownership. Although her personal choices may seem extreme, the environmental politics and magnitude of change Strobel asks of her reader is distinctly moderate, making this a practical book even for those who only want to live a little bit lighter. (Sept.)
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