Geography of Bliss
Part foreign affairs discourse, part humor, and part twisted self-help guide, The Geography of Bliss takes the reader from America to Iceland to India in search of happiness, or, in the crabby author's case, moments of "un-unhappiness." The book uses a beguiling mixture of travel, psychology,... show more
Part foreign affairs discourse, part humor, and part twisted self-help guide, The Geography of Bliss takes the reader from America to Iceland to India in search of happiness, or, in the crabby author's case, moments of "un-unhappiness." The book uses a beguiling mixture of travel, psychology, science and humor to investigate not what happiness is, but where it is. Are people in Switzerland happier because it is the most democratic country in the world? Do citizens of Qatar, awash in petrodollars, find joy in all that cash? Is the King of Bhutan a visionary for his initiative to calculate Gross National Happiness? Why is Asheville, North Carolina so damn happy? With engaging wit and surprising insights, Eric Weiner answers those questions and many others, offering travelers of all moods some interesting new ideas for sunnier destinations and dispositions. (2007)
Publish date: January 5th 2009
Pages no: 345
Edition language: English
, Book Club
Yawn. While there are some good bits in this book it reads more like some sort of stream-of-consciousness retelling of a couple holidays paired with whatever anecdotes the author happened to remember while writing. Not my cup of tea (and actually not quite unlike Three Cups of Tea when you think abo...
I liked it okay as a travel memoir, but not as a study of happiness. For me, the problem was mostly tone--it was hard for me to get beneath the layers of snarkiness to see any kind of earnest search for happiness. Eric Weiner was prone to over-generalizations and sarcastic take-downs, which would pu...
An interesting concept around what makes people happy: Switzerland has happy folks, Moldova, well not so much. Weiner discovers that maybe it is because when life is predictable and there are societal rules to follow in your country, life is better. It makes sense. I want to know that corruption isn...
Weiner was a decent narrator and though it seemed like he found a good way to go to countries he wanted to visit (except perhaps for Moldova) - he never did go to Denmark. It was an entertaining travelogue with no particularly unexpected insights into happiness.
I'd probably give this book 3.5 stars. I really enjoyed The Geography of Bliss, especially the first half of the book. The first half had some interesting insights, profound ponderings, and neat facts/trivia about the places visited. The later parts of the book, though, seemed to lose some steam, im...