Liz's Reviews > The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World

The Geography of Bliss by Eric    Weiner
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Jun 17, 2008

really liked it
Read in October, 2009

A really interesting premise. Weiner starts with a list of the happiest (and unhappiest) countries in the world, visits ten of them, and investigates whether the people really are that happy - and if so, why. The writing is funny and the citizens and expats we meet along the way are entertaining. Weiner doesn't draw any shocking conclusions, and for some reason he excludes South America from his analysis entirely (Africa doesn't merit a visit either, though it is referenced a few times). Still, the nations he does pick are interesting and allow him to explore different potential causes for bliss or misery - wealth vs poverty, democracy vs dictatorship, homogeneity vs diversity.

A fun read with entertaining travel stories and some food for thought about the impact culture can have on individual happiness. This would be a great setup for a TV series in the vein of Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations.
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