Stacy'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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May 14, 12

bookshelves: humorous, recommendations
Read from April 16 to May 14, 2012

I had low expectations for this book by NPR Correspondent Eric Weiner, with good reason. The "Praise" on the back was by a series of no-name authors, none of whom gave an accurate description of the contents of this delightful read. Also, there was a "bargain Price" sticker on the front of the book when I bought it at a library sale.

I was pleasantly surprised by the fascinating contents, however, which constitute a study of happiness all over the world. The self-proclaimed "unhappy" author, in his quest to find the true source of happiness, visits a host of countries over the course of a year, and interlaces scientific studies on happiness with his experiences in these places. Some are considered extremely happy overall (Iceland, Switzerland, Netherlands); he also visits the world's most miserable country (Moldova).

In the end, happiness is about finding the right balance in several different areas of life, but I won't give away the secret - you should read this book and find out for yourself! The writing is extremely easy to read, and the author is quite funny, even hilarious at times, despite calling himself a "grouch".

However, speaking of the author, I kept wondering why he was so unhappy. With what sounds like a comfortable lifestyle, a wife he calls "his bliss", an adopted daughter, and a successful career that has allowed him to travel all over the world, by the end I was scratching my head as to what he has to complain about. Overall, a highly entertaining and educational read!
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