Friday book review: The Geography of Bliss
Recently my husband has been reading a lot of books about the study of happiness. On his nightstand right now are the books, The Hppiness Project, The Happiness of pusuit, Stumbling on Happiness and The Art of Happiness!! This is a fascinating topic, that many more books try to cover. And one of the reasons that its so interesting is because happiness is so elusive to so many. One of the reasons it's so elusive may have been revealed in the book I'm discussing today, The Geography of Bliss: one grumps search for the happiest place in the world. By Eric Weiner.
In this non-fiction book, journalist Eric Weiner decides to set out to travel the the so called happiest places on the planet, in order to discover if there's a secret to happiness. What makes this adventure even more entertaining is the fact that Weiner is a cynical guy, and not your typical happiness seeker. I can identify with that, being that I'm incredibly cynical, yet completely romantic at the same time.
During his travels, Weiner jounrneys to Switzerland, home of the organized-and-content-happy, to Iceland, home of the partying-and-wild-yet-stylish-happy, and to Bhutan, where happiness is mandated by the government. He travels to Thailand, where they have many different words for smile. If you like travel writing, this book will take you to some interesting places!
But what about the premise of the book? The almighty search for happiness? What Weiner finds in each of these countries is happiness, and yet, it looks different in each place. Ultimately he decided that there is more than one path. Although This seems like a very simple conclusion, it's actually quite profound. Many of us here in the US enjoy being given a prescription, or a plan that we can follow. Do A, B and C and find happiness! Turns out its not that simple. And this is very good news. Human beings are infinitely adaptable. Which means you can find happiness in the most unlikely places.