Summer Reading: The Geography of Bliss

RECOMMENDED: The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World by Eric Weiner


bliss bedIn The Geography of Bliss, journalist Eric Weiner sets off to figure out why some places spawn happier people . He travels the world investigating its happiest and least happiest populations, looking for keys to cultural bliss.

Chapters are arranged by country: the Netherlands, Switzerland, Bhutan, Qatar, Iceland, Moldova, Thailand, Great Britain, India and finally, his home turf, the United States of America. Five years may have passed since its publication, but the data in Bliss seems to still be on point. Bhutan continues to develop its Gross National Happiness (GNH) Index, the Netherlands still curates the World Happiness Database, and Asheville holds onto its Paradise status for plenty of vegans in North Carolina.

If you’ve seen the 2011 film Happy (no relation to Bliss), you’ll have solid visuals for many of the themes and locations Weiner explores — but nothing can take the place of his voice and perspective, a reluctantly likeable (self-described) “grump” who helps readers bring Happy home.  

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