The Geography of Bliss – Eric Weiner

Sep 16

This book is by Eric Weiner.  Love Geography?  Check.  Want to be happy?  Check.  Author’s last name spelled like a funny euphemism?  Check.  (Actually, it is pronounced ‘whiner’, and that is apropos.)  I kind of had to read this book.

The author travels around the globe (The Netherlands, Switzerland, Bhutan, Qatar, Iceland, Moldova, Thailand, Great Britain, India) trying to ascertain the source of joy.  The barometer is a number cruncher from The Netherlands named Ruut Veenhoven who researches the relative happiness of countries based mostly on this question:  How happy are you?

The views of the different cultures were informative.  Mr. Weiner also encounters some funny things along the way (a “Holy Dildo” in Bhutan, language loving/ drunk Icelanders, crazy Thai strippers).  He also encounters the extremely unhappy.  (See:  Moldova.  Have I really read two books about Moldova in the past few months?  Apparently so.)  The author definitely did his research…there are about one million quotes/references from Somersent Maugham to Nietzsche.

What I gleaned from this book:

Happiness=Feeling “at home”+quality relationships+love

Also, thinking too much can be detrimental to your happiness.  This struck a chord with me, as I am the token single girl in my circle.  Most of my lack of happiness comes from countless hours alone and a whole lot of time spent wondering why I am alone.  Which is extremely counterproductive.

If a book can make you take a look at yourself and your station in life,  that’s not a bad thing.  I recommend this read.

Now I have to go….start working on those relationships.

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