dinsdag 3 september 2013

The Geography of Bliss: Where Are You Happy?

  • Eric Weiner, writer & reader of
  • 'The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World'
  • Hachette Audio: 2008
  • Homonymous textbook published by Grand Central: 2008
  • No translation in Dutch (yet)

As a reporter for newspaper or television you often get send all around the world to the most terrible places. You’ll cross unhappy places full of unhappy people which as a result will also make you unhappy. So therefore Eric Weiner, foreign correspondent whose work has been published in many American magazines and newspapers decided to visit happy places and describe his search for happiness in a book. The result is a delightful book: ‘The Geography of Bliss. One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World' 

Find Your Own Happiness

Now mind you, ‘The Geography of Bliss’ is not giving the answer to where you can find the happiest place on earth. Because, what Eric Weiner shows is that every individual is in search for a different kind of happiness or finds happiness in different things. Moreover, you have to belief in something or someone, whether it is God or yourself or an object. 

Keys to Happiness

Eric Weiner travels from east to west, north to south and gives his reader a very critical and highly sarcastic view on things around the world in 'The Geography of Bliss.One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World'. His interest is genuine, his opinion sharp, as you can expect from a correspondent. Travelling through countries as Qatar Weiner shows us how important roots are, a history and a culture for a country and its people. Trust is also one of the anchors to keep a society together. The Moldavian economy may be down; the people there don’t help each other and don’t trust each other. Iceland, a country stated as one of the happiest places on earth by Dutch “happiness scientist” Ruud Veenhoven, may be cold and dark, but the Icelanders are not. The Icelanders stimulate each other; help each other in their creative expressions. They get the opportunity to try ánd fail. In Iceland; failure really teaches success. Moreover, the Icelanders trust each other, honour their past and enjoy their nature. 

The Expat View on Happiness

'The Geography of Bliss' was brought to De lezer regeert by a bookclub. A discussion with an international/ expat bookclub about this book is interesting. Questions pop up like: “Where are you happier? How do you rate your happiness? Is the dildo really seen everywhere in Bhutan? What about the American way to find happiness? What makes you happy? Is it a place?” 

Chewing on Happy Ideas

‘The Geography of Bliss’ is a highly entertaining book. Eric Weiner has written a travel book with lots of information and ideas to chew on. Weiner is joking a lot and makes funny observations with a bit too many stereotypes now and then, but it does deserve a place on the favourites list. :)

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