Review first, giveaway details at the bottom!
Title: The Geography of Bliss
Author: Eric Weiner
My edition: Twelve Books Paperback 2009
Purchased From: The Book Nook in Cadillac, Michigan
Synopsis (from StrandBooks.com): Through over a decade spent traveling the globe and reporting on the world’s formost catastophes and triumphs, author and NPR foreign correspondent Eric Weiner is certainly no stranger to the planet and all of its highs and lows. Weiner, a self proclaimed ‘mope’ of the higest order, was growing sick of the widespread sorrows he’s come across in his travels and decided to set out on a journey to find the happiest place on earth. In “The Geography of Bliss” he takes readers on a journey unlike any other where they will see where people are happiest, and why. From Iceland to India and everywhere on the way back home this book is a joyously unpredictable adventure.
I read this because:
It caught my eye while used book shopping at The Book Nook. I’ve seen this book a lot since it came out, but for some reason was never inclined to actually pick it up and look at it. When I did, I had to buy it. I guess I hadn’t realized the format of the book was so cool – 10 different chapters that explore what makes people happy in 10 different countries. This seemed a lot more appealing than an unstructured book about what makes different people all over the world happy.
My thoughts: I’m partial to travel writing in general, and I loved the concept of exploring the happiness of different cultures: how happy they are and what type of lifestyle makes them happy. This book gives you a lot to think about on both subjects. However – this is not a self help book by any means; its goal is not to make you happier. But within its pages you end up thinking a lot about what makes you happy, and – even more interestingly – where you might be happy. I also loved that I learned more about these 10 countries in general, since many of them (like Moldova) are places I’m not very familiar with. Armchair traveling at its best.
Book club worthy? Absolutely, in fact – I’m hoping to talk my book club into reading it. There’s a lot that would make for good conversation on cultural differences and philosophies of happiness.
Follow up required: This book made me want to visit the Netherlands, Switzerland, Bhutan, and Thailand, and made me want to move to Iceland. In the immediate future I’d like to read more about Heathenism, along with more about Norse mythology. It also gave me a hankering for more travel writing, so I’ll probably pick up Bill Bryson’s The Lost Continent that I’ve been meaning to read.
You might like this book if you liked: Anything by Bill Bryson and/or travel writing.
The Geography of Bliss GIVEAWAY:
I enjoyed this book a lot and thought an end of 2009 Book Giveaway would be the perfect opportunity to give someone else the chance to read it too.
Enter to win a new paperback copy of this book:
1. Leave a comment saying you want to enter the giveaway and share one thing that makes you happy. It could be as simple as “coffee” or as meaningful as you’d like.
2. Tweet or blog about the giveaway for an extra chance to win. Leave another comment here with the link to the tweet or blog post.
This giveaway is open to anyone in the 90+ countries that Book Depository ships to, since that’s how I’ll be sending it out. You can enter through 11:59pm EST on Friday, January 8, 2010. I’ll draw a winner on Saturday 1/9/10.