Part foreign affairs discourse, part humor, and part twisted self-help guide, The Geography of Bliss takes the reader from America to Iceland to India in search of happiness, or, in the crabby author's case, moments of "un-unhappiness." The book uses a beguiling mixture of travel, psychology, science and humor to investigate not what happiness is, but where it is. Are people in Switzerland happier because it is the most democratic country in the world? Do citizens of Qatar, awash in petrodollars, find joy in all that cash? Is the King of Bhutan a visionary for his initiative to calculate Gross National Happiness? Why is Asheville, North Carolina so damn happy? With engaging wit and surprising insights, Eric Weiner answers those questions and many others, offering travelers of all moods some interesting new ideas for sunnier destinations and dispositions.
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Eric Weiner, an award-winning foreign correspondent for NPR and a former reporter for the New York Times, has written stories from more than three dozen countries, including Iraq, Afghanistan, and Indonesia. His commentary has appeared in The New Republic, The International Herald Tribune, and The Los Angeles Times, and he writes the popular "How They Do It" column for Slate. He has lived in New Delhi, Jerusalem and Tokyo.From AudioFile:
Foreign journalist Eric Weiner, tired of bearing so much bad news for National Public Radio, visits 10 nations around the world to learn what makes their citizens happy. He's an appealing narrator--clear voiced and good natured--and he can tell a good story. The understated chumminess in his voice is a perfect vehicle for his wry observations, well-disguised self-deprecation, and ultra-smooth writing skills. Weiner's stories and observations warm the heart but also deliver a satisfying supply of his abundant wit, big-city perspective, and generous appreciation of the human condition. More literary than scientific and free from any pretense of inspiration, this production offers time well spent with a nuanced thinker and a relaxing account of the large and small experiences that make people everywhere so interesting. T.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine
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