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.
Author: Eric Weiner
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2014-10-30
What makes a nation happy? Is one country's sense of happiness the same as another's? In the last two decades, psychologists and economists have learned a lot about who's happy and who isn't. The Dutch are, the Romanians aren't, and Americans are somewhere in between... After years of going to the world's least happy countries, Eric Weiner, a veteran foreign correspondent, decided to travel and evaluate each country's different sense of happiness and discover the nation that seemed happiest of all. ·He discovers the relationship between money and happiness in tiny and extremely wealthy Qatar (and it's not a good one) ·He goes to Thailand, and finds that not thinking is a contented way of life. ·He goes to the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, and discovers they have an official policy of Gross National Happiness! ·He asks himself why the British don't do happiness? In Weiner's quest to find the world's happiest places, he eats rotten Icelandic shark, meditates in Bangalore, visits strip clubs in Bangkok and drinks himself into a stupor in Reykjavik. Full of inspired moments, The Geography of Bliss accomplishes a feat few travel books dare and even fewer achieve: to make you happier.
Author: Eric Weiner
Publisher: Hachette UK
Release Date: 2008-01-03
Part travel memoir, part humor, and part twisted self-help guide, The Geography of Bliss takes the reader across the globe 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? In a unique mix of travel, psychology, science and humor, Eric Weiner answers those questions and many others, offering travelers of all moods some interesting new ideas for sunnier destinations and dispositions.
Author: Eric Weiner
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2016-01-05
Tag along on this New York Times bestselling “witty, entertaining romp” (The New York Times Book Review) as Eric Winer travels the world, from Athens to Silicon Valley—and back through history, too—to show how creative genius flourishes in specific places at specific times. In this “intellectual odyssey, traveler’s diary, and comic novel all rolled into one” (Daniel Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness), acclaimed travel writer Weiner sets out to examine the connection between our surroundings and our most innovative ideas. A “superb travel guide: funny, knowledgeable, and self-deprecating” (The Washington Post), he explores the history of places like Vienna of 1900, Renaissance Florence, ancient Athens, Song Dynasty Hangzhou, and Silicon Valley to show how certain urban settings are conducive to ingenuity. With his trademark insightful humor, this “big-hearted humanist” (The Wall Street Journal) walks the same paths as the geniuses who flourished in these settings to see if the spirit of what inspired figures like Socrates, Michelangelo, and Leonardo remains. In these places, Weiner asks, “What was in the air, and can we bottle it?” “Fun and thought provoking” (Miami Herald), The Geography of Genius reevaluates the importance of culture in nurturing creativity and “offers a practical map for how we can all become a bit more inventive” (Adam Grant, author of Originals).
Author: Eric Weiner
Release Date: 2009
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 Singapore benefit psychologically by having their options limited by the government? 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.
When a health scare puts him in the hospital, Eric Weiner-an agnostic by default-finds himself tangling with an unexpected question, posed to him by a well-meaning nurse. "Have you found your God yet?" The thought of it nags him, and prods him-and ultimately launches him on a far-flung journey to do just that. Weiner, a longtime "spiritual voyeur" and inveterate traveler, realizes that while he has been privy to a wide range of religious practices, he's never seriously considered these concepts in his own life. Face to face with his own mortality, and spurred on by the question of what spiritual principles to impart to his young daughter, he decides to correct this omission, undertaking a worldwide exploration of religions and hoping to come, if he can, to a personal understanding of the divine. The journey that results is rich in insight, humor, and heart. Willing to do anything to better understand faith, and to find the god or gods that speak to him, he travels to Nepal, where he meditates with Tibetan lamas and a guy named Wayne. He sojourns to Turkey, where he whirls (not so well, as it turns out) with Sufi dervishes. He heads to China, where he attempts to unblock his chi; to Israel, where he studies Kabbalah, sans Madonna; and to Las Vegas, where he has a close encounter with Raelians (followers of the world's largest UFO-based religion). At each stop along the way, Weiner tackles our most pressing spiritual questions: Where do we come from? What happens when we die? How should we live our lives? Where do all the missing socks go? With his trademark wit and warmth, he leaves no stone unturned. At a time when more Americans than ever are choosing a new faith, and when spiritual questions loom large in the modern age, MAN SEEKS GOD presents a perspective on religion that is sure to delight, inspire, and entertain.
New love. Exotic destinations. A once-in-a-lifetime adventure. What could go wrong? City girl Torre DeRoche isn't looking for love, but a chance encounter in a San Francisco bar sparks an instant connection with a soulful Argentinean man who unexpectedly sweeps her off her feet. The problem? He's just about to cast the dock lines and voyage around the world on his small sailboat, and Torre is terrified of deep water. However, lovesick Torre determines that to keep the man of her dreams, she must embark on the voyage of her nightmares, so she waves good-bye to dry land and braces for a life-changing journey that's as exhilarating as it is terrifying. Somewhere mid-Pacific, she finds herself battling to keep the old boat, the new relationship, and her floundering sanity afloat. . . . This sometimes hilarious, often harrowing, and always poignant memoir is set against a backdrop of the world's most beautiful and remote destinations. Equal parts love story and travel memoir, Love with a Chance of Drowning is witty, charming, and proof positive that there are some risks worth taking.
“Why are you so unhappy?” That’s the question that Zeke Pappas, a thirty-three-year-old scholar, asks almost everybody he meets as part of an obsessive project, “The Inventory of American Unhappiness.” The answers he receives—a mix of true sadness and absurd complaint—create a collage of woe. Zeke, meanwhile, remains delightfully oblivious to the increasingly harsh realities that threaten his daily routine, opting instead to focus his energy on finding the perfect mate so that he can gain custody of his orphaned nieces. Following steps outlined in a women’s magazine, the ever-optimistic Zeke identifies some “prospects”: a newly divorced neighbor, a coffeehouse barista, his administrative assistant, and Sofia Coppola (“Why not aim high?”). A clairvoyant when it comes to the Starbucks orders of strangers, a quixotic renegade when it comes to the federal bureaucracy, and a devoted believer in the afternoon cocktail and the evening binge, Zeke has an irreverent voice that is a marvel of lacerating wit and heart-on-sleeve emotion, underscored by a creeping paranoia and made more urgent by the hope that if he can only find a wife, he might have a second chance at life.
“Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else.” — from Invisible Cities In a garden sit the aged Kublai Khan and the young Marco Polo — Mongol emperor and Venetian traveler. Kublai Khan has sensed the end of his empire coming soon. Marco Polo diverts his host with stories of the cities he has seen in his travels around the empire: cities and memory, cities and desire, cities and designs, cities and the dead, cities and the sky, trading cities, hidden cities. As Marco Polo unspools his tales, the emperor detects these fantastic places are more than they appear. “Invisible Cities changed the way we read and what is possible in the balance between poetry and prose . . . The book I would choose as pillow and plate, alone on a desert island.” — Jeanette Winterson
What exactly is happiness? Can we measure it? Why are some people happy and others not? And is there a drug that could eliminate all unhappiness? People all over the world, and throughout the ages, have thought about happiness, argued about its nature, and, most of all, desired it. But why do we have such a strong instinct to pursue happiness? And if happiness is good in itself, why haven't we simply evolved to be happier? Daniel Nettle uses the results of the latest psychological studies to ask what makes people happy and unhappy, what happiness really is, and to examine our urge to achieve it. Along the way we look at brain systems, at mind-altering drugs, and how happiness is now marketed to us as a commodity. Nettle concludes that while it may be unrealistic to expect lasting happiness, our evolved tendency to seek happiness drives us to achieve much that is worthwhile in itself. What is more, it seems to be not your particular circumstances that define whether you are happy so much as your attitude towards life. Happiness gives us the latest scientific insights into the nature of our feelings of well-being, and what these imply for how we might live our lives.
Rachel Friedman has always been the consummate good girl who does well in school and plays it safe, so the college grad surprises no one more than herself when, on a whim (and in an effort to escape impending life decisions), she buys a ticket to Ireland, a place she has never visited. There she forms an unlikely bond with a free-spirited Australian girl, a born adventurer who spurs Rachel on to a yearlong odyssey that takes her to three continents, fills her life with newfound friends, and gives birth to a previously unrealized passion for adventure. As her journey takes her to Australia and South America, Rachel discovers and embraces her love of travel and unlocks more truths about herself than she ever realized she was seeking. Along the way, the erstwhile good girl finally learns to do something she’s never done before: simply live for the moment. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: Jay Rayner
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Release Date: 2009-05-26
An astronomical gastronomical undertaking —one of the world's preeminent restaurant critics takes on the giants of haute cuisine, one tasting menu at a time Like the luxury fashion companies Gucci and Chanel, high-end dining has gone global, and Jay Rayner has watched, amazed, as the great names of the restaurant business have turned themselves from artisans into international brands. Long suspecting that his job was too good to be true, Rayner uses his entrée into this world to probe the larger issues behind the globalization of dinner. Combining memoir with vivid scenes at the table; interviews with the world's most renowned chefs, restaurateurs, and eaters; and a few well-placed rants and raves about life as a paid gourmand, Rayner puts his thoughtful, innovative, and hilarious stamp on food writing. He reports on high-end gastronomy from Vegas to Dubai, Moscow to Tokyo, London to New York, ending in Paris where he attempts to do with Michelin-starred restaurants what Morgan Spurlock did with McDonald's in Super Size Me—eating at those establishments on consecutive days and never refusing a sixteen-course tasting menu when it's offered. The Man Who Ate the World is a fascinating and riotous look at the business and pleasure of fine dining.
Author: Eric G. Wilson
Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books
Release Date: 2008-01-22
Genre: Social Science
Americans are addicted to happiness. When we're not popping pills, we leaf through scientific studies that take for granted our quest for happiness, or read self-help books by everyone from armchair philosophers and clinical psychologists to the Dalai Lama on how to achieve a trouble-free life: Stumbling on Happiness; Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment; The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living. The titles themselves draw a stark portrait of the war on melancholy. More than any other generation, Americans of today believe in the transformative power of positive thinking. But who says we're supposed to be happy? Where does it say that in the Bible, or in the Constitution? In Against Happiness, the scholar Eric G. Wilson argues that melancholia is necessary to any thriving culture, that it is the muse of great literature, painting, music, and innovation—and that it is the force underlying original insights. Francisco Goya, Emily Dickinson, Marcel Proust, and Abraham Lincoln were all confirmed melancholics. So enough Prozac-ing of our brains. Let's embrace our depressive sides as the wellspring of creativity. What most people take for contentment, Wilson argues, is living death, and what the majority takes for depression is a vital force. In Against Happiness: In Praise of Melancholy, Wilson suggests it would be better to relish the blues that make humans people.