The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World

In The Geography of Bliss, Eric Weiner sets out to discover what exactly makes a country happy.  He visits Iceland, where great value is placed on art; Qatar, where vast oil resources make its citizens some of the wealthiest on earth; Bhutan, where Gross National Happiness is a government priority; Moldova, which tops studies as the least happy country on earth; and several other countries that fall in significant places along the happiness/misery scale.

"I am not a happy person, never have been.   As a child, my favorite Winnie-the-Pooh character was Eeyore.  For most of human history, I would have been considered normal.  Happiness, in this life, on this earth, was a prize reserved for the gods and the fortunate few.  Today, though, not only is happiness considered possible for anyone to attain, it is expected.  Thus I, and millions of others, suffer from the uniquely modern malady that historian Darrin McMahon calls 'the unhappiness of not being happy.'  It is no fun at all."

Eric Weiner is the author of The Geography of Bliss and Man Seeks God.  He has worked as a foreign correspondent for NPR and has been published in the Los Angeles Times, Slate, The New Republic, and the travel magazine AFAR.

Published:  2008
Length:  329 pages
Set in:  The Netherlands, Switzerland, Bhutan, Qatar, Iceland, Moldova, Thailand, England, India, United States