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The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search…
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The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the… (Original 2008; 2008. Auflage)

von Eric Weiner

MitgliederRezensionenBeliebtheitDurchschnittliche BewertungDiskussionen
2,019926,234 (3.78)123
Part foreign affairs discourse, part humor, and part twisted self-help guide, this book 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 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 darn happy? NPR correspondent Weiner answers those questions and many others, offering travelers of all moods some interesting new ideas for sunnier destinations and dispositions.--From publisher description.… (mehr)
Mitglied:ShawnB
Titel:The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World
Autoren:Eric Weiner
Info:Twelve (2008), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 352 pages
Sammlungen:Deine Bibliothek
Bewertung:****
Tags:happiness, travel

Werk-Informationen

Geografie des Glücks: Auf der Suche nach den zufriedensten Menschen der Welt von Eric Weiner (2008)

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I maybe feel I learned more about people and places around the world rather than about bliss, but that's not all bad. =) ( )
  JorgeousJotts | Dec 3, 2021 |
Fascinating little study of happy people around the world. ( )
  CaitlinMcC | Jul 11, 2021 |
At times both hilarious and profound, in this book the author travels to ten different countries, trying to find the happiest places in the world; and finds that happiness depends on how you define it, but it involves having friends and family. In Thailand, for instance, Weiner found happiness in "letting go"; in Iceland, he found that it is in failure (with a generous financial safety net) and lots of alcohol. He also found that the people in Muslim countries tended to be unhappy, while those in Scandinavia tended to be very happy. Interesting attempts at quantifying happiness (with the aid of the World Database of Happiness in Rotterdam, The Netherlands) with a travelogue. ( )
  Jimbookbuff1963 | Jun 5, 2021 |
After years as a foreign correspondent visiting places where bad things happen, Weiner decides for a change to follow up one of those column-filler/clickbait "new research has found that" stories and visit some of the countries that consistently rate highly in world surveys of happiness. He starts off with a briefing from Professor Ruut Veenhoven at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, who is known as the "godfather of happiness studies" and runs the World Database of Happiness. This prompts Weiner to say "normally I do not associate the words 'happiness' and 'database'". I think that was where he lost me, or possibly on the previous page where he spelled "Trappiste" with only one "p"...

It's a reasonable enough journalistic travel book, written in standard self-mocking feature-article style, a bit like Bill Bryson but without Bryson's compulsion to put a hundred thousand instances of hyperbole on every page. But on places I know, like the Netherlands (soft-drugs, prostitution and Islamists) and Switzerland (chocolate, petty rules and punctual trains) it felt very superficial, nothing he really needed to visit those countries to find out. So I'm not all that inclined to trust him to be saying more than the obvious about the places I don't know, like Iceland, Bhutan and Qatar. He visits Moldova and Slough (!) as examples of "unhappy" places, but doesn't seem to find out much more about the former than that it's a poor country in a rich region, and that because of Soviet-era internal migration it doesn't have a clear cultural identity any more. We could probably have guessed that. In Slough he discovers that Betjeman wrote a nasty poem about it eighty years ago, and that the English enjoy grumbling. Hmm.

The text is larded with remarks on happiness from various Great Thinkers, and at first that is quite impressive, but there are so many of them and they have so little context that it starts feeling like a tear-off calendar, or someone who has googled "happiness quotes". It's quite possible that Weiner spent a couple of years researching this book and reading everything ever published about happiness, but if so he forgot to include his bibliography.

A pleasant enough, undemanding sort of book, but I don't think I learnt anything from it. ( )
1 abstimmen thorold | Sep 15, 2020 |
I registered a book at BookCrossing.com!
http://www.BookCrossing.com/journal/13155308
  slojudy | Sep 8, 2020 |
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In these days of wars and rumors of wars, haven't you ever dreamed of a place where there was peace and security, where living was not a struggle but a lasting delight? - Lost Horizon, directed by Frank Capra, 1937
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for Sharon
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My bags were packed and my provisions loaded.
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(in Bhutan, with the Home Minister)
Him, a tremendously important person from an insignificant nation. Me, an insignificant person from a tremendously important nation.
The emir of Qatar, ruler of the land, is determined to do something about his country's missing culture. In true Qatari fashion, he plans to buy a culture and, while he's at it, some history as well.
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Wikipedia auf Englisch (2)

Part foreign affairs discourse, part humor, and part twisted self-help guide, this book 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 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 darn happy? NPR correspondent Weiner answers those questions and many others, offering travelers of all moods some interesting new ideas for sunnier destinations and dispositions.--From publisher description.

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