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January Discussion - The Geography of Bliss

The January reading selection is The Geography of Bliss, by Eric Weiner. (Nominated by Valerie Claire)

For years, as a foreign correspondent for National Public Radio, I covered a multitude of catastrophes, natural and man-made. But for The Geography of Bliss, I decided to tell the other side of the story by visiting some of the world’s most contented places.

Using the ancient philosophers and the much more recent “science of happiness” as my guide, I travel the world in search of the happiest places and what we can learn from them. As I make my way from Iceland (one of the world’s happiest countries) to Bhutan (where the king has made Gross National Happiness a national priority) to Moldova (not a happy place), I call upon the collective wisdom of “the self-help industrial complex” to help navigate the path to contentment.

I travel to Switzerland, where I discover the hidden virtues of boredom; to the tiny-and extremely wealthy-Persian Gulf nation of Qatar, where the relationship between money and happiness is laid bare; to India, where Westerners seek their bliss at the feet of gurus; to Thailand, where not thinking is a way of life; to a small town outside London where happiness experts attempt to “change the psychological climate.” I am no dispassionate observer. In my quest for the world’s happiest places, I eat rotten Icelandic shark, smoke Moroccan hashish and intervene to save (almost) an insect in distress.

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  • Teri E.

    For anyone that attended the January discussion - how did it go? It seems that quite a few cancelled and I'm hoping that the rest of you had a good discussion?

    January 26, 2013

  • Teri E.

    I hope you all enjoyed the discussion tonite and got the message that My furnace died, so had to wait for the repairman. Not a good night for this!

    January 22, 2013

    • Hansi D.

      bad night for everyone - I got in a car accident on the way to the meeting!

      January 22, 2013

  • Mariadel (Mari ) F.

    Sorry I wasn't able to make it tonight. I'm really enjoying the book & can't wait to start the next one. I hope to make the next meeting ..

    January 22, 2013

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