Geography of Bliss

cover image for Geography of BlissSo where is the happiest place on earth? July’s selection for the alt+library book club is NPR correspondent Eric Weiner’s Geography of Bliss.

From the official website:

“Eric Weiner’s The Geography of Bliss signals the arrival of the next great category of literary nonfiction: the philosophical self-help humorous travel memoir.

Weiner, a veteran foreign correspondent for National Public Radio, has covered a multitude of catastrophes and maladies from more than 30 countries over the past two decades. For The Geography of Bliss, however, he 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 his guide, Weiner travels the world in search of the happiest places. As Weiner makes his 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), he calls upon the collective wisdom of “the self-help industrial complex” to help him navigate the path to contentment.”

“The self-help industrial complex”? Seriously? Makes sense when you consider it though. This perception of self-help recalls the book Helping Me Help Myself by humorist Beth Lisick. This is an excellent follow-up or read-along for this book club title. In it, she follows the advice of 10 different self-help gurus throughout the course of a year and describes, hilariously, the effects of each on her life.

If you are interested in participating in July’s alt+library book club and want to get one of our book club copies please e-mail jzaker@saclibrary.org with your name, library card number, and the name of the library where you would like to pick up the book.

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