Eric Weiner’s The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World is an absolute treat. Weiner is a journalist and a veteran foreign correspondent for National Public Radio and a self-professed curmudgeon. As the book implies, Weiner chronicles his quest to discover why people in some countries (e.g., Iceland, Switzerland, Thailand) are much happier than in others (e.g., Moldova, Qatar). Weiner deftly describes his insights during his travels in a hilariously witty fashion. Weiner narrates the audiobook, so he his sense of humor comes across effortlessly. I laughed aloud many times while listening to this audiobook, and that was usually when I was by myself while running or driving. Laughing by myself is not something I or most people are prone to do, so the book is that good.
Weiner also weaves research findings from the fields of positive psychology and sociology into The Geography of Bliss. So, the book is educational but he integrates this information so well that Weiner never comes across as dry or pedantic. Weiner is an expert storyteller. I felt as if he were a good friend who was back from some crazy journeys and was telling me of his adventures and discoveries. Weiner impressively summarizes what he learned from his travels about the nature of happiness in general and why citizens of some countries are much happier than others in particular. And, like a good friend leaving, I was very sad to say goodbye to Eric and this wonderful book. Pick up (or download) a copy of The Geography of Bliss – you will be in for a wonderfully entertaining ride while you learn some powerful truths about the nature of happiness along the way.