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The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World by Eric Weiner
Eric Weiner, a self-proclaimed grump who spent a decade as a foreign correspondent for NPR, uses The Geography of Bliss to tell his story of exploring different countries to find out why their citizens are usually happy or not. He visits The Netherlands, Iceland, Bhutan, Qatar, Switzerland, Moldova, Thailand, and India among others. He finds happiness in out-of-the-way places (Iceland, Bhutan) and places where nobody appears happy (Moldova). He comes to unsurprising conclusions, such as money can't buy happiness (Qatar), but a sense of family and community along with a sense of humor runs strong through happy populations. The Geography of Bliss has received positive reviews with the Washington Post saying, "One of the ineluctable laws of travel is that most companions are beguiling at the beginning and annoying by the end. Weiner's company wears surprisingly well. It takes a chapter or two to decide you like him, and another to realize that you like him a lot, but by the time the trip is over, you find yourself hoping that you'll hit the road together again someday. The Geography of Bliss is a journey too good to be rare."