The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner

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What makes a nation happy? Is one country’s sense of happiness the same as another’s? In the last two decades, psychologists and economists have learned a lot about who’s happy and who isn’t. The Dutch are, the Romanians aren’t, and Americans are somewhere in between…
After years of going to the world’s least happy countries, Eric Weiner, a veteran foreign correspondent, decided to travel and evaluate each country’s different sense of happiness and discover the nation that seemed happiest of all.
·He discovers the relationship between money and happiness in tiny and extremely wealthy Qatar (and it’s not a good one)
·He goes to Thailand, and finds that not thinking is a contented way of life.
·He goes to the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, and discovers they have an official policy of Gross National Happiness!
·He asks himself why the British don’t do happiness?
In Weiner’s quest to find the world’s happiest places, he eats rotten Icelandic shark, meditates in Bangalore, visits strip clubs in Bangkok and drinks himself into a stupor in Reykjavik. Full of inspired moments, The Geography of Bliss accomplishes a feat few travel books dare and even fewer achieve: to make you happier.

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Letters from Iceland by W.H. Auden

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This highly amusing and unorthodox travel book resulted from a light-hearted summer journey by the young poets Auden and MacNeice in 1936. Their letters home, in verse and prose, are full of private jokes and irreverent comments about people, politics, literature and ideas. Letters from Iceland is one of the most entertaining books in modern literature; from Auden’s ‘Letter to Lord Byron’ and MacNeice’s ‘Eclogue’, to the mischief and fun of their joint ‘Last Will and Testament’, the book is impossible to resist – a 1930s classic.

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