Wednesday, June 2, 2010

the geography of bliss - eric weiner

The first friend I ever made in college gave me this book for my birthday a few years ago. I finally finished it (raving about it to other people in the meantime when I was guiltily not even done reading) and now I'm sad it came to an end. The author, Eric Weiner, is a former foreign correspondent at NPR who embarks on a somewhat self-fulfilling project of searching for the happiest place in the world (and not even once does he mention the name Disney). He starts in the Netherlands where he gets data on happiness levels of various countries and simply takes the reader along in his bag so that we can listen to his conversations, encounters, and culinary adventures in countries like Iceland, Bhutan, Maldova (the unhappiest place he visits), Qatar, Thailand, a few other countries, and appropriately comes full circle in the U.S.

I would recommend this book to anyone who has an itch to travel but currently cannot. Every chapter takes you to a new country that won't leave you mad or upset at your landlocked state, but rather open your eyes to new cultures and leave mental notes for when you do travel to these countries someday.