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Book Clubbing

Introduction

The Geography of Bliss
by Eric Weiner

Title

Author

Eric Weiner

Eric Weiner

Author Interview

About the Book

Part foreign affairs discourse, part humor, and part twisted self-help guide, this book takes the reader from America to Iceland to India in search of happiness. Using a beguiling mixture of travel, psychology, science and humor, this book investigates not what happiness is, but where it is. Are people in Switzerland happier because it is the most democratic country in the world? Is the King of Bhutan a visionary for his initiative to calculate Gross National Happiness? Why is Asheville, North Carolina so damn happy? With engaging wit and surprising insights, Weiner answers these questions and many others, offering travelers of all moods some interesting new ideas for sunnier destinations and dispositions.

About the Author

Eric Weiner is author of the New York Times bestseller The Geography of Bliss, which has been translated into eighteen languages. A former correspondent for NPR and the New York Times, Weiner has reported from more than three dozen countries. His work has appeared in the "New Republic," "Slate," Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, "Foreign Policy," "The New York Times Magazine," and the anthology "Best American Travel Writing." He divides his time between Starbucks and Caribou.

Discussion Questions

  1. Do you think Eric Weiner achieved his goal in finding the happiest places around the world?
  2. A few of the places mentioned in the book such as Iceland and Thailand seemed like surprising places to find happiness. Were you surprised by some of the locations that he picked?
  3. What locations around the world would you have assumed to be the happiest places?
  4. After visiting Switzerland and Qatar, what do you think is Weiner's conclusion about wealth and happiness?
  5. If you were to visit any of the places mentioned in the book, where would you go and why?
  6. What do you think makes people happy?
  7. Which society sounded the most appealing to you?
  8. Do you think there are happier places in the US than others?
  9. Should a country worry about the happiness of its people? Is there anything a government can do to make its people happy?
  10. Why do you think Americans aren’t higher up on the happiness scale?