It's the next best thing to being there! He describes a little about each country he visits, as well as ruminating on why things are as they are, and then a little about why we are what we are. I have listened to it several times, and it's always good. And I've had a little taste of Qatar, and the other places, just in case I never get there!
This book capitalizes on the current "Finding Happiness" trend, for which I am a complete sucker. This book was definitely not scientific and was light on specifically useful or proven information, but it was very fun. The author basically travels around the world visiting various places that could illuminate truths about happiness and talks about what in the culture there drives happiness or unhappiness. It's a fun listen and well written, and will probably give you a longing to visit Iceland, but not the best choice for serious information.
This book is a wonderful mix of travelogue, cultural comparison, philosophy, and wry humor that has me alternately thinking about life and happiness, and laughing out loud (I have to be mindful of my surroundings when I am listening).
It has been a year since I listened to this book, but there are three things that I remembered being very surprised by:
1. For a non-fiction travelogue (which is not the type of book I usually read) I thought the author wrote a very interesting and compelling collection of stories.
2. Considering the title I was surprised at how fun and funny the book was. And realized I must be quite a grump too, because I very much related to the author.
3. I am usually very disappointed when non-fiction authors read their own work. They just don't usually have the voice for audiobooks. This was the exception to that. Eric has a great voice and reads with great cadence and inflection.
I definitely recommend it!
I am an elementary teacher with a 30 minute commute each way!
This is a great book to own and skim through when the travel bug bites, but listening through it straight through became really boring. I will keep it in my library to listen to on the plane but it isn't something I would recommend for purchase.
I was excited about this book because I'm very interested in positive psychology. But I don't want to hear the information through this author's NPR-style "grumpy" stance... ugh. Beware the word "grump" in the title!
more interesting detail about life in the other countries
I thought the subject was to vague and abstract.