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The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World

The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World Description:

Weiner spent a decade as a foreign correspondent reporting from such discontented locales as Iraq Afghanistan and Indonesia Unhappy people living in profoundly unstable states he notes inspire pathos and make for good copy but not for good karma So Weiner admitted grump and self help book aficionado undertook a year s research to travel the globe looking for the unheralded happy places The result is this book equal parts laugh out loud funny and philosophical a journey into both the definition of and the destination for true contentment br br Apparently the happiest places on earth include somewhat unexpectedly Iceland Bhutan and India Weiner also visits the country deemed most malcontent Moldova and finds real merit in the claim br br But the question remains What makes people happy Is it the freedom of the West or the myriad restrictions of Singapore The simple ashrams of India or the glittering shopping malls of Qatar br From the youthful drunkenness of Iceland to the despond of Slough a sad but resilient town in Heathrow s flight path Weiner offers wry yet profound observations about the way people relate to circumstance and fate br br Both revealing and inspirational perhaps the best thing about this hilarious trip across four continents is that for the reader the geography of bliss is wherever they happen to find themselves while reading it

Rating: 3.55 out of 5

The Geography of Genius: A Search for the World's Most Creative Places from Ancient Athens to Silicon Valley

The Geography of Genius: A Search for the World's Most Creative Places from Ancient Athens to Silicon Valley Description:

New York Times Bestseller br br Travel the world with Eric Weiner the i New York Times i bestselling author of i The Geography of i i Bliss i as he journeys from Athens to Silicon Valley and throughout history too to show how creative genius flourishes in specific places at specific times br br In i The Geography of Genius i acclaimed travel writer Weiner sets out to examine the connection between our surroundings and our most innovative ideas He explores the history of places like Vienna of Renaissance Florence ancient Athens Song Dynasty Hangzhou and Silicon Valley to show how certain urban settings are conducive to ingenuity And with his trademark insightful humor he walks the same paths as the geniuses who flourished in these settings to see if the spirit of what inspired figures like Socrates Michelangelo and Leonardo remains In these places Weiner asks What was in the air and can we bottle it

Rating: 3.51 out of 5

Man Seeks God: My Flirtations with the Divine

Man Seeks God: My Flirtations with the Divine Description:

When a health scare puts him in the hospital Eric Weiner an agnostic by default finds himself tangling with an unexpected question posed to him by a well meaning nurse Have you found your God yet The thought of it nags and prods him and ultimately launches him on a far flung journey to do just that br br Weiner a longtime spiritual voyeur and inveterate traveler realizes that while he has been privy to a wide range of religious practices he s never seriously considered these concepts in his own life Face to face with his own mortality and spurred on by the question of which spiritual principles to impart to his young daughter he decides to correct this omission undertaking a worldwide exploration of religions and hoping to come if he can to a personal understanding of the divine br br The journey that results is rich in insight humor and heart Willing to do anything to better understand faith and to find the god or gods that speak to him he travels to Nepal where he meditates with Tibetan lamas and a guy named Wayne He sojourns to Turkey where he whirls not so well as it turns out with Sufi dervishes He heads to China where he attempts to unblock his chi to Israel where he studies Kabbalah sans Madonna and to Las Vegas where he has a close encounter with Raelians the followers of the world s largest UFO based religion br br At each stop along the way Weiner tackles our most pressing spiritual questions Where do we come from What happens when we die How should we live our lives Where do all the missing socks go With his trademark wit and warmth he leaves no stone unturned At a time when more Americans than ever are choosing a new faith and when spiritual questions loom large in the modern age i Man Seeks God i presents a perspective on religion that is sure to delight inspire and entertain

Rating: 3.60 out of 5