Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Geography of Bliss and The Principles of Uncertainty

I just finished The Geography of Bliss right in the nick of time. It is due back at the library today! An excellent book full of little insights. (I have a tendency to like those type of books best!) As you can see I filled up a few pages of my little black book with little quotes to hold onto and ponder.

Eric Weiner takes the reader on a journey through ten different places in the world. Some places Weiner visited are known for their happiness factor, Switzerland for example. Others known for being particularly unhappy, like Moldova. Because in the end you can't have one without the other.

I especially enjoyed the chapter on Iceland. Never before had I thought of Iceland as a place I'd like to travel to and visit until reading Weiner's account of the people and the culture he encountered there. Iceland seems to be a place where one is free, even encouraged, to fail. Sometimes in this American society failure is feared instead of embraced. Perhaps we could learn a little from our Icelandic counterparts.

Weiner makes some claims on how one can achieve happiness and where can go to find it. He does not however claim to know it all either, which I appreciated. The one message I was left with was happiness is whatever and wherever we make it. Happiness is as much a choice as anything else.

Maria Kalman's The Principles of Uncertainty was another book I finished recently that I greatly adored. Kalman's illustrations are wonderful! I couldn't help but smirk and giggle throughout the whole book. It is as the inside jacket cover promises.

Any words I would write about this book would not do it justice. The only thing I can say is go pick up a copy at the library or at the bookstore. You won't be sorry you did. Promise!