About the Book & Author

The Geography of Bliss is about mapping happiness. Eric Weiner explains his focus in an interview: "it's really a book about happy places. There are many books out there that focus on the question 'What is happiness?' I attempt to answer the question 'Where is happiness?' I've always believed that we are creatures of geography, of place. By 'place' I mean physical place, yes, but also cultural place." The Geography of Bliss is also, as Weiner points out, "a travelogue of ideas, and it is these ideas—about happiness, about the good life—that inform the book as much as the physical places themselves."

Weiner's quest begins at a placed called "The World Database of Happiness" in the Netherlands, which, according to Weiner, "contains mankind's accumulated knowledge about what makes us happy and, even more important, where we are happy. Physically, it's an unassuming, even ugly place, but it's fascinating."

From "The World Database of Happiness" Weiner travels to a range of countries, including Iceland, Bhutan, Moldova, Switzerland, Qatar, India, Thailand, and England (as well as parts of the United States).

Eric Weiner spent more than 10 years as a foreign correspondent for National Public Radio (NPR). He has also been a correspondent for The New York Times and he has published his journalism and commentary in various other publications, including Slate, The New Republic, and the Los Angeles Times.