This book is a very interesting journey through different places where the author seeks the answer of one question “Is the nation happy and why?”. The whole book is literally a journey through different countries where Eric explores the source of national happiness. While some chapters are not that interesting (the one on UK for example) others are a must read (Bhutan, Iceland, Moldova). You learn many facts from the national character of these countries as well – I must tell that Eric is a great story teller. He dissects everything gracefully with his skeptic eyes of a professional journalist. You will learn why Icelanders are happy and Moldovans are not. Why money does not buy happiness and what does actually?
What would the author say if he visited Bulgaria?
The author said it all in Moldova’s chapter. I think that he would be depressed in Bulgaria. I knew it but now i can identify more precisely the reasons for our unhappiness. We think it is money but it is not. While they play a role to a certain extent, they don’t tell the whole truth. We are too envious of one another and not that kind of envy that drives you make great things but the hollow envy that destroys human soul. We also don’t trust each other. After 50 years of surveillance as national sport, it is hard to trust even your neighbour. Some things that probably hold us together though, are shared history and culture and love for the nature (not sure how strong these days looking at the piles of trash in the mountains).
I definitely recommend this book. If you are the kind of encyclopedic guy as me and look for something fun and interesting to read, Geography of Bliss will suit you well.