Books signing Friday

Eric Weiner, author of the New York Times bestseller, The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World, will be reading, discussing and signing copies of his new book on Friday 15 February, at Books & Books located in Camana Bay, a press release said.

The reading, from 7pm, will also include a question-and answer session with the author. The event is free and open to the general public, and will be followed by a wine and cheese reception.

Weiner’s appearance is the first in a series of ongoing literary evenings to be presented by Books & Books on a monthly basis.

Eric Weiner, a correspondent for National Public Radio, has spent most of his professional life (including several years at The New York Times) covering misery: war, natural disasters and the like. For this book, his first, Mr. Weiner tried something different – happiness.

‘With our words, we subconsciously conflate geography and happiness,’ he writes in the introduction. ‘We speak of searching for happiness, of finding contentment, as if these were locations in an atlas, actual places that we could visit if only we had the proper map and the right navigational skills.’

Mr. Weiner’s own navigational skills took him to places as far-flung as Qatar, Iceland and Bhutan in search of joy.

The idea for the book came about as a result of Weiner’s own personal grumpiness.

‘Journalists are a sullen lot, perhaps understandably so, given the misery we’re exposed to on a regular basis. Still, I’ve always had hidden buoyancy. I’m a closet optimist. So one day, I thought, what if I spent a year travelling to the world’s happiest places? What hidden wisdom might these happy people possess? That’s how this got started. I realize now that during my travels I accumulated morsels of wisdom. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not exactly the Dalai Lama but I’m definitely less grumpy than I used to be.’

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