100 books like The Geography of Bliss

By Eric Weiner,

Here are 100 books that The Geography of Bliss fans have personally recommended if you like The Geography of Bliss. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Stumbling on Happiness

Victor Haghani Author Of The Missing Billionaires: A Guide to Better Financial Decisions

From my list on intelligent financial decision-making in less than 200 pages.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have over four decades of experience working and innovating in the financial markets and have been a prolific contributor to academic and practitioner finance literature. I started my career at Salomon Brothers in 1984, where I became a managing director in the bond-arbitrage group, and in 1993 I was a co-founding partner of the hedge fund Long-Term Capital Management. I founded Elm Wealth in 2011 to help clients, including my own family, manage and preserve their wealth with a thoughtful, research-based, and cost-effective approach that covers not just investment management but also broader decisions about wealth and finances.

Victor's book list on intelligent financial decision-making in less than 200 pages

Victor Haghani Why did Victor love this book?

Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert uses wit and science to reveal how we generally fail to predict what makes us happy and how we can do better.

I loved his discussions of why lottery winners aren't happier for long, how our memories create a "rosy past" illusion, and even why bad experiences can sometimes be better than good ones.

I loved the engaging stories and insightful experiments that Gilbert uses to dismantle common assumptions about happiness and offers fresh perspectives. I gained self-awareness and discovered unexpected paths to finding and savoring happiness.

Strap in for a thought-provoking journey that may just change how you view your own happiness and that of others-all with a healthy dose of humor.

By Daniel Gilbert,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked Stumbling on Happiness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Bringing to life scientific research in psychology, cognitive neuroscience, philosophy, and behavioral economics, this bestselling book reveals what scientists have discovered about the uniquely human ability to imagine the future, and about our capacity to predict how much we will like it when we get there. 

• Why are lovers quicker to forgive their partners for infidelity than for leaving dirty dishes in the sink?

• Why will sighted people pay more to avoid going blind than blind people will pay to regain their sight?

• Why do dining companions insist on ordering different meals instead of getting what they…


Book cover of Playing the Moldovans at Tennis

Robin Cherry Author Of Garlic, an Edible Biography: The History, Politics, and Mythology Behind the World's Most Pungent Food--With Over 100 Recipes

From my list on traveling that are also insanely funny.

Why am I passionate about this?

Robin Cherry is a Cleveland-raised, Hudson Valley-based author of Garlic: An Edible Biography and Catalog: An Illustrated History of Mail Order Shopping. When not zeroing in on the microhistory of unusual things, she writes about food, wine, and travel. Her father’s family hails from Moldova which may explain why two of the five books on this list are about, or include, chapters on, Moldova. The fact that two concern Mongolia is inexplicable as she’s never been there. Her story on visiting Moldova was included in Lonely Planet’s 2016 Travel Anthology. 

Robin's book list on traveling that are also insanely funny

Robin Cherry Why did Robin love this book?

Travel writing can be so serious. “I was a divorced heroin addict so I went on a hike” or “I have a terminal disease; this is my final journey.” This book (and the other books on my list) illuminate foreign places and people with erudition, thoughtfulness, and laughter.

Whenever I’m in London, I visit Daunt Books on Marylebone High Street and ask the sales assistant to recommend a humorous book about the former Soviet Union. Playing the Moldovans at Tennis is one of my favorites.  British comedian Tony Hawk's first book, Round Ireland with a Fridge, saw him hitchhike around the island to win a drunken £100 bet. In this book, Hawks accepts a bet from a friend that he can’t beat the entire Moldovan football team at tennis and the loser has to strip down and sing the Moldovan national anthem on Balham High Road. While his escapades…

By Tony Hawks,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Playing the Moldovans at Tennis as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'All I knew about Moldova were the names of eleven men printed on the inside back pages of my newspaper. None of them sounded to me like they were any good at tennis ...'

An eccentric wager finds Tony Hawks, a man who loves an unusual challenge, bound for the little-known Eastern European state of Moldova. His mission: to track down members of the country's football team and persuade them to play him at tennis. The bizarre quest ultimately has little to do with tennis or football, but instead turns into an extraordinary journey involving the Moldovan underworld, gypsies, chronic…


Book cover of In the Empire of Genghis Khan: A Journey Among Nomads

Robin Cherry Author Of Garlic, an Edible Biography: The History, Politics, and Mythology Behind the World's Most Pungent Food--With Over 100 Recipes

From my list on traveling that are also insanely funny.

Why am I passionate about this?

Robin Cherry is a Cleveland-raised, Hudson Valley-based author of Garlic: An Edible Biography and Catalog: An Illustrated History of Mail Order Shopping. When not zeroing in on the microhistory of unusual things, she writes about food, wine, and travel. Her father’s family hails from Moldova which may explain why two of the five books on this list are about, or include, chapters on, Moldova. The fact that two concern Mongolia is inexplicable as she’s never been there. Her story on visiting Moldova was included in Lonely Planet’s 2016 Travel Anthology. 

Robin's book list on traveling that are also insanely funny

Robin Cherry Why did Robin love this book?

As a child, Irish author Stewart dreamed of riding a horse across Mongolia and this book is the fulfillment of his dream. In the heart of the book, Stewart travels 1,000-miles across the vast steppes of Mongolia on horseback. He encounters stunning scenery, a hilarious nomad wedding brawl, and “a vast medieval world of nomads apparently undisturbed since 1200.” This book is worth it just for my favorite exchange.  While Stewart was watching the wrestling competition at  Mongolia’s annual Naadam Festival, he asked a fellow observer why the wrestler’s jackets had “long sleeves but an open front that left the chest bare.” “Keeps the women out,” he muttered.  Turns out Mongolian women are fearsome wrestlers. 

By Stanley Stewart,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In the Empire of Genghis Khan as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Vivid, hilarious, and compelling, this eagerly awaited book takes its place among the travel classics. It is a thrilling tale of adventure, a comic masterpiece, and an evocative portrait of a medieval land marooned in the modern world. Eight and a half centuries ago, under Genghis Khan, the Mongols burst forth from Central Asia in a series of spectacular conquests that took them from the Danube to the Yellow Sea. Their empire was seen as the final triumph of the nomadic "barbarians." In this remarkable book Stanley Stewart sets off on a pilgrimage across the old empire, from Istanbul to…


Book cover of Travels with My Aunt

Cookie Boyle Author Of Entitled: Life isn't easy when you're a book

From my list on a unique narrator perspective.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Canadian author who has been fascinated with how others see the world since I was a child. I was captivated by Charlotte’s Web. If pigs and spiders could be having unheard conversations, what else was I missing? I delight in stories that invite me into the distinct world of the narrator, so it’s no surprise that my novel, Entitled, is written from a unique perspective—that of a book. When done well, these stories let us see life through the eyes of someone else. If we all experienced our surroundings, just for a minute, as others did, perhaps there would be more humanity in this world. 

Cookie's book list on a unique narrator perspective

Cookie Boyle Why did Cookie love this book?

Henry Pulling, a reluctantly retired bank manager, meets his 70-ish-year-old Aunt Augusta for the first time in more than 50 years at his mother’s funeral. His Aunt is vibrant, even outrageous, and he is anything but—a man whose only hobby is growing dahlias. An Aunt myself, I love a story about a wild, non-traditional Aunt, and her relationship with her nephew. As the title suggests, the story is told through the eyes of Henry. His views of his life and their travels are filled with humor and insight. The joy of this novel follows the challenges that arise when two generations confront their expectations of each other and themselvesexpectations that are never more alive than when we travel. 

By Graham Greene,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Travels with My Aunt as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Henry Pulling, a retired bank manager, meets his septuagenarian Aunt Augusta for the first time in over fifty years at his mother's funeral. Soon after, she persuades Henry to abandon Southwood, his dahlias and the Major next door to travel her way, through Brighton, Paris, Istanbul, Paraguay... Accompanying his aunt, Henry joins a shiftless, twilight society: mixing with hippies, war criminals, CIA men; smoking pot, breaking all the currency regulations and eventually coming alive after a dull suburban lifetime.


Book cover of Tuva or Bust! Richard Feynman's Last Journey

Robin Cherry Author Of Garlic, an Edible Biography: The History, Politics, and Mythology Behind the World's Most Pungent Food--With Over 100 Recipes

From my list on traveling that are also insanely funny.

Why am I passionate about this?

Robin Cherry is a Cleveland-raised, Hudson Valley-based author of Garlic: An Edible Biography and Catalog: An Illustrated History of Mail Order Shopping. When not zeroing in on the microhistory of unusual things, she writes about food, wine, and travel. Her father’s family hails from Moldova which may explain why two of the five books on this list are about, or include, chapters on, Moldova. The fact that two concern Mongolia is inexplicable as she’s never been there. Her story on visiting Moldova was included in Lonely Planet’s 2016 Travel Anthology. 

Robin's book list on traveling that are also insanely funny

Robin Cherry Why did Robin love this book?

Legendary physicist Richard Feynman’s intrigue with the remote Siberian country of Tanaa Tuva was inspired by the country’s triangular postage stamps he collected as a child. As an adult, he asked his friend, Ralph Leighton if he knew anything about the country and when the two men discovered the capital was the “legitimate vowel-less” Kyzyl, they become obsessed with visiting it. Feynman and Leighton spent over ten years trying to reach Tuva, foiled by ridiculous Soviet bureaucracy and ultimately, Feynman’s death from cancer. While the ending is bittersweet, this story of friendship and obsession is a fitting tribute to Feynman’s passion, playfulness, and curiosity. 

By Ralph Leighton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tuva or Bust! Richard Feynman's Last Journey as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1977, Feynman and his sidekick- fellow drummer and geography enthusiast Ralph Leighton-set out to make arrangements to visit Tuva, doing noble and hilarious battle with Soviet red tape, befriending quite a few Tuvans, and discovering the wonders of Tuvan throat-singing. Their Byzantine attempts to reach Tannu Tuva would span a decade, interrupted by Feynman's appointment to the committee investigating the Challenger disaster, and his tragic struggle with the cancer that finally killed him. Tuva or Bust! chronicles the deepening friendship of two zany, brilliant strategists whose love of the absurd will delight and instruct. It is Richard Feynman's last,…


Book cover of Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill

Paul J. Zak Author Of Immersion: The Science of the Extraordinary and the Source of Happiness

From my list on happiness that will improve your life.

Why am I passionate about this?

In my view, there is no bigger quest than to understand how to live a long and fulfilled life. Most of my professional life has focused on running neuroscience experiments in my academic laboratory and developing technologies for companies I have started to understand and increase happiness. I have devoted 20 years to this quest and I continue to work to build a happier and healthier world. I am one of the most cited scientists in this area and also regularly communicate to the general public through TED talks, books, magazine articles, and public lectures.    

Paul's book list on happiness that will improve your life

Paul J. Zak Why did Paul love this book?

I like and dislike this book! Ricard is a scientist and a Buddhist monk, and is reported to be the happiest man on earth. I know, respect, and like Ricard, and this book harkens back to the Stoics by suggesting that moderation is the key to happiness. My research says yes and no to this.  Ricard is correct that spending too much time worrying about the past or future will drag down one's happiness. My research, and that of many others, have shown the positive effect of meditation on happiness and here Ricard is masterful in explaining how and why meditation is important. Calmness and self-insight are very important to avoiding depression and setting the conditions for happiness, but, as Ricard notes, we must be in communities of other people to truly thrive. A little wildness is awesome, go for it!

By Matthieu Ricard,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Happiness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Combining science and spirit, a cell biologist turned Buddhist monk blends new scientific research with traditional Western philosophy to reveal how readily attainable happiness is.


Book cover of The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom

Edward D. Hess Author Of Own Your Work Journey! The Path to Meaningful Work and Happiness in the Age of Smart Technology and Radical Change

From my list on helping you become your best self.

Why am I passionate about this?

My entire academic life of over 20 years has been focused on how to help people and organizations become their Best Self. I am the author of 15 books. Six of my books were published by Academic Presses: Cambridge University Press; Stanford University Press; and Columbia Business School Publishing. My work has appeared in over 400 global media publications including Fortune magazine, European Business Review, HBR, SHRM, Fast Company, WIRED, Forbes, INC., Huffington Post, Washington Post, Business Week, the Financial Times, CEO World as well as on CNBC Squawk Box, Fox Business News, Big Think, WSJ Radio, Bloomberg Radio with Kathleen Hayes, Dow Jones Radio, MSNBC Radio, Business Insider, and Wharton Radio.

Edward's book list on helping you become your best self

Edward D. Hess Why did Edward love this book?

This is a unique book in that it integrates the learnings from the great philosophies and religions with modern science to create a powerful story of how you and I can live a happy and a meaningful life.

The Author takes you on a great journey illuminating how our thinking and how our mind and body influence our beliefs and ways of being. He puts together a compelling new story that you can embrace to be on your Journey to Best Self. This book was so good that I have read it three times since I bought it.

By Jonathan Haidt,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Happiness Hypothesis as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In his widely praised book, award-winning psychologist Jonathan Haidt examines the world's philosophical wisdom through the lens of psychological science, showing how a deeper understanding of enduring maxims-like Do unto others as you would have others do unto you, or What doesn't kill you makes you stronger-can enrich and even transform our lives.


Book cover of Thrive: Finding Happiness the Blue Zones Way

Paul J. Zak Author Of Immersion: The Science of the Extraordinary and the Source of Happiness

From my list on happiness that will improve your life.

Why am I passionate about this?

In my view, there is no bigger quest than to understand how to live a long and fulfilled life. Most of my professional life has focused on running neuroscience experiments in my academic laboratory and developing technologies for companies I have started to understand and increase happiness. I have devoted 20 years to this quest and I continue to work to build a happier and healthier world. I am one of the most cited scientists in this area and also regularly communicate to the general public through TED talks, books, magazine articles, and public lectures.    

Paul's book list on happiness that will improve your life

Paul J. Zak Why did Paul love this book?

This book asks if those who live the longest are also the happiest. The short answer is sometimes...and that is what makes this book interesting. Part travelog, part science, this book connects happiness to the quality and length of life and argues that connections to others and a rich social life are what allow people to flourish with long and happy lives. I was surprised by the contribution of diet and exercise to one's happiness and while I'm already committed to a healthy diet and consistent exercise, these findings lead me to include these factors in my own research on happiness. One mystery the book does not solve (but my research has contributed to), is why those who are old tend to be quite happy even when they have lost spouses, friends, and children. The causation appears to be bidirectional between the biological basis for happiness and life circumstances. 

By Dan Buettner,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Thrive as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What makes us happy? It's not wealth, youth, beauty, or intelligence, says Dan Buettner. In fact, most of us have the keys within our grasp. Circling the globe to study the world's happiest populations, Buettner has spotted several common principles that can unlock the doors to true contentment with our lives. Working with leading researchers, Buettner identifies the happiest region on each of four continents. He explores why these populations say they are happier than anyone else, and what they can teach the rest of us about finding contentment. His conclusions debunk some commonly believed myths: Are people who have…


Book cover of Beyond the Sky and the Earth: A Journey Into Bhutan

Jessica Mudditt Author Of Our Home in Myanmar: Four years in Yangon

From my list on living abroad.

Why am I passionate about this?

I left home in Melbourne to spend a year travelling in Asia when I was in my mid-twenties. I ended up living abroad for a decade in London, Bangladesh, and Myanmar before returning to Sydney in 2016. My first book is about the four years I lived in Myanmar and I’m currently writing my second, which is about the year I spent backpacking from Cambodia to Pakistan. My third book will be about the three years I worked as a journalist in Bangladesh. My plan is to write a ‘trilogy’ of memoirs. Living abroad has enriched my life and travel memoirs are one of my favourite genres, both as a reader and a writer.

Jessica's book list on living abroad

Jessica Mudditt Why did Jessica love this book?

I know that I have really loved a book when years later I can still remember not just its plot, but exactly where I was when I read it. I have fond memories of reading Zeppa’s book in my guesthouse in Kathmandu in Nepal after pouncing on a secondhand copy. It felt like meeting a new friend. 

Zeppa swaps her dull existence for a two-year teaching post in a Himalayan village. She has fascinating experiences and falls in love with a Bhutanese man. Some of the detail about Bhutan is darker than I expected.

I’ve wanted to go to Bhutan ever since. I came close to getting there was when I lived in Bangladesh, but ultimately, I never did manage it. It’s one of those places that have gotten away from me, but I hope to get there one day.

By Jamie Zeppa,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Beyond the Sky and the Earth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Jamie Zeppa was 24 when she left a stagnant life at home and signed a contract to teach for two years in the Buddhist hermit kingdom of Bhutan. Much more than just a travel memoir, Beyond the Sky and the Earth is the story of her time in a Himalayan village, immersed in Bhutanese culture and the wonders of new and lasting love. Whether you're travelling to Bhutan, looking for the best travel writing around, or wishing to be transported to a culture, mindset, and spiritual ethos wonderfully different from your own, Beyond the Sky and the Earth is a…


Book cover of Faery Tale: One Woman's Search for Enchantment in a Modern World

K.T. Anglehart Author Of The Wise One

From my list on making magic feel just within reach.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since reading the Harry Potter series (I know, how original! But bear with me), I’d been searching for books that awoke the same feelings of awe, curiosity, and inspiration in me. It’s been my mission—to be on the dramatic side—to find books that make magic feel just within reach of our world, which is why I set out to write my own urban fantasy story, The Wise One. My creation process involved years of extensive research on esoteric topics and Celtic folklore, including visiting most of my story’s locations during my travels across Ireland and Scotland. What I can boldly say after immersing myself in the landscape and culture is this: magic totally does exist. 

K.T.'s book list on making magic feel just within reach

K.T. Anglehart Why did K.T. love this book?

When I was recommended this book, I was in the midst of my own journey of self-discovery, like the author was in writing it. I was just starting to embrace who I wanted to be: someone who could open people’s imaginations to the magic that is already all around us. Faery Tale is the story that prompted me to book that trip to Ireland and Scotland and experience the mysticism of the lands for myself. I’m not a memoir enthusiast normally, but Pike’s (at first) skeptical POV,  detailed research into Celtic folklore, and real-life magical encounters inspired much of my debut novel. 

By Signe Pike,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Faery Tale as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In search of something to believe in once more, Signe Pike left behind a career in Manhattan to undertake a magical journey - literally. In a sweeping tour of Mexico, England, Ireland, Scotland and beyond, she takes readers to dark glens and abandoned forests, ancient sacred sites and local pubs, seeking people who might still believe in the elusive beings we call faeries. As Pike attempts to connect with the spirit world - and reconnect with her sense of wonder and purpose - she comes to view both herself and the world around her in a profoundly new light.

Captivating,…


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