Books to look into

The Geography of Bliss: Grumps Search for Happiness

Eric Weiner is not a pleasant man. In fact, he is a grump. Therefore, he sets out on a year-long journey around the world to find happiness. No, not personal happiness. Weiner wants to find where happiness lives geographically. His travels take him from North Carolina to India to Iceland. Everywhere he goes, Weiner explores with an eye for political structure, weather dynamics, and science to figure out why people from different areas of the world are so happy. This memoir-type novel, with its Eeyore-like humor style and genuine passion for the search, lets readers travel across 10 different countries worldwide on a quest for the rationale behind happy people’s happiness.

Quite a Sightly Place: A Family Dairy Farm in Vermont

Move over and make room for “Quite a Sightly Place” in your personal bookshelves. This artful and hilarious book by David Middleton covers his five-year span living on a dairy farm in Vermont, the location of a once-booming milk industry. Now, though, only four dairy farms remain in the area. Middleton worked alongside one of these to learn from a family of milkers three generations deep. Worry not non-readers, David Middleton doubles as a photographer, so “Quite a Sightly Place” is chock full of interesting pictures of dairy farm living and, of course, lots of cows. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself moved to tears. Middleton has a tendency of mixing humor and sentiment, so both laughter and sympathy could produce waterworks. You will not want to miss out on the inside look at this near-extinct way of living.

Essential Muir

“Essential Muir” is a collection of works on nature from Californian writer John Muir. Not only does Muir scientifically spin to perfection the inner workings of flowers and plants, he also is an interesting study himself. Muir is not just a writer, he is also an inventor. Among his peculiar inventions are an alarm clock bed that actually tilts you out of your sleeping form and a study desk that would actually open up your textbooks for you to the right page. Muir used his notoriety as an inventor and author to become a nature activist, protesting deforestation and the destruction of natural beauty. Written by the founder of the Sierra Club and one of the creators of Yosemite National Park, this book is a wonderful read for nature lovers and activists alike.