Monday, March 18, 2013

Book 8: A Private History of Happiness: Ninety-Nine Moments of Joy from Around the World by George Myerson

Happy Monday!

My original Book 8 was John Lehrer's Imagine: How Creativity Works, which I was thoroughly enjoying until I learned that the book was withdrawn from the market by its publisher after it was discovered that parts of the book were fabricated. I couldn't bring myself to continue reading it because the thought of remembering "facts" that aren't actually facts is kind of a nightmare to me. Lehrer had another book pulled from the market titled How We Decide. Lehrer seems highly adept at imagining.

After much dragging of my feet, I decided to take a look at George Myerson's A Private History of Happiness, which was published in 2012. This lovely book celebrates small, seemingly insignificant moments that, for whatever reason, filled an individual's heart with joy at a particular moment in time. The passages are often taken from diaries and memoirs. An afternoon chat with an old friend, a day spent serenely in a garden, a view of a frosty winter morning from an upstairs window-  the simple happiness evoked by the commonplace are what make our life truly worth living. This is the type of book that you keep in a bedside table and flip through on days when you're feeling uninspired.

I finally decided to give audio-books another go (I had tried one in the past, but the reader was painfully slow). I've been listening to A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson on my commute to work. What a wonderful book! Bill Bryson never disappoints. If you're interested in better understanding the universe and the origins of our existence, I'd recommend you read this fascinating book.

Sharlene Edwards
Program Director

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