The study of happiness has become serious business. Gore finds the fact that virtually all its exponents are male intriguing and, to counterpoint such male domination, offers a female perspective. Positive psychology, as happiness-study is often called, has ignored women’s issues, she says. She proffers her own system for truly comprehending the concept of happiness, especially women’s personal happiness, by maintaining a happiness journal recording the happiest moments of each day. She presents interviews with hundreds of women, including “a council of experts” consisting of artists, service workers, scholars, psychologists, and women’s health-care providers. The search for happiness, she suggests, is spiritual as well as material. She discusses everyone from Thomas Jefferson and Norman Vincent Peale to graphic designer Harvey Ball, inventor of the ubiquitous smiley face. She distinguishes between forced cheerfulness and depression, scrutinizes the growing gender gap in the happiness sweepstakes, and comments on the trend toward treating anxiety and sadness with medication. Thoughtful, funny, and inspiring, Gore is a down-to-earth guide to the elusive human quest for happiness. --June Sawyers
About the Author
ARIEL GORE is the author of numerous books on parenting, the novel The Traveling Death and Resurrection Show, the memoir Atlas of the Human Heart, and the guidebook How to Become a Famous Writer Before You’re Dead.