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Comment: Very Good used copy: Some light wear to cover, spine and page edges. Very minimal writing or notations in margins. Text is clean and legible. Possible clean ex-library copy with their stickers and or stamps.
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Thrive: Finding Happiness the Blue Zones Way Hardcover – Bargain Price, October 19, 2010

4.1 out of 5 stars 111 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, October 19, 2010
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From Thrive
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Nordea Bank in downtown Copenhagen, Denmark, is one of Europe’s largest banks. The owners believe that a well-lit, well-designed workspace makes for a more efficient and profitable workforce. Its corporate headquarters and philosophy are typical of most large Danish companies. Photo by David McLain The Rabbit Jumping Association in Arhus, Denmark, is 30 members strong and partially funded by the municipality. Approximately 96% of Danes belong to a vast array of associations that have served to institutionalize social networking and reinforce a sense of community and belonging. Photo by David McLain A government-sponsored outing for young couples called “Movies on the Beach” is designed to promote love. In Singapore, the government plays a heavy-handed role in social policy, promoting everything from love to cleanliness in a seemingly endless array of social education campaigns. Photo by David McLain Approximately 80% of Singaporeans live in public housing and approximately 90% own their own home, giving Singapore one of the highest rates of home ownership anywhere on Earth. Photo by David McLain Making room for bikes is the only way to go in San Luis Obispo, Calif., a town that prides itself in making recreation and social interaction easier. Newer establishments often have a bike valet service. Photo by Dan Buettner

Review

“…a book about the happiest regions in the world. [Buettner] also recommends “land-mining your home with photos and memorabilia, so you’re constantly reminded of your history.” Adorning a hallway or a highly trafficked room with sentimental objects is a good way to start.”
–Real Simple
 
“Buettner travels to places…to interview “thrivers,” who report more life enjoyment than most people. He suggests ways that the reader can emulate these cheery folks.”
–Atlanta Journal Constitution
 
“For his 2008 best-seller, The Blue Zones , Dan Buettner searched the world for the truth about longevity. In his new book, Thrive, out Oct. 19, he tackles the topic of happiness. What are the happiest spots on Earth—and what secrets can we glean from them?” –Parade --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: National Geographic; 1 edition (October 19, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1426205155
  • ASIN: B005HKKQ2U
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,619,602 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Salinger, Holistic Nurse Practitioner TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I received an advance copy of "Thrive, finding happiness the Blue Zones way" and was quite excited to read it. However, I quickly became disappointed.

As many previous reviewers have mentioned, there is A LOT of filler detailing the author's personal experiences while visiting the various "happiest places on earth". Quite honestly, the book reads as more of a travelogue, describing his experiences while traveling to research the subject, than a book on why the happiest people are so happy.

The actual information about the happiness factors, for which most people will buy this book, would have been more appropriately written up as a magazine article - and it would have been a pretty interesting article. However, there just isn't enough information for a full book, which is likely why the author has fluffed it up with stories about his experiences while visiting and traveling in the various countries (this is the travelogue aspect, which is about 2/3's of the book)

The findings, which detail whatever aspects of the country, town or people in it that make them so happy, are summarized at the end of each chapter, and then a final summary at the end of the book (again, all would have readily fit into an article as a much more concise read). I will outline the summaries below (so if you DON'T want to know now and would rather find out by reading the book, read no further!)

To me, many of these have a major "Duh!" factor, and don't really reveal things that you can easily change or quickly improve. They are the kind of things that would require a major lifestyle change, a new job, moving to a new area, etc.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Thrive has at its core a very interesting idea. Based on a number of surveys, Dan Buettner identified four areas of the world which are each known for their high happiness levels. These are Denmark, Singapore, Monterrey Mexico, and San Louis Obispo California. That's not to say that people in Singapore are happier than various locations in Europe and the US - but Buettner wanted to examine a range of cultures, so he was looking at "the happiest in their region".

Buettner began with Denmark. Apparently the reason people are happy there is that they are all white, rich, and have self-funded a beautiful social network, sort of like setting up an ideal boarding school that you live in. Oh, and their motto is "well it could be worse". I oversimplify a bit :) But it does seem to boil down to these ideas. Everyone feels like their neighbors are just like them, they all have good money and job opportunities, and they are OK with paying high taxes because it invests right into their fairly small community. Denmark has about 5.3 million people - smaller than New York City.

Now, to be fair, the schools in Denmark encourage them to learn fun, artistic skills. They have beautiful nature around them, they all enjoy riding bikes and stay healthy. Their economy runs smoothly. And again, with their way of life being "This is good enough, be happy it's not sliding downhill," they end up being content with what they have. Which certainly is a lesson that everybody can learn. The average happiness level here was 8/10.

On to Singapore. This is perhaps an "opposite case" to Denmark. Rather than being all the same, Singapore has many different cultures intermingled.
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Format: Hardcover
Writing up long drawn out interviews with a select individuals is one way to fill up a book, but there isn't any hard science in it. I could tell after about page 3 that this book was more likely to be a fluff piece rather than a book by an actual researcher with a scientific background. For example, the book smacks of survivorship bias. The author only goes to places where people are said to be happier than most and haphazardly attempts to document their habits and culture. This in and of itself tells you absolutely nothing because there may be thousands of other places with identical attributes and habits where people are less happy. The only way to identify habits that may be the cause of the happiness is to study both happy and unhappy places and look for the differences. This logic flaw that many researchers fall victim to is discussed in the book Fooled By Randomness by Nassim Taleb, where he describes the survivorship bias in The Millionaire Next Door. In TMND, the authors focus mainly on millionaires and not so much people who aren't millionaires. Taleb points out that it is entirely possible that many of the nonmillionaires may have had the same attributes as the millionaires, so in order to identify the reasons some became millionaires you would have to study both groups and find out what sets them apart. I still like the TMND, however Taleb has some valid criticisms and I think this book suffers from the same logic flaws as TMND only worse.

One of the people the author profiles as being happy is a man named Manuel so overweight he is living on a bed in the living room of his mother's house. At one point Manuel had bought a gun and contemplated suicide.
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