My lovely boyfriend, in an effort to cheer me up, gave me this book, Daniel Gilbert’s Stumbling on Happiness. The premise of the book is simple: you may think you know what makes you happy, but you would be wrong. Stumbling on Happiness combines a little neurology, a little psychology, and a lot of wit to explain why our imaginations don’t do us justice, why we can’t prepare for the future as hard as we try, and we can’t have control over the uncontrollable (although we think we can). Most of all, we can’t know what will make us happy tomorrow, or next year, or in the next decade.
To show us all this, Gilbert describes how the brain works, and how it fills in its gaps often incorrectly. For the science minded of you, this is a funny book (and a little frightening) that shows you how you’ve got it all wrong. Sometimes it felt a little heavy on the psychology for me (I am not a huge psych fan, stick to the hard-sciences for me), but overall Stumbling on Happiness strikes a good balance. Thanks for the gift Jonathan!