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The Pursuit of Happiness

'Essential reading. So funny, so relevant, so fascinating ... I loved it' Marian Keyes 'A whip-sharp British Bill Bryson' Sunday Times When British journalist Ruth Whippman moved to America it seemed that everyone she met was obsessed with one thing- finding happiness. Americans spend more money and energy on becoming happier than anyone on earth, but yet they are some of the least happy people in the developed world. So Ruth sets off on a journey to work out what's going wrong, and most importantly, what lessons we can all learn about what truly makes for a happy life. From nearly falling apart during a controversial self-help course promising total transformation, to investigating a 'happiness city' in the Nevada desert, from spending time with the Mormons in Utah to exploring the darker truths behind the positive psychology movement, Ruth tries it all. Along the way she stumbles upon a more effective, less anxiety inducing path to contentment.
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About the Author

Ruth Whippman is a British writer, journalist and documentary film-maker. Before moving to the US in 2011, she produced and directed numerous documentaries and current affairs programmes for the BBC. Her essays and comment pieces have appeared in the New York Times, The Guardian, the Independent and the Huffington Post amongst other places. She lives in California with her husband and two young sons. This is her first book.


"I LOVED this book. I found it SO WELL WRITTEN, so witty and funny and reading it I was often envious of Ruth Whippman's facility with language. It is a hugely engaging read, accessible and so relevant ... I really, really, really, really enjoyed it and am quite evangelical about it." -- Marian Keyes, author of THE WOMAN WHO STOLE MY LIFE "Like Bill Bryson, Whippman has a willingness to play up cultural differences to comic effect ... She also has Bryson's sharp ear for language ... With warm wit and chilling logic, The Pursuit of Happiness shows that the human desire for contentment can be manipulated and distorted until it is barely recognisable ... A whip-smart British Bill Bryson." * Sunday Times * "[Ruth Whippman] writes with sharpness and wit" * Evening Standard * "Ruth Whippman is my new favorite cultural critic, and her book was such a joy to read that I temporarily forgot about all my neuroses. It's a shrewd, hilarious analysis of why a country obsessed with happiness is so darn unhappy." -- Adam Grant, author of GIVE AND TAKE, ORIGINALS, and OPTION B (coauthored with Sheryl Sandberg) "Those wanting to understand the complex reality of our personal quest for happiness might usefully turn to Ruth Whippman's The Pursuit of Happiness - the lively memoir of a British journalist in California, on the hunt for that elusive but, as she sees it, increasingly sought-after, American ideal of happiness ... Whippman - whose narrative voice is an unlikely mix of Kathy Lette's and Louis Theroux's - has followed her husband to Silicon Valley to start a new life ... Whippman argues persuasively that happiness is something that emerges from the quality of relationships we have with others ... The Pursuit of Happiness also sheds light on the link between religion and happiness." * Times Literary Supplement * "She writes with a light touch ... Her conclusions are amusing and offer a useful commentary on this age of materialism and gloating." * The Times * "Wry and often hilarious ... Whippman takes readers on an engaging and perceptive personal romp through the $10 billion happiness industry, and, along the way, shreds much of the 'science' that happiness is both an individual responsibility and a solo endeavour. A great - and important - read." -- Brigid Schulte, author of New York Times Bestseller OVERWHELMED: WORK, LOVE & PLAY WHEN NO ONE HAS THE TIME "Ruth Whippman manages the trick of being funny about what is, deep down, a serious problem" -- Oliver Burkeman, Guardian columnist and author of THE ANTIDOTE: HAPPINESS FOR PEOPLE WHO CAN'T STAND POSITIVE THINKING

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