Book Reviews

Visit The Happy Store for reviewed books on happiness.

Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment by  Tal Ben-Shahar


Happier is based on Tal Ben-Shahar’s positive psychology primer – the most popular class at Harvard and attended by about 20% of all Harvard graduates. Ben-Shahar wisely suggests that a better question than Am I happy? is How can I be happier?, since this recognizes happiness to be an ongoing and lifelong process…

Read more

Happiness: A guide to developing life’s most important skill by Matthieu Ricard

Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important SkillMatthieu Ricard’s subtitle reveals his premise – that ‘achieving durable happiness as a way of being is a skill’ (page 7). Although some people are happier than others, he notes, such happiness is not durable and complete. How then is the skill of durable happiness achieved…

Read more

Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert

Stumbling on HappinessIn Gilbert’s view, our hike to happiness is ungainly because we  use our powers of imagination as our compass – we imagine what will make us happy. Problem is,  imagination lets us down in three important ways…

Read more



Happiness: Lessons from a new science by Richard Layard

Happiness: Lessons from a New ScienceLayard is described on the dust jacket as ‘one of Britain’s best-known economists and a world expert on unemployment and inequality’. As you’d expect, his background profoundly informs his take on happiness…

Read more

Technorati Tags: , ,


  1. Does anybody know of a book by Gordon Parker or Clive Hamilton which talks about people who have had serious depression and worked their way through it. It was mentioned on the Compass program they did with the Dalai Lama and Geraldine Doogue and others, this year? I’d like to find out the title, publisher, date if possible so I can order a copy.


  2. That’s exactly the book I wanted Michele. Thanks for that. Do you know of any other good reads which stand as short accounts/stories or biographies/autobiographies of people who have recovered from depression and how they managed it? I’ve read enough self-help books to know how to move forward in theory, and would like to hear some accounts of how real people with the condition have actually managed to achieve the goal of recovery/management. One thing I find disappointing in Victoria, is that there are so few self-help groups for people with depression/anxiety which pitch to the average traveller i.e. people with moderate-severe ongoing, depression but not bipolar etc. and psychologists are a very expensive option.

    Cheers and thanks again

  3. I don’t know of other books like the Gordon Parker one, but I’ll keep my eye out. Meanwhile, here are some resources that might be helpful.

    1. Victorian resources for depression management:
    2. ‘Beating the Blues’ by Susan Tanner & Jillian Ball (a very practical book)
    3. Beyond Blue website:
    3. Garry McDonald’s story:

    All the best, Lyn.

  4. You forgot “The Happiness Hypothesis” by Jonathan Haidt, in my opinion the most outstanding book on positive psychology available today.

    I would also point you to Daniel Gilbert’s excellent presentation at the TED conference, as part of the “What Makes Us Happy?” theme. Here’s the link:

    There is also the Slow Living and Simple Living movements, both outgrowths of the positive psychology field.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *