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on 13 April 2018
This is the most intelligent, well informed, and realistic book I've read about psychology in a long time. Quite easy to read (and understand) too. Far from being a self help book, it makes the reader, through knowledge and understanding, br more comfortable with the complexities of contradictions of our ways to happiness.
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on 14 March 2014
This book is wonderful and very uplifting. My only criticism was that, when discussing depression, it is spoken of as something that has been blown out of proportion and over-medicated. As a depression sufferer, I felt slightly misunderstood by this section. However, overall this book is flawless and easy to read. I couldn't distract myself from it.
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VINE VOICEon 21 December 2006
'Happiness' explores what happiness actually means from a biological and social viewpoint and how we can best attain happiness. This isn't a self-help book, but more of a mini psychology textbook.

I found it quite difficult to get into as it was slow at the beginning, but the chapter about brain activity and the small amount of info on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy were quite intersting.

I have recently read, 'Emotions' by Dylan Evans (also published in Oxford) and found this a lot more informative and easy to read.

Ok, just not brilliant.
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on 27 December 2010
This book was delivered to me very soon after my order, thank you.
Its very interesting, I enjoyed it
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on 9 March 2014
Happiness is like paradise in that you do not notice it until it has gone; the lack of unhappiness indicates pain. Pursuing happiness is thus, unlike life or liberty, fairly pointless.

The book relies on copious studies by tenured academics, but frankly I wonder, whether it might not be better for them to go and do a proper job, for even if they could work out happiness it would add nothing to mine.
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on 5 January 2007
Nettle summarises the various studies and statistics available on the subject of what make people happy. Importantly, he has a useful discussion on the types of happiness; feelings of joy, judging oneself to be happy, and realising one's potential. He focuses on the second, and crunches through the studies, also provding useful scientific explanations of how the brain works. Three of the most interesting things that stood out for me were that most people are actually happy, control within one's job is more important than income, and there is a distinct (biological) difference between wanting and liking. The latter is the root of addiction (and advertising), and also shows how getting what one wants may not lead to happiness.

I would have been interested in seeing a greater discussion on why the rates of depression are on the rise, yet most people are happy. Is it the case that the extremes of society are getting more pronounced? Or simply, we are more aware of depression than before. I also thought that his view that those who are neurotic (tendency to negative emotions) and introverted (closed to experiences) tend to be less happy was somewhat circular. This is the crux of the issue, that is, what causes what! Does being happy lead one to be less neurotic or the other way around?!

On balance, the book was informative, concise and life-enhancing
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on 15 August 2009
The author summarises the research on the subject of "Happiness" very clearly. He also presents three different "types/levels" of happiness and discusses why some people are "happy" and some find it difficult to be so. Very insightful and relevant to our modern life and challenges. Easy to follow and fun to read!
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on 9 May 2006
The book tries to cover all the ways you could look at happiness from a non-emotional perspective. Are you happier when you're older/younger/slimmer/fatter/married/single? Is it genetic, and are there different kinds of happiness? The book tries to answer all these questions... and it does so with limited success. I found the book hardgoing in one part with too much statistical sociology information.

The part on how your brain works was fascinating, about how the different chemicals in your brain work to keep you happy/sad etc. Overall a good read, enlightening.
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on 20 July 2005
This book is an enjoyable read, a good survey of the science, and actually useful in thinking about personal happiness. I won't say 'it changed my life', but it will influence the way I think about my wants, needs, and life choices.

I particularly liked the way that it was grounded in an evolutionary approach while holding back from some of the dafter aspects of 'sociobiology'. If you are searching for the meaning of life, you could do worse than start here.
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on 21 January 2007
This hand sized paperback by Daniel Nettle has it all: wisdom, wit, useful information, philosophical discourse, groundbraking psychology and, good old common sense. The subject is happiness (of course) and, from the very beginning of the book, some myths and misconceptions are challenged and dispelled and, taking their place appear the well reasoned arguments and conclusions from the author. If you enjoy a brilliant mind at work this book is for you.
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