Happy Books

Here's a list of some of my favorite books you should definitely get your hands on. From childhood favorites to more science-based reads on positive psychology, there're all selections that will boost your happiness. You can read my comments about them here - they're also linked directly to Amazon for your convenience :)

So clear off that dusty old bookshelf and make some room for:

Authentic Happiness
by: Martin E.P. Seligman, PhD
          Dr. Seligman is widely known as "the father of positive psychology", so it goes without saying that this book gives an insightful and well-studied look into the science behind happiness. But it's not just for psychologists; Seligman writes as if he's holding a casual conversation with us and has a way of explaining complex theories in a way that anyone can understand. This book gave me great insight into the internal and external factors that contribute to overall happiness for humans in general, and through in-text quizzes, it allowed me to understand the things in life that I value the most and can contribute to my own level of happiness.

Eat, Pray, Love
by: Elizabeth Gilbert
           I feel as if I am sitting in some fancy-schmancy Manhattan coffee shop talking with Elizabeth Gilbert herself rather than just holding a book full of her words every time I pick up this New York Times Bestseller. This wonderfully delightful memoir of the author's personal travels through Italy, India, and Indonesia is written in a perfectly easy-to-read, witty, and conversational language that invite the us into a tale about finding balance in life. This is a great and inspiring read that really makes you think about the little things in life while digging deep into your heart to find the things that make you truly happy.

Delivering Happiness
by: Tony Hsieh
          Whether or not you live in the western part of the U.S., you will be packing up your bags and moving to Las Vegas, pitching a tent outside of the Zappos headquarters, and begging for a job after reading about the awesome story of the company and its CEO who wrote this book (at least, that's what I wanted to do). But don't think this is just another 'business model' book...no, no - this is an modern day manual about how believing in your passions can lead to great success not only in your career, but also in life. Tony talks candidly about how taking problems, challenges, and setbacks we face everyday and turning them into opportunity is absolutely possible (and gives us a first-hand example of this by telling the story about how he helped Zappos become a multi-billion dollar company). The book also touches on a bit of the "science of happiness" which, as we all know, is always talked about here in this blog, and is one of the biggest reasons the "Zappos family" is such a great clan to be part of. If you want to know a little bit more, you can read my Delivering Happiness review post.

by: Shel Silverstein
          So you may be thinking that the last time you read this book was when you were just a little kid...and you're probably right. But this book is really something special - whether you're 8 or 80 years old. Sometimes we just need a little "pick-me-up", and this collection of funny tales, poems, and illustrations is sure to put a smile on your face.

Stumbling On Happiness
by: Daniel Gilbert
           I literally did stumble upon this book at The Brooklyn Flea, but it seems to me that it was no coincidence. This is not one of your ordinary "how to be happy" books, but rather, a scientific and psychological analysis of "how and how well the human brain can imagine its own future and how and how well it can predict which of those futures it will most enjoy". It's a really intriguing and interesting read that provides you with great information written in a way that won't immediately put you to sleep. The author is a psychology professor at Harvard, so he knows a thing or two about keeping the attention of an audience; his humor and chatty language in this book really make things easy to understand, in what would otherwise be a really science-heavy read.

Oh, The Places You'll Go! 
by: Dr. Seuss
         Ah, what a classic. This book is a quick and easy read, but always leaves me feeling inspired to go out and live my life! You can never go wrong with a Seuss book....

The 2548 Best Things Anybody Ever Said
by: Robert Byrne
         This awesome collection of (you guessed it!) 2,548 quotes is one of the first big quote books I bought way back when I was starting Optimal Optimist. With pages filled with humorous, uplifting, and motivational words from some well-known and some not-so-well-known names, there are quite a few words of wisdom to be had here. You'll read through all of the quotes rather quickly, but keep this one handy for those times when you're looking for the perfect dose of positivity.