Spring Staff Picks: Satisfaction Not Guaranteed

Name and role at the Press:
Trish Palao, Advertising and Direct Marketing Manager

Book selection, and why: Satisfaction Not Guaranteed

Every morning, at the specified time, my phone/camera/day planner/alarm clock wakes me up. A (mostly) reliable public transportation system gets me to and fro and, while I’m not home, my DVR records all my favorite shows for me to watch at my leisure. I can check in with relatives abroad and childhood friends I rarely see, listen to any song I want, and catch up on current events from the palm of my hand. Such modern day conveniences are amazing, attempting to fulfill one’s desire to lead an easy and happy life. And yet, for all the advantages these modern developments provide, one can still find a slew of problems with them. If I lose my phone, I also lose photos, calendars, and that intense session of Words with Friends. If I share photos on Facebook, I lose some of my privacy. If I use public transportation, I lose comfort. And what if my DVR records an episode I’ve already seen before?!? Sure, my life is certainly easier because of technology, but is it happier? And will it ever be?

It seems like we’re constantly on a quest to find the right formula for happiness. There’s even a United Nations Conference for Happiness. In Satisfaction Not Guaranteed, Peter N. Stearns takes a look at our pursuit of happiness, examining why the benefits of living in rich, urban, and industrial societies have proven to be less satisfying than we thought. Stearns asks why, if we live in a society of progress and abundance, are there more cases of depression and discontentment? He looks at examples from history and today to show how we can find the balance needed to deal with the dilemmas of modern life while seeking out happiness. This book may just be the thing to cheer me up after watching that rerun.

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DO YOU have a favorite book from our spring catalog to add? If so, let us know by leaving a comment describing why it’s your pick. You could win a free copy of the book of your choice, and a feature on the blog!

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