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Steven Levitt, author of Freakonomics: Stumbling on Happiness is an absolutely fantastic book that will shatter your most deeply held convictions about how your own mind works. Ceaselessly entertaining, Gilbert is the perfect guide to some of the most interesting psychological research ever performed. Think you know what makes you happy? You won’t know for sure until you have read this book.

Daniel Kahneman, recipient of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economics: Everyone will enjoy reading this book, and some of us will wish we could have written it. You will rarely have a chance to learn so much about so important a topic while having so much fun.

Seth Godin, author of All Marketers Are Liars: This is a brilliant book, a useful book, and a book that could quite possibly change the way you look at just about everything. And as a bonus, Gilbert writes like a cross between Malcolm Gladwell and David Sedaris.

Daniel Schacter, author of The Seven Sins of Memory: In a book that is as deep as it is delightful, Daniel Gilbert reveals the powerful and often surprising connections between our experience of happiness and how we think about the future. Drawing on cutting edge psychological research and his own sharp insights into everyday events, Gilbert manages to have considerable fun while expertly illuminating some of the most profound mysteries of the human mind. I confidently predict that your future will be happier if you read this pathbreaking volume.

Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence: In Stumbling on Happiness, Daniel Gilbert shares his brilliant insights into our quirks of mind, and steers us toward happiness in the most delightful, engaging ways. If you stumble on this book, you're guaranteed many doses of joy.


 r e v i e w s

Steve Stoessel for The New York Times {Editor's Choice Book}: Gilbert's elbow-in-the-ribs social-science humor is actually funny...(but) underneath the goofball brilliance, Gilbert has a serious argument to make about why human beings are forever wrongly predicting what will make them happy.

Malcolm Gladwell for Amazon.com: Stumbling on Happiness... is a delight to read. Gilbert is charming and funny and has a rare gift for making very complicated ideas come alive...This is a psychological detective story about one of the great mysteries of our lives. If you have even the slightest curiosity about the human condition, you ought to read it. Trust me.

June Sawyers for Booklist: Far from being a dry tome, the book is a sly, irresistible romp down, or through, memory lane -- past, present, and future. It is not only wildly entertaining but also hilarious (if David Sedaris were a psychologist, he very well might write like this) and yet full of startling insight, imaginative conclusions, and even bits of wisdom.

Victoria Skurnick for Book of the Month Club: This book is different from anything that’s come before. It’s innovative and it’s wildly entertaining, but mostly it’s just smart. If Bill Bryson had written a book on the science of happiness, it might well be Stumbling on Happiness.

Time Magazine: A fascinating new book that explores our sometimes misguided attempts to find happiness.

Kirkus Reviews 2006 Health & Living: With some loopy humor, lively wit and panache, Gilbert explores why the most important decisions of our lives are so often made so poorly.

Publishers Weekly: Gilbert's playful tone and use of commonplace examples render a potentially academic topic accessible and educational.

Kirkus Reviews: Gilbert examines what science has discovered about how well the human brain can predict future enjoyment... the ideas may be disconcerting, but they're backed by solid research and presented with persuasive charm and wit.

Psychology Today: A lucid, charmingly written argument for why our expectations don't pan out.

Tony Miksak for Words on Books: Have you ever finished a book, then started right in reading it again from the start? Was it so satisfying you couldn't bear to let it end? Or so deep you couldn't understand parts until you read it over again? Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert has both those qualities.

Sam Schechner for The Wall Street Journal: A leader in the burgeoning study of affective forecasting, Mr. Gilbert's new book... is already getting good reviews for its lucid explanations of the latest scientific research.

Jack Covert for 800CEORead: This book is brilliant. ... It's a book that will be talked about by people everywhere. Trust me on that.

Powells.com {Staff Pick Book}: As fascinating and engaging as Malcolm Gladwell's Blink, Stumbling on Happiness is the perfect antidote to those self-help tomes that claim to offer the secret to a fulfilling life... A book full of complex ideas written in an utterly accessible style.

StrandBooks.com: This witty and fascinating book explores the uniquely human ability to imagine the future... a vibrant and accessible book that explains why we seem to know so little about the hearts and minds of the people we are about to become.

Martin Levin for The Globe and Mail: (Gilbert is) an engaging and amiable writer, with a penchant for comedy and cracking wise... but though the delivery may often be antic, the matter is serious.... Reading his engaging, accessible book made me happy. Even if it won't last.

Lisa Zeidner for the Washington Post: Gilbert is a professor by trade, but he's every bit as funny as Larry David. Stumbling on Happiness may be one of the most delightfully written layman's books on an academic topic since Robert M. Sapolsky's Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers... Almost every page of Stumbling on Happiness delivers enjoyable riffs.

James Pressley for Bloomberg News: Gilbert's book has no subtitle, allowing you to invent your own. I'd call it "The Only Truly Useful Book on Psychology I've Ever Read."

Gail Caldwell for the Boston Globe: Picking up a semblance of that torch is Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert, whose delightful premise in the recent bestseller Stumbling on Happiness is that you are probably about as happy as you are going to be, no matter how much money or love or future fantasizing you think you need or have in store. Stumbling on Happiness is a maverick happiness book, neither prescriptive nor -- quel relief! -- even all that encouraging. But because Gilbert clearly possesses the happy gene, this is an optimist's guide with a larky, pessimistic outlook.

Joanne Zerkel for The Star: This book is a glorious read. Gilbert is what this reviewer calls a "conversational" writer. His words literally bounce off the walls of your mind, as you turn the pages. And, because he is such a good writer, you have to turn all the pages. A psychologist, who has won numerous awards for both his research and his thinking, Gilbert gives that research to his readers in a lively, easily understood manner.

Robert Pachter for the Miami Herald: Daniel Gilbert is an insightful, inquisitive and, at times, hilarious writer. But despite the chuckle-inducing passages, he quite sensitively probes the realities we take for granted.

Digby Diehl for Satisfaction Magazine: Filled with thought-provoking research about the human mind and witty comic observations, Gilbert’s book is a delight to read.

Belfast Telegraph: A fascinating and revealing romp through the psyche of homo sapiens... delightfully entertaining and informative.

Charles Israel for The State: Gilbert’s book is a brilliant expose of how we think and how we plan. Along with careful research and trenchant observations, Gilbert entertains with wry and telling humor on every page.

Karla Starr for Wweek.com: Like The Tipping Point or Freakonomics, reading Stumbling on Happiness will make it difficult to see a subject in the same light—but in this case, the subject is you... His surprisingly lively, hilarious style informs without preaching, and Stumbling is a must-read for anyone curious about happiness or the future.

Barnes & Noble (Editorial Review): Daniel Gilbert has spent a lifetime investigating the powers and limits of foresight. In Stumbling on Happiness, he explains why the grass grows greener until you get there and tells us why unhappiness never lasts as long as we think it will. Brilliantly original, yet solidly grounded in science.

Brett Hooton for Hours: Reading Daniel Gilbert's Stumbling on Happiness is like attending a skilful magic show. Complete with optical illusions, mind reading and card tricks, this smart, funny and challenging book engages the reader's sense of wonder and, at its best, causes us to re-evaluate how we see ourselves.

Anna Smyth for The Scotsman: A cerebral, intelligent and extremely entertaining account of our lifetime quest for deep satisfaction... Few books of this nature could navigate their way through some of our densest sociological theory, but Gilbert manages it with ease and humour. He does for psychology what Bill Bryson did for evolution.

The Ottawa Citizen: The Harvard psychology prof offers insights into how to plan for the rest of your life. This makes it essential reading, summer or not. A bonus is that he has a lively prose style.

Brian Ayers for The Tampa Tribune: Best-seller lists have long included self-help psychology books that offer a regimen for happiness based more on marketing than science. But recent sensations such as "Blink" by Malcolm Gladwell and "The Paradox of Choice" by Barry Schwartz have made legitimate research into the mind and behavior accessible and interesting. Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert outdoes them both with a book that shatters long-held beliefs about our ability to calculate what makes us happy... Using insight from psychology, neuroscience and economics, Gilbert expounds upon these issues with extensive research and witty commentary.

Amanda Gefter for New Scientist: Daniel Gilbert's witty, insightful and superbly entertaining trek through the foibles of human imagination will not leave you with the ability to make perfect life decisions, but it will explain why you regret buying that new stereo, why you can never shop for groceries after stuffing yourself at dinner, and why you largely underestimate how emotionally resilient you are.

Bel Mooney for The Times of London Magazine: Gilbertís thesis is that happiness may yet be approached if only people could learn to think ahead, knowing themselves enough to divine which choices might make them happy. With scientific erudition enlivened by acerbic wit, he addresses the search for happiness more tangentially ó using recent discoveries about the ways that the human brain imagines its own future to consider why we get so much wrong, causing ourselves so much dissatisfaction and pain.

Susan Schwartz for the Montreal Gazette: One of the most illuminating books I've ever read about how we think and plan, and absolutely the most amusing.

Chris Anderson for TED Book Club: One of the most brilliant pieces of science writing I've ever come across. Stumbling on Happiness isn't just profound. It's also unbelievably readable and, well, funny. It's truly not fair that someone as smart as Dan also gets to write like a god, but 'tis true. I really urge you to give the book a try. It will change the way you think about yourself.

Lucy Clark for The Sunday Telegraph: A fabulous book about happiness, regret, and the decisions we make about the future (and why we get it wrong so often).

Christopher Hart for The Sunday Times of London: The most gleefully smart, cynical and scientistic among this latest glut of happiness books is Daniel Gilbert’s Stumbling on Happiness.

Robert Scott Stewart for Metapsychology: Daniel Gilbert's wonderfully written, provocative, and insightful Stumbling on Happiness explains in great detail how and why we become such poor "affective forecasters... I loved Stumbling on Happiness. Its pages are absolutely full of fascinating studies regarding the way the human mind works, for better or for worse. It is also wonderfully free of jargon yet Gilbert still manages to argue persuasively with academic rigor. He certainly references a wealth of material from a wide variety of sources, both theoretical and empirical, including much of his previous work in social psychology and affective forecasting. As such, Stumbling on Happiness should appeal to a wide audience ranging from relative novices to experts in the field.

Masha Gutkin for San Francisco Bay Guardian: Stumbling on Happiness offers both accessibility (this is the rare nonfiction, scientific research-based book that can enjoyably be read out loud) and erudition, as Gilbert explores and illuminates our attempts to calculate the future happiness we'll achieve by our actions in the present. His descriptions of the mental mechanisms that make us so terrible at predicting our "emotional futures" are entertaining and often unexpected.

Stephanie Dowrick for Weekend Australian: Social psychologist, Harvard professor, funny and clever writer par excellence, Gilbert is much less concerned with happiness than he is with what we do when we think (or when we think we are thinking) not only about happiness, although that counts, but also and most particularly about later... Gilbert wonderfully confounds popular assumptions about what will give or take away happiness. More originally still, he shows that as bamboozled as we are by our misapprehensions about then, and our misreadings of now, for most of us later remains a foreign place.

Tim Radford for Guardian Unlimited: Gilbert's book is a witty, racy and readable study of expectation, anticipation, memory and perception.

The National Post: Loads of intriguing and illuminating research on the brain and why Shangri- La is never what or where we thought it would be.

Bernard Baskin for The Hamilton Spectator: In a manner both brilliant and witty, Stumbling on Happiness shatters deeply held convictions about a highly complex and many-sided human striving.

Daily Mail (London): Posing serious questions in a highly entertaining way, the author, a Harvard professor, provides us with a surprisingly funny exploration of the way our brains work - and why they so frequently misdirect us.

Audophile: A terrific narrator of his own work, Gilbert revels in sharing his quirky research. He may be an academic, but his writing is witty and accessible, and he sounds like an entertaining acquaintance who's explaining his ideas rather than reading them. This is not a self-help book (how to be happy), but a well-researched explanation of why we think like we do (how we stumble along in our search for happiness). Listeners will come away from this top-notch production both entertained and enlightened.

Jonathan Stein for Mother Jones: Gilbert has a sense of humor and is deeply intelligent, and expects the same qualities from his readers. In all, the book is a thought-provoking and persuasive discussion of why ...the human mind is hardwired to guess wrong, to imagine wrong, to make wildly inaccurate predictions and assumptions.

Good Housekeeping: Gilbert offers a wise and witty commentary on the fallibility of being human.

BlogCritics Magazine: I don't know how else to describe it, other than to say that Stumbling on Happiness blew my mind.