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LIST OF BOOKS ON HAPPINESS RELATED SUBJECTS
(Only a representative selection listed)

HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE: BARRY NEIL KAUFMAN: FAWCETT COLUMBINE, NEW YORK PUBLISHED BY BALLANTINE BOOKS. (FIRST EDITION 1991)

The thesis of the book is that happiness is a choice. We are born happy and become unhappy only by choice. Similarly, we may choose to be happy. We must make happiness our priority. Happiness also depends to a large extent how we see things.

ARE YOU HAPPY? DENNIS WHOLEY: HOUGHTON MIFFIN COMPANY, BOSTON (1986)

The book expresses the views of prominent contemporary persons on various happiness related subjects. Since there are many voices it is not focused and at the end the reader does not have clear-cut guiding points.

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HAPPINESS: MICHAEL ARGYLE: METHUEN & CO. LTD. LONDONAND NEW YORK (1987)

This book discusses, and gives statistics and tables about, various factors having a bearing on happiness like social relationships, work and unemployment, leisure, money, class and culture, personality, joy, satisfaction with life, age and sex, health. In the last Chapter it discusses how, in the light of all these facts, enhancement in happiness could be effected.

YOUR ROAD MAP TO LIFELONG HAPPINESS A Guide to the Life You Want: Ken Keyes, Jr.: Love Line Books Coos Bay, Oregon (1995)

The basic premise of this book is-- humans have a three-part brain consisting of a reptilian base with mammalian and human brains piled on top. After integrating for the last 250 million years, the reptilian and mammalian parts of our brain work well together. These two brains can, therefore, be lumped together and called “old brain”. This is also known as unconscious or subconscious brain. Our uniquely human brain is only about 40 thousand years old. The old brain produces feelings, the new brain specializes in thinking. Unfortunately, the new brain is not wired into the old brain with the monitoring, feedback, and control circuits we need. This can create enormous problems in our everyday lives. For example, the rage of a severely abused four-year-old toward its mother or father can be bottled up in the unconscious old brain. When triggered (may be by a superficial similarity between the past and the present), this repressed time bomb can be projected 30 years later onto one’s spouse. The old brain can by-pass the thinking brain’s control systems and project a verbally violent or even murderous energy onto an innocent person! And we will never be able to understand why we did it! This lack of coordination makes our lives vulnerable to “quirks” (a life-damaging illusion produced by our unconscious mind) that harm our relationships, upset our marriages, and create horrors from family murders to international wars.

HOW WE CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY: RICK FOSTER & GREG HICKS: G.P. PUTNAM’S SONS, NEW YORK (1999)

This book tries to find out the secret of happiness through intensive interviews with persons who consider themselves happy or found out happiness. What distinguishes these people are nine choices they make throughout their lives—Intention, Accountability, Identification, Centrality, Recasting, Options, Appreciation, Giving, and Truthfulness. Each Chapter deals with one of these choices.

HAPPY PEOPLE: What Happiness is, Who has it, and Why: JONATHAN L. FREEDMAN: HARCOURT BRACE JOVANOVICH, NEW YORK AND LONDON (1978)

This book discusses, what it calls, the ten pillars of happiness—Friends and social life, Job or primary activity, Being in love, Recognition, success, Sex life, Personal growth, Finances, House or apartment, Body and attractiveness, and Health. The above is the order in which these things are important for a single man, for single woman, married man, and married woman, the order of the importance of above may vary.

HAPPINESS IS AN INSIDE JOB: JOHN POWELL, S.J.: THOMAS MORE, A DIVISION OF TABOR PUBLISHING, ALLEN, TEXAS (1989)

The book starts with the premise or conclusion that happiness is a natural condition. Happiness is within the reach of everyone and happiness is also a by-product. For happiness we need ten practices—We must accept ourselves as we are; We must accept full responsibility for our lives; We must try to fulfill our needs for relaxation, exercise, and nourishment; We must make our lives an act of love; We must stretch by stepping out of our comfort zones; We must learn to be “goodfinders”; We must seek growth, not perfection; We must learn to communicate effectively; We must learn to enjoy the good things of life; We must make prayer a part of our daily lives.

HOW TO FIND HAPPINESS AND KEEP IT: ASHLEY MONTAGU: DOUBLEDAY, DORAN AND COMPANY, INC. NEW YORK (1942)

For happiness one should be able to see oneself, know one’s own mind, think for oneself, escape prejudice, admit ignorance, weigh evidence, resist appeals, accept new ideas, relate thought to action, keep temper under control, understand people, help people, respect human rights, see the spiritual values.

WHEN AM I GOING TO BE HAPPY? : HOW TO BREAK THE EMOTIONAL BAD HABITS THAT MAKE YOU MISERABLE: PENELOPE RUSSIANOFF, Ph.D.: BANTAM BOOKS, TORONTO, NEW YORK, LONDON, SYDNEY, AUCKLAND (1988)

The cause of our unhappiness is emotional bad habits. These are like physical bad habits, an ingrained, reflexive response that we make without even thinking. Bad feelings, negative or pessimistic emotions, make us unhappy and drive out positive and optimistic emotions. We should shed social cliché’s and stereotyped social expectations, believe in our capacity to change, recognize our emotional bad habits, don’t fear rejection or rejecting but learn how to handle them. Talk tenderly to yourself. Understand that your perception is not necessarily my perception and, therefore, reconcile. Avoid guilt feeling. Assert yourself. Don’t be available for what others expect from you. Reject inferiority complex, and depression. Avoid anger and anxiety, fears and phobias.

HAPPINESS THE TM PROGRAM PSYCHIATRY AND ENLIGHTEMENT: HAROLD H. BLOOMFIELD, M.D. ROBERT B. KORY: DAWN PRESS/SIMON AND SCHUSTER, NEW YORK (1976)

This book discusses the items mentioned in the title and sub-title. The main thrust of the book is how TM can give us happiness. This discusses problems like stress, etc. and how TM can relieve man of them and what are the limitations of psychoanalysis and other traditional methods. This is a good book about TM.

THE POWER OF OPTIMISM: ALAN LOY McGINNIS: HARPER & ROW PUBLISHERS, SAN FRANCISCO (1990)

Twelve characteristics of tough-minded optimists:

Optimists are seldom surprised by trouble; Optimists look for partial solutions; Optimists believe they have control over their future; Optimists allow for regular renewal; Optimists interrupt their negative trains of thought; Optimists heighten their powers of appreciation; Optimists use their imaginations to rehearse success; Optimists are cheerful even when they can’t be happy; Optimists believe they have an almost unlimited capacity for stretching; Optimists build lots of love into their lives; Optimists like to swap good news; Optimists accept what cannot be changed.

PATHWAYS TO PLEASURES THE CONSCIOUSNESS AND CHEMISTRY OF OPTIMAL LIVING: HARVEY MILKMAN AND STANLEY SUNDERWIRTH: LEXINGTON BOOKS AN IMPRINT OF MACMILLAN, INC. NEW YORK (1993)

The book presents a blueprint for fulfillment through mental preparation, skill development, and implementation. In mental preparation it discusses nurturing the healthy child, and the chemical brain; in skill development it discusses using your inner resources, finding the balance, orchestrating fitness, and eating as a healthy habit; in implementation it celebrates life. This is a scholarly book.

HOW TO ENJOY YOUR LIFE IN SPITE OF IT ALL: KEN KEYES, JR. LOVE LINE BOOKS, OREGON (1980)

The basic argument of the book is that addictions (an addiction is an emotion-backed demand or desire for something you tell yourself you must have to be happy) are the cause of unhappiness while preferences (a preference is a desire that does not make you upset or unhappy if it is not satisfied) make us happy. The book prescribes the twelve pathways to happiness—

· FREEING MYSELF: You are your own jailer; Breaking through illusions; Your life is your teacher.
· BEING HERE NOW: You’re rich but don’t know it; You create your world; You’re blaming an innocent person.
· INTERACTING WITH OTHERS: No more phony front; Don’t buy in; Easy does it.
· DISCOVERING MY CONSCIOUS-AWARENESS: Quieting the mind; Turning on your wisdom; Our journey of awakening.

This is easy to read book but not very convincing.

FINDING JOY 101 WAYS TO FREE YOUR SPIRIT AND DANCE WITH LIFE: CHARLOTTE DAVIS KASL, PH. D.: HARPER COLLINS (1994)

As the name suggests the book gives 101 (actually, 103, despite the sub-title) ways to enjoy life. These are sort and practical ways, and easy to read and understand. These are arranged under various broad headings:

Discovering the power of joy; Loving yourself, no matter what; Tapping the power of your mind; Finding balance in a crazy world; Marvel at your amazing body; Reaching out, breaking the rules Tips for making life easier; When you’re sinking, grab a lifeline; Loving your body in spite of it all; Loving children, discovering ourselves; More years, more wisdom; Dancing with life; Joy to the world.

BETTER LIVING IN PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS FROM PLATO TO PROZAC: MARK KINGWELL: VIKING, PUBLISHED BY THE PENGUIN GROUP (1998)

This is the latest and definitive book on Happiness. This is a scholarly, research-material book on happiness in which the writer traces the history of human endeavor, and his personal one, to understand and find happiness. Though erudite yet written in simple terms, the book is still difficult to read by common readers. It is, however, a must read for all those interested in the subject.

THE PURSUIT OF PLEASURE: LIONEL TIGER: LITTLE, BROWN AND COMPANY (1992)

This book deals with pleasures rather than Happiness as such. This book examines various kinds of pleasures, what people think pleasure is, who may have it, who controls it, who celebrates it. There is a fierce endemic contest in many communities about who gets pleasure, which pleasure, when, with whom, and with what cost or tax. It is hardly ever a casual matter. “Thou shalt not” looms larger than “Please enjoy”. In school and colleges enjoyment of sex, food, even literature, music, etc. is hardly taught. In economic sphere there is little attention paid to the economics of the domestic, personal, affectionate, and aesthetic character of private lives. Societies, religious readers, Governments, etc. strive hard to banish or limit enjoyment. Powerful people enjoy it when they are able to define and restrict the pleasure of others. There is much questionable about the hard work ethics when we see that in animal kingdom the survival strategy is rather laziness. It is probably time to begin to characterize communities not only or not even by how they work but by how they play. Not by efficiency but by enjoyment. Not by treasure but by pleasure. Not only by the warmth of clothes but by the intriguing way they drape. Not only by the number of dining tables sold but by what is said and felt around them.

[Also read, various religious and literary texts, Internet resources on happiness, etc.]

 

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