This is currently my favorite happiness book. In less than 100 pages, it offers a reader all they ever wanted to know about the subject of happiness- and then some. While some readers might be turned off by its brevity, I wasn't bothered, and in fact, appreciated it! As the insert of the book points out, "What good is a big book full of useful information if nobody ever finishes it?" Here's some specifics:
Chapter one poses the question, "Why are some people so much happier than others?" We've all met those individuals now and then that always seem to be happy all the time. What's their secret? The book will answer this by the end.
Chapter two will show you that happiness is really our ultimate pursuit and the main reason we want a lot of the things we do. For example, would you want a million dollars if you knew it couldn't bring you any happiness? Of course not, its really the happiness the money could bring you that you really want, not the money itself.
Chapter three goes into how happiness researchers go about studying happiness. Yes, its a science, and yes, it can be legitimately studied. This chapter tells you how they do it.
Chapter four is all about things that have very little to do with making a person happy. The book points out many things people waste their time on that won't ever result in long-term happiness. It also explains the process of adaptation that keeps material things from bringing people long-term happiness. The book provides a good example- was there ever a song you were just crazy about- but got sick of hearing after you played it for awhile? This same process occurs with posessions- so don't waste too much of your time trying to find happiness by acquiring more "things."
Chapter five is the opposite of Chapter four- it tells you what things have a LOT to do with determining your happiness. Here you learn all about the role of genetics, circumstances, and intentional activity.
Chapter six is probably why most people will buy the book and shows you how to find long-term happiness. It needs to be made clear here that the suggestions, as well as the step-by-step plan (which is Chapter seven), have been proven to work. The author puts a pretty big bite behind this claim by citing not one, but several controlled trials that have been published in the positive psychology literature proving that his suggestions will work for you. Without going through every detail of the plan, let me just say that it is simple to do and you can begin right after reading the book.
So, if you're looking to live a happier life, want to start concentrating your life's efforts on what will really make you happy in the long run, OR if you simply want to learn more about the science of happiness- get it. If reading this book has whetted your appetite to learn more about the vast academic and technical aspects of happiness, I suggest checking out The Science of Subjective Well-Being. Happy trails!