Eric Weiner's The Geography of Bliss is worth reading. Weiner visits The Netherlands, Switzerland, Bhutan, Qatar, Iceland, Moldova, Thailand, Great Britain, India and a few places in the U.S. He is able to reflect on the happiness or unhappiness of the people he meets and muses over the links between wealth, happiness, culture, institutions, frienship, you name it. He proves that weighty themes can be addressed via clear and appealing prose. The book ends much too quickly and one wishes that Weiner could have kept on traveling, experiencing and writing about it.
For those who want more, Sue Halpern takes us through more of this stuff in the NY Review of Books.