Sunday, July 25, 2010

Book Review - Hector and the Search for Happiness by Francois Lelord

Title: Hector and the Search for Happiness
Author: Francois Lelord
Year: 2010
Page: 192
Genre: Fiction - Philosophy

New to me author? Yes
Read this author again? Maybe
Tearjerker? No
Where did it take place? France and around the world
FTC Disclosure: Part of Crazy Book Tours!

Summary (from
Can we learn how to be happy? Hector is a successful young psychiatrist. He s very good at treating patients in real need of his help. But many people he sees have no health problems: they re just deeply dissatisfied with their lives. Hector can t do much for them, and it s beginning to depress him. So when a patient tells him he looks in need of a holiday, Hector decides to set off round the world to find out what makes people everywhere happy (and sad), and whether there is such a thing as the secret of true happiness... Over a million readers worldwide have engaged with psychiatrist François Lelord s modern fable. Narrated with deceptive simplicity, its perceptive observations on happiness offer us the chance to reflect on the contentment we all look for in our own lives. More like Tintin than Freud François Lelord on Hector Intelligently naïve Marie Claire

First Sentence:
Once upon a time there was a young psychiatrist called Hector who was not very satisfied with himself.
Why did I pick this book?
The book was compared to The Little Prince, which I love. And hey, who doesn't want to be happy?

My thoughts:
  • This is a fast read, I finished it within a day
  • It was a bit philosophical, but wasn't too hard to understand. In fact, some of the Lessons that Hector found were common sense. It was nice that he put it into a list - which I'll copy and paste into Quotes below.
  • Can't say I really feel attached to Hector though, and didn't agree with some of his thoughts and actions (won't elaborate or it'd be spoilers)
  • It was kinda fun to guess which country Hector traveled to - he didn't specifically say where he went (apart from China), but it wasn't too hard to figure it out. Which made me wonder why China was the exception?
  • There were also 3 questions asked of Hector - 1) Think about the difference between the life you have and the life you wish you had; 2) Think about the life as it was now and the best period of his life in the past; 3) Think about the difference between what you have and what others have. How would you answer these questions? I have to say there were quite a few happy moments in my life, but I couldn't possibly pick the best period. I am contented where I am now - well, there is room for improvement, but I am grateful with what I do have.
  • I can't say this book really provided me with any new insights, but the lessons quoted below were good reminders!

    1)   Making comparisons can spoil your happiness.
    2)   Happiness often comes when least expected.
    3)   Many people see happiness only in their future.
    4)   Many people think that happiness comes from having more power or more money.
    5)   Sometimes happiness is not knowing the whole story.
    6)   Happiness is a long walk in beautiful, unfamiliar mountains.
    7)   It's a mistake to think that happiness is the goal.
    8)   Happiness is being with the people you love.
    8b) Unhappiness is being separated from the people you love.
    9)   Happiness is knowing your family lacks for nothing.
    10) Happiness is doing a job you love.
    11) Happiness is having a home and a garden of your own.
    12) It's harder to be happy in a country run by bad people.
    13) Happiness is feeling useful to others.
    14) Happiness is to be loved for exactly who you are.
    Observation: People are kinder to a child who smiles (very important).
    15) Happiness comes when you feel truly alive.
    16) Happiness is knowing how to celebrate
    17) Happiness is caring about the happiness of those you love.
    18) Happiness is not attaching too much importance to what other people think.
    19) The sun and the sea make everybody happy.
    20) Happiness is a certain way of seeing things.
    21) Rivalry poisons happiness.
    22) Women care more than men about making others happy.
    23) Happiness means making sure that those around you are happy?

    Rating: 3.5 Stars

    Have you read this book? 
    If you have, I would love to hear what you think! I'll link your review here if you wish!

    100+ Reading

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