American's are profoundly unhappy. I can say this without doubt. This is evidenced in our commitment to entertainment. This is evidenced in our worship of celebrity. This is evidenced in our addictions to things. And this is evidenced in our reading. How-to's and self-help's line our shelves. From money to marriage to sex, American's are wookin' pa'nub in all the wrong places. Might I suggest a very small piece of fiction written by a very dead person?
Read Manalive by G.K. Chesterton. I know I quote him a lot. I fully confess that I have a non-sexual and trans-historical crush on this man. It's just that I have never met someone I wanted to be like more than him. And with that, I prove my own unhappy and covetous heart. Even when I don't agree with him, I am never bored with him. And in this story you will find something of the Art of Happiness.
A little sample. A quote about he main character, Innocent Smith.
There grew upon Inglewood an almost creepy sense of the real childishness of this creature. For Smith was really, so far as human psychology can be, innocent. He had the sensualities of innocence; he loved the stickiness of gum and he cut white wood greedily as if he were cutting cake. To this man wine was not a doubtful thing to be defended or denounced; it was a quaintly-coloured syrup, such as a child sees in a shop window. He talked dominantly and rushed the social situation; but he was not asserting himself, like a superman in a modern play. He was simply forgetting himself, like a little boy at a party. He had somehow made a giant stride from babyhood to manhood, and missed that crisis in youth when most of us grow old. (p. 14)