The TV talk-show host offers a second self-help guide, in the spirit of The Courage to Change, this time exploring the elusive quality of happiness. The text consists of interviews with 44 prominent men and women in publishing, medicine, the performing arts, the ministry and the U.S. Congress, among them Harold Kushner, Benjamin Spock, Gloria Steinem, Theodore Issac Rubin. The respondents' definitions of happiness are grouped under such headings as love/work/hope, spirituality, health, etc. Performers Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, for example, believe they have been happily married for 37 years because they are friends. Stressing the blessings of family life, several of the respondents' answers exemplify the need for relationships based on mutual trust and sharing. There are also provocative opinions on unhappiness and its causes. Author tour. (November 24)
Wholey is a former talk-show host and author of The Courage To Change ( LJ 12/84), a narrative of recovery from alcoholism. On the premise that people often achieve success without happiness, he interviewed a number of highly visible people, among them Julia Child, Willard Scott, and Carol Channing, to ``discover what makes people happy and learn their tricks for living.'' The responses are uneven, ranging from simplistic (``there is something quite wonderful about people'') through condescending (``there aren't any working people who can't go on a cruise'') to erroneous (``Maurice Sendak does . . . magnificent drawings which librarians think are terrible''). It's like a year of Sunday supplements rolled into onetoo much surface and little substance.Suzanne Druehl, Little Rock P.L., Ark.