Thursday, November 24, 2011

Book Review: Happier Than A Billionaire...

I don't think I have ever done a book review before so if this comes across as just me telling you about a good book I read, I won't be offended in the least.  I rarely read books that are new on the market, mostly because I am cheap and simply buy anything that looks slightly interesting at a garage sale, knowing fully that I won't even get around to reading it for at least a year.  On occasion though, if someone makes a suggestion of a book that is humorous or is a topic I am interested in, I'll hit Amazon and a few days later I'll have something else to read a few pages at a time in the comfort of the bathroom.  Yes ladies, this is the real reason why men spend a while in the restroom; we are reading.

So I have mentioned a popular website here before, Jeff Kay's West Virginia Surf Report.  A prolific blogger and a self-published writer himself, Jeff mentioned a book in one of his posts that really caught my attention.  He was reading a book by Nadine Hays Pisani, a chiropractor who along with her husband Rob, sold all of their stuff, and simply moved to Costa Rica to start a new life.  The book, Happier Than A Billionaire - Quitting My Job, Moving To Costa Rica, & Living The Zero Hour Work Week (yea, that is an extra long title) takes the reader on the journey from how the decision to make this move was made, the build up to the move and then the first full year living in Costa Rica.

On the very first page of the book, Ms. Pisani reports that one of her patients farted on her.  She describes the incident as "brutal", causing her "eyes to burn as if sprayed with extra-strength bear mace."  How could you not immediately want to to read more about these people?

The descriptions of her husband, Rob, a real New Yorker who it seems would be the perfect sitcom husband, reveal that he is very cool under pressure and always putting forth a positive attitude, even if he makes an occasional mistake  like hiding all the important family documents and a handgun next to the over pressured water pipes under the kitchen sink.

Through the entire process of deciding to move, selling everything and getting settled in a new country, you can actually feel this couple transitioning from totally stressed out, Americanized personalities into scooter riding, laid back, ex-pats easing into a slower, healthier way of life.

I love the style of the book.  It is written chronologically from stressed out to happy, but each of the chapters is a short story that could easily stand on its own.  The characters that make up the trip - a realtor, a dog lady, a Jehovah with several names, and some fancy Swiss bankers with gassy water are all people you'd like to see in person, but perhaps from a distance.  It is just as well that Ms. Pisani has done the hard work for us.

In the end, for me personally, this book pointed to one of the reasons Eva and I made the big move from Silver Creek to the outskirts of Medina County.  Sometimes you just need a change of pace, and very often, it is a tough decision to make.  But in the end, hopefully you are happier.  While we didn't make nearly the leap that Rob and Nadine did, I know we are much happier, and as you read, you'll see that they are too.

Need more info?  Check out Nadine's blog at


Anonymous said...

Just bought the book on my Nook. It looks good - can't wait to get started on it.

Dave said...

I hope you enjoy it. I need a Nook, too!

Unknown said...

I bought a Kindle Fire last week, and hers was the FIRST book I bought. I'm ready to uproot and move!