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Non-Fiction Book Club to discuss “Happy City” by Charles Montgomery – Thursday, September 8 – 6:30PM (LOWELL READS 2016 Kick-off Event)

Our group is free and open to the public. Copies of books up for discussion are available for patrons to borrow on a first come first serve basis at the 1st Floor Information Desk. You may also reserve a copy by calling the Community Planning Department at 978-674-1542. For more information about this group please contact Sean Thibodeau, Coordinator of Community Planning, at or 978-674-1542.


From Book Jacket:

“After decades of unchecked sprawl, more people are moving back to the city. Dense urban living has been prescribed as a panacea for the environmental and resourse crises of our time. But is it better or worse for our happiness? Are subways, sidewalks and condo towers an improvement on the car dependence of the suburbs?
The award-winning journalist Charles Montgomery finds answers to such questions at the intersection between urban design and the science of happiness. On his exhilarating journey through some of the world’s most dynamic cities, he meets the visionary mayor who introduced a “sexy” lipstick-red bus to ease status anxiety in Bogota; the architect who brought the lessons f medieval Tuscan hill towns to modern-day New York City; the activist who turned Paris’s urban freeways into beaches; and an army of American suburbanites who have hacked the design of their own streets and neighborhoods.
Rich with new insights from psychology, neuroscience, and Montgomery’s own urban experiments, Happy City is as surprising as it is hopeful: by retrofitting cities and our own lives for happiness, we can tackle the urgent challenges of our age. The happy city can save the world—and we can all help build it.”



photo by Elizabeth Borne

About the Author:

Charles Montgomery is an award winning journalist and urban engagement specialist, and the author of The Shark God, which won the 2005 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction under its Canadian title, The Last Heathen. Find him at and