|Picture edited by Lauren in PicMonkey|
Author: Janice Kaplan
Review by Lauren
Source: copy from Book Expo America; all opinions are my own
Official Summary: On New Year’s Eve, journalist and former Parade editor in chief Janice Kaplan makes a promise to be grateful and look on the bright side of whatever happens. She realizes that how she feels over the next months will have less to do with the events that occur than her own attitude and perspective. Getting advice at every turn from psychologists, academics, doctors, and philosophers she brings readers on a smart and witty journey to discover the value of appreciating what you have.
Relying on both amusing personal experiences and extensive research, Kaplan explores how gratitude can transform every aspect of life including marriage and friendship, money and ambition, and health and fitness. She learns how appreciating your spouse changes the neurons of your brain and why saying thanks helps CEOs succeed. Through extensive interviews with experts and lively conversations with real people including celebrities like Matt Damon, Daniel Craig, and Jerry Seinfeld, Kaplan discovers the role of gratitude in everything from our sense of fulfillment to our children’s happiness.
Review: When I went to Book Expo America at the end of May, I was on a non-fiction kick, particularly in terms of happiness and bettering yourself. I did not know Janice Kaplan beforehand, but I came across her signing and decided to get in line. That's definitely one thing I liked about BEA - you can find some interesting books and authors just by walking around. At any rate, I got my ARC signed and went on my way. I finally got a chance to read this last month and while I didn't love the book, I did enjoy it for the most part and found a lot of interesting information.
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While I liked learning about gratitude, I would have liked a bit more of the memoir aspect in this one. Plus, when Kaplan did talk about her life, though more so about her past, I didn't feel like I could really relate. For someone who is in graduate school and who doesn't yet have a full time job, I definitely don't make a lot of money. Despite where I am now, I don't come from a family who ever made a lot of money, so sometimes I felt a bit annoyed by Kaplan's talk of her success and jobs. I understand that everyone has their own lot in life, and I don't begrudge Kaplan anything she has, but at the same time, it just got a bit annoying throughout the book. I suppose I just wanted something easier to relate too; regardless, I would recommend this book if you are curious about some interesting research concerning gratitude.
2015 Gratitude Journal from Etsy Shop I Love It All
You can get a journal for months September - December 2015 for $15, or for $45, you can get a journal for the whole of 2016 (Jan-Dec 2016). There are a couple more options too, so be sure to check it out!
If you are going to gift yourself or even someone else with The Gratitude Diaries, this wonderful journal would be a fantastic gift to go along with it. I'd suggest getting the 2016 journal so you could give it to someone this holiday season and they can have their own Year of Living Gratefully.