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Book Review: The Book Of Awesome

I’ve been getting a lot of books in the mail, usually from authors who would like for me to renew their upcoming masterpieces. Sometimes I love the book and I try to review the hell out of it. Sometimes I love them less and I don’t review the books publicly.

Well, I loved The Book of Awesome, so here we go.

1000 Awesome Things

Author Neil Pasricha started the blog, 1000 Awesome Things. Long story short, it became very popular. Popular (deservedly so!) enough to win awards, get a ton of followers, and result in the very book we’re discussing. Read more on the blog by clicking those tempting links above up yonder.

The Book of Awesome

I’ve talked a lot about any small victory being worth celebrating. That’s what I saw in Pasricha’s book: it’s a litany of the small pleasures in life that make it so good at times, provided we can slow down enough to acknowledge them.

Life is hard and lots of people get cynical and bitter. Pasricha’s lists of small pleasures are not sentimental, sappy little quotes that he could have lifted out of Pollyanna. He’s an optimist, don’t get me wrong. I consider myself an optimist, but I bet we’ve all known someone who has managed to overdo something like optimism to the point where it starts to rankle.

But rather than trotting out sickeningly sweet experiences and ditties like”the delicious tickle of a kittie’s whisker on your chin,” Pasricha provides images that we can all identify with, or have been able to at some time.

  • The boss going out of town
  • Finding extra money
  • The cool side of your pillow in the middle of the night
  • Snow days

And so on. Simple pleasures. Good stuff, but nothing that will make you gag and roll your eyes and make your insulin spike.

I really, really think this is a valuable book. It is far to easy for me to focus on the negative things in my life. But there is always something positive going on, and every time I pick up The Book of Awesome for a reminder, I can’t help but start making up my own mental list of awesome things.

I’d recommend spending some time over on Neil’s blog. If you like what you’ll see, you’ll definitely love the book.

While you’re here, see if you can add something to the list. I’m going to say: waking up early and realizing it’s Saturday and I have the day off.


PS: If you are an author and want to send me a book, let me know. Or if you want me to review a book just because, and you’d like to send me a copy (this happens more than you’d think), also–let me know. Or, if you just want to request a review of something because you know of a book that deserves my attention, send me an email.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • TravelinOma April 15, 2010, 12:26 am

    Sleeping with the window open and hearing rain in the middle of the night.

  • Larissa April 15, 2010, 1:16 am

    coffee and good conversation

    • bruin July 6, 2011, 6:14 pm

      C’mon…a little more originality…that’s as excitng as stating , ” What I look for in a relationship is to have fun.” so cliche, so bland, so boring. Mind you, your profile picture also typifies that… very “plain Jane”…

  • Dean Dwyer April 15, 2010, 4:21 am

    Neil has an interesting story (overcame a lot of adversity…ie…a close friend took his own life) that makes The book of Awesome even more awesome.

    I actually did an interview with him last week to dig into how all this came to be.

    I will attach the links for those who want to learn more about the man behind the awesomeness.


  • Joy Tanksley April 15, 2010, 5:47 am

    1000 Awesome things has become a favorite blog of mine just in the last few weeks. I’m looking forward to checking out the book at some point – glad to hear it’s AWESOME – and I have a feeling it’s going to be a great book to give for gifts.

    My awesome thing? Tugging my dog’s leash just in the knick of time to keep her from eating a large mound of goose poop this morning. Gross, but awesome.

  • Heather April 15, 2010, 6:00 am

    I dog Joy’s awesome up there about the goose poop! GOOD CALL, JOY! Boss out of town has got to be my favorite though. . . . PARTY OVER HERE!

    • Joy Tanksley April 15, 2010, 7:17 am

      Thanks, Heather! Oooh… boss out of town is a good one for sure. 🙂

  • Ironshef April 15, 2010, 6:03 am

    Thanks for the review, Josh and for turning me onto Neil’s blog. 1000 Awesome Things may need to become 1001 Awesome Things so that it can properly acknowledge itself as being totally awesome. Then again, that sort of paradox might cause a tear in the space-time continuum and from what I hear 4 out of 5 quantum physicists agree that space-time continuum tears are a leading cause of gingivitis. And, gingivitis = bad mojo.

    My spirit is lifted constantly by your blog, Josh, and those blogs to which you’ve introduced me. That = awesome. Thanks.

    P.S. – It appears that your links to Neil’s blog are redirecting to a nonexistent page within your site vs. his blog. Simple change in the link reference should tidy that up.

  • Christopher Kabamba April 15, 2010, 6:04 am

    Rain and thunderstorm… deep in the night.

  • Laura Cococcia April 15, 2010, 6:31 am

    Love it! And I love the ones you picked out too. I had a chance to read it before and just put up an interview with Neil. You two have a lot in common (with your books and your awesomeness).

  • Joshua Black | The Underdog Millionaire April 15, 2010, 9:07 am

    I’m going to go with my favorite- A walk with my dog in the woods. He doesn’t care about my day and he has nothing in life to stress about. We just walk and I get a lot of head-clearing done.

    Another well-written review Josh.

    I’ve seen a lot of those “things to be happy about” books out there, but this is a really good spin on that concept. The blog is a perfect marketing tool for the author as well. He has at least 1,000 posts worth of instant content to work with that way… why didn’t I think of that? Shoot.

    -Joshua Black
    The Underdog Millionaire

  • Boris Bachmann April 15, 2010, 12:10 pm

    “The Pillow Book” by Sei Shounagon is a book long the lines of lists – lists of “beautiful things”, “words that rock”, “despicable people”, you name it. Some of them are still “current” 1000 years later.

    I’ll try to check this one out – looks fun.

  • ami April 15, 2010, 1:56 pm

    I love that site. Neil has a talent for walking the line between genuine appreciation and pollyanna-ish tripe.

    Mine for today:
    -excavating $5 from the pocket of old jeans
    -hearing the cat purr when I talk to him
    -silly, ridiculous internet videos

  • Professor Beej April 21, 2010, 10:22 pm

    My wife just adores 1000 Awesome Things. I don’t subscribe, but she does. And quite often one of their emails comes through while we’re just sitting around watching TV, so we open it up together and read it. They generally light our faces up and make us happy. So I guess this could be one of my 1000 Awesome Things: when an email comes through that is so full of awesomeness that it makes you and your wife smile and “aww” or “oh yeah, that /is/ awesome!” at the same thing.


  • WnL July 16, 2010, 5:17 am

    I got introduced to the blog a few months ago. Love the blog. Can’t wait to pick up a copy of the book.

    Here are a few of my “awesome” things:

    When my dogs compete for my attention, and for a place for their heads on my lap. Absolutely awesome 🙂

    My husband waking me up with morning tea 🙂

    Sitting in the sit-out of our bed-room, with the dogs around, having morning tea… enjoying the greenery around us on a rainy morning. Awesome!

    • Gabrielle February 1, 2011, 9:06 am

      sweet. what types of dogs do you have?

  • Gabrielle February 1, 2011, 9:05 am

    Spending time with someone you love, and knowing they love you back(I’m talking about my bestest friends in the world here!!), also taking time to visit with someone elderly(who you know might pass any day) and just talking, sitting, or staring(mental telepathy powers! scream, “I’m Psycho” if you have them!) with each other. Your day brightens up after a while of that. Then you leave.

  • moo May 3, 2011, 5:59 pm

    i read this book cover 2 cover. sumthing you can add is pay way less for bills and things you really need!!! it is officaly AWSOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • moo May 3, 2011, 6:01 pm

    AWSOME 🙂 🙂 🙂 :):) 😉 😉 ;)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Wendy May 25, 2011, 8:22 am

    1000 awesome things is a great blog and book! It puts a smile on your face regardless of what is going on in your life at that moment—Awesome-ness! 😀

  • vijay May 30, 2011, 8:48 am

    Finding matching pair of socks at rush hour

  • Lyndsie August 29, 2011, 11:32 pm