Grateful: The Transformative Power of Giving Thanks

Diana Butler Bass. HarperOne, $26.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-06-265947-7
Bestselling author and scholar Bass (Grounded) takes two seemingly contradictory recent surveys of the mood of Americans as the jumping off point for her excellent call for a more conscientious practice of gratitude. Eight out of 10 Americans feel “a strong sense of gratitude or thankfulness,” according to the Pew Research Center. At the same time, the Public Religion Research Institute finds that Americans are “more anxious, less optimistic, and more distrustful” than ever before. Bass asks how both could be true. Her answer focuses on what she calls the “gratitude gap,” and she writes that most people feel grateful when “someone does us a favor or when greeted by a beautiful surprise” but also feel a “sense of powerlessness from thinking we will never have enough.” To close this gap, Bass asks readers to consider how they express gratitude. She believes that most people have an “imbalance of gratitude” and suggests ways of rethinking how to give thanks in order to find “communal gratefulness.” For example, someone who feels gratitude while listening to the national anthem should also think about how to contribute to public service, and someone who feels obligated to send thank-you notes might need to consider actions that would express deeper thanks. Bass’s persuasive book will please her longtime fans as well as readers interested in living a more productively thankful life. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/12/2018
Release date: 04/03/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-5384-9844-6
Ebook - 256 pages - 978-0-06-265951-4
Compact Disc - 978-1-5384-9846-0
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-280142-5
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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