The Gratitude Diaries: How a Year Looking on the Bright Side Transformed My Life

Janice Kaplan. Dutton, $26.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-525-95506-1
Kaplan (I’ll See You Again) shares her journey of embracing a lifestyle of gratitude for one year, and the practice’s remarkable effects on her physical and mental well-being. Over the course of the year, Kaplan focuses on being thankful for her husband, children, sister, career, and financial status. She keeps a “gratitude journal,” adheres to a “gratitude diet,” and begins reframing negative situations to accentuate the positive. Kaplan consults a number of experts, asking a social psychologist about privilege and entitlement, a “gratitude guru” about ambition and achievement, and a medical doctor about the stress-relief and immune system regulation components of gratitude. Nonprofit maven Henry Timms discusses “Giving Tuesday,” his antithesis to Black Friday, and Kaplan’s friend Jackie Hance remarks on crawling out of a bleak depression after the deaths of her three young daughters in an automobile accident. Other topics include teaching kindness and empathy to children as a means of cultivating gratitude, the value of quality experiences over material possessions, and appreciation as a motivating tool in the workplace. Kaplan’s study is insightful and loaded with compelling research and solid techniques for positive thinking, and her own example provides the most convincing testament to her ideas. Agent: Alice Martell, Martell Agency. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 05/04/2015
Release date: 08/18/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-1-101-98414-7
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-986-93083-7-3
Hardcover - 399 pages - 978-1-4104-8595-3
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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