Grateful The transformative power of giving thanks

Diana Butler Bass, 1959-

Book - 2018

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2nd Floor 241.4/Bass Checked In
New York, NY : HarperCollins Publishers [2018]
Main Author
Diana Butler Bass, 1959- (author)
First edition
Physical Description
xxxi, 224 pages ; 22 cm
Includes bibliographical references and index.
  • Prologue: Confession: No Thanks
  • Part I. Me: Emotion-Gifts and Thanks
  • 1. Feeling Grateful
  • 2. Heart Matters
  • Part II. Me: Ethics-Awareness and Practice
  • 3. Habits of Gratitude
  • 4. Intentional Practice
  • Part III. We: Emotion-Joy and Celebration
  • 5. Grateful Together
  • 6. Thankful and Festive
  • Part IV. We: Ethics-Community and Politics
  • 7. The Grateful Society
  • 8. Circles of Gratitude
  • Epilogue: A Call to the Grateful Way
  • Thank You
  • A Thanksgiving Prayer
  • Notes
  • Index
Review by Booklist Review

Author Bass self-deprecatingly calls herself a gratitude klutz. She is too modest, for readers will note that that assertion has not stopped her from writing an insightful, illuminating, and thought-provoking book on the subject, one that is simultaneously a meditation and celebration. Bass divides her material into four parts. Two examine the me, the personal, and two the we, the communal. In all four she discusses traditional gratitude as an exercise in reciprocity expressed in the hierarchical structure the quid pro quo, that is, the tit for tat ultimately arguing, instead, for a pro-bono approach where gratitude is freely given with no expectation of receiving something in return. If the book has a fault it may be a tendency to discursiveness and prolixity. But gratitude is a large subject that invites expansive attention, and that is all to the good. And accordingly many readers will be grateful for the book's insights, opportunities for consideration, and invitation to action. Live, as Bass concludes, in gratitude.--Cart, Michael Copyright 2018 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

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.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review

Does gratitude simply mean thank you notes and politeness? Bass (Grounded) delves into the spiritual aspects of gratitude and the life and world-changing effects of practicing gratefulness in personal and civic spaces. Her aim is to illustrate that "gratitude is not a transaction of debt and duty. Rather, gratitude is a spiritual awareness and a social structure of gift and response." By weaving a picture of gratitude as both a "me" and a "we" response composed of ethics as well as emotions, the author successfully creates a four-fold picture of thanks as a way of life. Although writing as a Christian, Bass includes other religious and nonreligious viewpoints, asserting that even politics can be transformed by changing from a quid pro quo system to one that is pro bono, based on gifting and gratitude rather than payment and debts. Personal anecdotes and spiritual insights enrich this portrait of gratitude as a goal and way of life. VERDICT Will appeal to the spiritually minded seeking an encouraging and challenging read. Strongly recommended for libraries of all types.-Ray Arnett, Anderson, SC © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.