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Thanks A Thousand: A Gratitude Journey (TED…

Thanks A Thousand: A Gratitude Journey (TED Books)

by A. J. Jacobs

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Books by [[A.J. Jacobs]] are fun to read, and this book was no exception. In this book, Jacobs thanks a thousand people who are responsible for his morning cup of coffee. I'm glad he chose coffee because that is a subject to which I can well relate as I am a "coffee snob". I never stopped to realize the number of people who are responsible for the coffee I drink at least every morning, but also the topic of gratitude has been on my mind a lot recently as I worry about the political situation within my country and worry about people who seem to be completely devoid of gratitude. Hence this little book was very welcome in my reading list this month.

At the end of this book is a list of the people whom the author thanks personally. I feel the most debt of gratitude to the farmers who actually raise the plants producing coffee beans, harvest them and send them to market. I also feel a much gratitude to people within organizations who work for Fair trade practices and sustainable environmental practices. I think it's good to not take what we have for granted, and this book is but a small example of a way to do that. ( )
1 vote SqueakyChu | Mar 31, 2019 |
I've read several of Jacobs'book and so had been looking for this one. The concept and pitch sounded in line with a lot of some of the sentiment you might see going around: being grateful and expressing gratitude to appreciate every part of what lets you get through your day. I understood/read that Jacobs thanks the barista who gives him his coffee and as someone who had once worked in customer service (although not in food/drink service), this sounded appealing.

Yeah...I understood what the author was getting at but felt this was perhaps a little much in the end. I'm not sure if I really needed to think about the author going through the journey to trace the origins of his coffee. The journey he made was interesting, but only one who basically has the time and resources to make such a trip. Is it really gratitude? Or was it really about this talk and book?

I'm not quite sure I really bought the premise of the book, although I do understood where he was coming from and why. I think this is definitely a book for certain people, but not everyone.

Library borrow and think I might stick with that method for the author's future books. ( )
  acciolibros | Jan 18, 2019 |
A.J. Jacobs describes himself as "more Larry David than Tom Hanks" and he wanted to find a way to be less annoyed and more grateful, leading to the idea of this participatory memoir. It's an expanded version of his TED talk which readers might have seen. I too find I am annoyed a lot of the time and once I am annoyed, it's harder and harder to stop being annoyed by even the smallest of things, to just be happy with life. So I thought that following Jacobs on his "Gratitude Journey" to thank all the people who make his morning coffee, a necessity for so many people, possible would make Thanks a Thousand the perfect book to ring in my new year of reading.

It is easy to be annoyed or angry over something. It is much harder to be grateful. And it might be hardest of all to be grateful for things we take for granted. It is this that drives Jacobs' interest in his quest. He wants to thank everyone for their contributions, from the big and obvious to the small and seemingly insignificant as he traces the origin of his coffee and all the things that allow it to journey from the coffee bean farmers to his own mouth. Jacobs manages to connect a whole host of people who we might not otherwise consider here, highlighting the absolute interconnectedness of all the businesses and people on the planet. In fact, he went so far down the rabbit hole looking into all the industries involved in a simple cup of coffee (he makes no mention of adding milk or sugar but that would just expand the scope exponentially I imagine) that he has to consciously restrict himself to thanking only 1000 people (more or less). His investigation into each aspect is by necessity not terribly in depth but it is enough for the layperson to understand the gist and to continue to be fascinated by all the places that Jacobs is taking them. The information made me appreciate all of the moving parts that absolutely anything takes (especially the usually overlooked bits) but the push to recognize people's contributions and the gratitude those contributions inspired were definitely thought provoking. Even as a non-coffee drinker, I found this to be a quick and fascinating read, and one with which I am happy to have started my year. ( )
1 vote whitreidtan | Jan 4, 2019 |
A great end of year read to start the new year remembering to be grateful for the large and small. Jacobs spent a year thanking everyone involved in getting his morning coffee to him, from the grower to the transporter to the barrista and everyone in between. Very enjoyable, quick read. ( )
  bogopea | Dec 30, 2018 |
3.5 An expanded version of a TED talk given by this author. Was attracted to it for two reasons. I have decided I the coming year to try to focus more on things on the outside instead of always looking inward. This is sometimes hard to do when one has various medical issues and chronic pain. I want to try focusing on what I do have as opposed to what I don't. We will see how that goes, but I'm hopeful. The second reason is simply that I'm a coffee addict and I was curious how far the author would take this.

I enjoyed the way this was written for the most part. Loved the self deprecating humor, his flashes of intuition, and many of his examples. I had no idea how many people it took down the line for me to get a cup of coffee. He listed them, and showed their illustrated faces. Amazing! Don't think I'll look at an item I use daily without realizing all the effort it took for it to come into my hands. At least short term, lol!

He did mention one thing that I realized myself. How thank you has just become something to say to be polite, rote. Saying your grateful is more expressive and thought provoking. Though some people might look at you funny if you tell the bigger at your grocery that you are deeply grateful. So all in all, though it did drag in a few places, this was an interesting book. ( )
  Beamis12 | Dec 27, 2018 |
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“Thanks again for the coffee,” I say as we sit down at one of Joe’s small tables.
“Thanks for thanking me,” she says.
I consider thanking her for thanking me for thanking her, but decide to cut it off lest we get caught in an infinite loop.
“People would come in and say, ‘I’d like a cup of coffee.’ And I’d say, ‘What are you looking for? What flavor notes are you interested in?’ And they’d say, ‘I don’t care. I just want my fucking cup of coffee’.”
You should feel like you’re drinking right from an old-style ceramic cup...sort of how the ideal condom should feel like you’re not wearing it (my analogy, not his).
“I seriously think I might have to thank every single human on earth,” I say.
By the time I take a sip, the bean has been on a nine-month-long journey of 2,500 miles across the equator. It has traveled by motorcycles, trucks, boats, vans, pallets, shoulders, and forklifts. It’s been stored in buckets, bags, tubs, and metal containers the size of a small apartment. It’s come down a tree, descended a mountain, docked in ports, navigated customs, been loaded into a warehouse, rattled around on flatbeds. It’s like a tiny caffeinated Amazing Race contestant.
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After being dared by his son, A. J. Jacobs decided to thank every single person involved in producing his morning cup of coffee. The resulting journey takes him across the globe and transforms his life.

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