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Thanks A Thousand: A Gratitude Journey (TED Books)

by A. J. Jacobs

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1308200,288 (3.66)7
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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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
I really wanted to like this because it's such a great idea but I feel like something was missing. Maybe it was the lack of any sort of stakes for the author. To me it read like an expanded to-do list, ticking off people to thank.

But I *love* the idea and I'm glad it's done - I just feel like something got lost in the translation because I just couldn't get invested in it. I suspect he had some trouble at times as well - especially toward the end where he didn't even know how many people he had thanked. 957? 1015? Oh I don't know, I'll call it 1000. Good enough. That feels like a metaphor for what I saw as the biggest shortcoming of the book. ( )
  toddtyrtle | Dec 28, 2022 |
I picked this up because I really like A.J. Jacobs' books. I love his sense of humour and the flashes of insights his examinations provide, both for him and for me! A look at the supply chain for a cup of coffee would be interesting on its own. This book provides that (at least a partial look), and also provides an examination of gratitude. How "thank you" has become largely perfunctory; how people react to being thanked and some of the moral or ethical issues around gratitude. As always, Mr. Jacobs' books make me think. And smile. ( )
  LynnB | Oct 25, 2022 |
I'm really cringing at this review. I really wanted to like it more than I did.

His earlier books were
1) longer
2) funnier
3) and sounded less preachy.

Honestly I'm not sure why this one bothered me as much. The project is admirable, and the thought is good, it just didn't seem as permanent or well-done as the others. And I wish that it had been because I know that he's capable of better, less-"preachy" sounding, stuff. ( )
  OutOfTheBestBooks | Sep 24, 2021 |
Perhaps A.J. Jacobs misread "gratitude journal" (a common thing nowadays) as "gratitude journey". Thus the idea for this book was born - and a pretty good book at that. ( )
  jasoncomely | Aug 29, 2019 |
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 |
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To my family. And everyone else.
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It's a Tuesday morning, and I'm in the presence of one of the most mind-boggling accomplishments in human history.
“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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