Tuesday, April 12, 2011

"The Book of Awesome" by Neil Pasricha

Sometimes it's easy to forget the things that make us smile. With a 24/7 news cycle reporting that the polar ice caps are melting, hurricanes are swirling in the seas, wars are heating up around the world, and the job market is in a deep freeze, it's tempting to feel that the world is falling apart. But awesome things are all around us - sometimes we just need someone to point them out. The Book of Awesome reminds us that the best things in life are free (yes, your grandma was right). With laugh-out-loud observations from award-winning comedy writer Neil Pasricha, The Book of Awesome is filled with smile-inducing moments on every page that make you feel like a kid looking at the world for the first time. Red it and you'll remember all the things there are to feel good about. The Book of Awesome reminds us of all the little things that we often overlook but that make us smile. With touching, warm, and funny observations, each entry ends with the big booming feeling you'll get when you read through them: AWESOME!

This book fell in my lap when I was doing Saturday duty at our main library branch. Yep, my day was not awesome; I had been "asked" to help fill in at said "big" library due to six open vacancies and a county-wide hiring freeze. And of course, my boss didn't give me a lot of heads-up about this change; I was working after finding out less than 2 weeks beforehand. So, yeah, I wasn't my usual chipper self, and I wasn't really feeling my job that day. While checking in books in the back room, I came across this little gem, and I felt compelled to stop and experience all the "awesome" things in life.

Not to sound too cliche, but this book really is awesome! Pasricha began this as an Internet blog project back in 2008. I suspect he, too, was having "one of those days", and rather than sit around and revel in the mope, he did something constructive and turned his attitude around. I've become a follower of the blog, too, after reading this book, and yes, it's still just as fun to read about the awesome things every morning.

So what types of awesome things are in the book? Things like "popping bubble wrap", which is listed on the dust jacket, and yes, just happens to be one of my all-time favorite things to do. There's nothing to cheer up a down day like popping a bunch of tiny air-filled bubbles of goodness, especially if there are other people around to be annoyed by it (just my personal opinion....). Other things make the list like "wearing underwear just out of the dryer", and "hitting a bunch of green lights in a row". I would totally agree with most of the entries here - they are AWESOME moments!

The other thing I enjoyed about this book was that it got me thinking about what I, personally, consider to be "awesome". I've come up with a few, and I'll share one here with you. I think it's awesome to be walking outside, either around a neighborhood or near a laundromat, and smell that sweet, clean smell of dryer air being vented to the outside. There's nothing like that smell, and it just envelopes me in a small cloud of heat and warm memories. AWESOME!

Definitely pick up this book if you need some motivation in today's not-so-awesome world. It's a bit like saying "stop and smell the roses", but Pasricha gives you real-world things to enjoy. And look for his sequel, "The Book of (even more) Awesome" hitting stores April 28, 2011. AWESOME!

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