I enjoyed this book very much, and it really opened my eyes to what was 'behind' everyday expressions like "Thank you" or "Thanks". We use those words without even thinking about it, but according to the author, they are essential to the fabric of society. This was a very intellectual, yet approachable, look across time and cultures at the origins of the sentiment of gratitude, of appreciation, and of memory; and how important all those are in interpersonal and intersocietal relationships. I have to say I particularly liked the discussions about the sympolism and purpose of wrapping a gift, and how in Japan, people will say "I am sorry" where we would say "Thank you" - it really gives you a look inside your cultural norms.
This was a very long book - it took me almost a month to read, and normally I would just dive right into a book like this. However, I had to stop a couple times during that time and read something 'lighter'. Not because this was a difficult or hard-to-follow book - it was very accessible and well-written - but it was 'heavy' in the intellectual sense of the word. A lot of thought went into the writing, and I guess I was trying to show my gratitude to the author for her work and insights by giving what she has to say my full attention. (See! She corrupted me - I'm thinking in terms of 'The Gift'!!!)
Highly recommended for anyone who is interested in the sociological aspects of gratitude or gift-giving, or who just finds the concept intruiging. Be warned, this book requires work, but it's worth it! The Kindle edition has over 7000 locations, which probably translates to 400-500 pages in a paper edition.
Note on Kindle formatting: Very good. There were instances of two words being run together scattered throughout, but they were sporadic. Those were the only formatting errors I noticed and they did not impact reading.