65 of 73 people found the following review helpful
He had me at "Snow Days",
This review is from: The Book of Awesome: Snow Days, Bakery Air, Finding Money in Your Pocket, and Other Simple, Brilliant Things (Hardcover)
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Daily life in the twenty-first century can be overwhelming. Issues of global warming, health care reform, a strangled economy, and the latest celebrity shenanigans fill our media outlets and our heads until they just about burst. It is all too much to bear. No wonder we seek solace in the tiny triumphs of life: in our own small successes and in the personal interactions, the soothing sights, the tempting tastes, and the sensational smells we find in the world around us.
Neil Pasricha is the author of the award-winning blog, "1000 Awesome Things." His online success translates well into the format of this book, which outlines 200 of those Awesome Things. Things like "That one really good pen that never gets lost;" "The sound of ice cubes cracking in a drink;" "Licking the batter off the beaters of a cake mixer;" "The smell and sound of a campfire;" and "That friendly nod between strangers out doing the same thing." In these pages you'll also learn the most successful strategies for trick-or-treating and for making the most of an all-you-can-eat buffet. You'll even learn exactly what functions are attached to your colon. But this is not a book of mere lists. Mr. Pasricha provides an explanation for each one, and some of those pieces are several pages in length. His observations are spot-on, and his writing style is friendly and funny. This is an entertaining and feel-good read.
I had to wait until page 342 to find my most favorite Awesome Thing: Snow days. The author breaks this phenomenon into three types: The Pre-Planned Snow Day, The High-Probability Snow Day, and The Surprise Snow Day. But Neil, there's a fourth one to consider, and that's the "We're already here. Will we get enough snow for them to send us home early?" kind. That one may be the most frustrating of all. When the crucial announcement comes, that joyful event becomes yet another (albeit, shortened) Awesome Thing. Assuming you can make it home safely in the storm.
"The Book of Awesome" is the kind of paperback that you can scan through quickly. You can catch the headlines and say "Yes!" to particular ones. Or you can take a single lovely, rainy weekend to devour this volume from cover to cover. Keep it on your bedside table or coffee table for a pick-me-up. Read passages aloud to a living room full of friends, and your group will come up with even more possibilities. You don't have to agree with all of the entries. ("Using all the different shampoos and soaps in someone else's shower" didn't resonate with me, and neither did "Neighbors with pools.") Just keep turning pages, and it won't be too long before you find several more Awesome Things that you can relate to. And you will probably find yourself smiling, nodding, and laughing out loud.
Once you get into this mode, you may pay closer attention to those magic moments in your own life. Like sliding a key perfectly into a lock in the dark, without fumbling and without turning on the light. Watching a squirrel figure out how to invade a rodent-proof bird feeder. The smell of tea that wafts up when you unwrap a brand-new box of it. It's all good ... and Awesome. Thanks, Neil. [This review was based on seeing the pre-pub galley proof.]