Reviews from top-notch people in the literary world have characterized A. J. Jacobs as witty, quirky, intelligent, funny, charming, unpretentious, and self-deprecating – to mention a few. If you’ve read any of his books, you probably agree! The Know-It-All, his account of reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica, catapulted him onto bestsellers’ lists and TV appearances, followed by the success of his other inventive books. His latest is Thanks A Thousand: A Gratitude Journey. The idea was conceived when A. J. Jacobs and his 10 year old son were thanking farmers, grocery store cashiers, etc., for their breakfast. His son tells him, essentially, that the workers should be thanked in person, and there begins the journey of A. J. Jacobs’ goal to thank every single person involved in producing his morning cup of coffee.
In his TED Talk about the book, which has over 1.7 million views, A. J. described his process. It began with the barista, Chung, and would continue for months as he thanked people worldwide. By the end of the project, he’d thanked over a thousand people and said he was in a “thanking frenzy.”
In the midst of global turmoil, the practice of gratitude continues to grow. A. J. Jacobs experienced life changing lessons and rewards while researching and writing Thanks A Thousand: A Gratitude Journey, and encourages us to follow our gratitude trails.
I’ll begin by thanking you, A. J., for writing your books and for coming to Richmond, VA in 2010 to be a guest speaker for the Weinstein Jewish Community Center Forum (at Collegiate High School) where I was entertained by your speech and had my book, The Year of Living Biblically, signed along with a photo op. Thank you for answering my fan mail a few days later and for putting me on your email list, a precursor to the now popular newsletters. You have been instrumental in the joy I’ve had from reading books, attending book talks, and chatting with authors and other bookish folk – seeds that have led to this website.
And the postcard… it’s a keeper! Your compliment is much appreciated, and the coffee cup on the mailing label is spot-on. And I, too, thank the post office. 🙂