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Review: The Book of Awesome

July 20, 2010

Neil Pasricha was just a regular guy, working a regular job, and he thought it would be a great idea to sit back and appreciate the little things in life.  In order to focus on that, he decided to start a blog called 1000 Awesome Things, and the rest, as they say, is history.

The Book of Awesome is basically a compilation of things Neil finds to be awesome.  The description of each awesome thing is only a page or two and the writing is witty and sharp.  Some of the awesome things are silly, some are a little bit gross, but most are just downright fun!  Here’s an excerpt from my favorite, The Smell of Books:

Sometimes we went to the bookstore on a Saturday morning for a treat.

I always loved walking on those creaky wooden floors, loitering at the big magazine rack, and chatting with the friendly staff covered in glasses, beards, and thick wool sweaters.  I would sniff up that heady bookstore air full of fresh paper, cardboard boxes, binding glue, and lingering coffee fumes.

The smell of books reminds me of late nights cramming for biology exams between the library stacks at college.  It reminds me of lying on my elbows on a warm beach towel by the ocean on summer vacation.  It reminds me of the heavy set of encyclopedias in my living room when I was a kid, the ones I relied on to write last-minute reports on the praying mantis, Nigeria, or the 1972 Summer Olympics.

The smell of books reminds me of learning to read and learning to explore the world.

I love walking quietly through bookstores and thinking of how many stories lie hidden in the pages right beside us.  Entire lives have been poured into mapping the Earth and conducting experiments, crafting mysteries and teaching languages, showing us how to cook and garden, and sending us on faraway trips to faraway worlds.

The Book of Awesome is not the kind of book you sit down and read from cover to cover – it’s the kind of book you keep in your car or your bathroom to pick up when you only have a few minutes or when you need a smile.  It’s the kind of book you buy for someone (a friend or yourself) who needs a pick-me-up.  It’s what you pick up when you need a reminder to slow down and enjoy the little things in life.  The Book of Awesome is awesome!

Challenges: Amy Einhorn Challenge

Review copy provided by Penguin Books.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.


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47 Comments leave one →
  1. July 20, 2010 5:21 am

    I’ve heard of this book, but I wasn’t familiar with the format. I’m glad I read your review, I wasn’t expecting it to be a complication of “awesome” things. I think i’ll take a look at it at the bookstore, not sure i’ll buy it though.

  2. July 20, 2010 5:59 am

    I’ve seen this one floating around the blogs a bit. Sounds like it’s a fun easy read. Glad you enjoyed it.

  3. July 20, 2010 6:06 am

    Aaaaaw, your review is wonderful. I bet it’s a great book. This is the first time I’ve heard of this one.

  4. July 20, 2010 6:46 am

    I agree that it’s a fun book to have around so you can dip into it when the mood strikes. Glad you found some awesomeness.

  5. July 20, 2010 6:57 am

    I wasn’t familiar with this book until reading this. Thanks 4 pointing it out.

  6. kaye permalink
    July 20, 2010 7:19 am

    The smell of books segment IS awesome. Loved it, thanks for sharing that part of the book. Have an awesome week and happy reading.

  7. July 20, 2010 7:34 am

    I hadn’t heard of this book until now. Thanks for telling us about it!

  8. July 20, 2010 7:45 am

    I love the passage that you chose. I love books like that- there for a boost or a laugh if you need it.

  9. July 20, 2010 8:16 am

    What a great title. It appears to be the type of book you need to have around to remind you that life is full of little wonders and it should help you appreciate the life you have.

  10. July 20, 2010 8:22 am

    What a fun book!

  11. July 20, 2010 8:55 am

    Sounds like a great book to give as a gift.

  12. July 20, 2010 9:07 am

    Thanks for sharing that piece about the smell of books. I feel the same way in a bookstore or library or book sale. I get greedy, wanting to have them all. I remember spending hours and hours in the library at prep school. It had originally been the chapel so it had spectacular stained glass windows. I always thought that was appropriate since it approaches the way I feel about libraries.

  13. July 20, 2010 9:24 am

    I love the passage you shared with us – reminds me of some of my favorite second-hand bookstores from years and years ago. Sounds like a fun book overall.

  14. July 20, 2010 9:38 am

    I love the smell of books and I can’t wait to read this book. I have it on hold at the library! 🙂

  15. July 20, 2010 9:54 am

    Great passage! Who doesn’t love the smell of books? I’ve checked out the website from time to time and have enjoyed seeing what new awesome thing was on there. Definitely a great gift book!

  16. July 20, 2010 9:54 am

    thanks for writing that passage from The Book of Awesome — very good to read with my cup of tea, this morning! I, too, love the smell and feel of books — still haven’t used my Kindle. It would be sad to think 10 years from now we wouldn’t be able to smell that lovely perfume!

  17. July 20, 2010 10:07 am

    love the review. it sounds like a great book for a rainy day. one of those books you can read to cheer you up and put a smile on your face.

  18. July 20, 2010 10:12 am

    This sounds like such a neat book and it is the first I have heard of it. Thanks for the review Kathy.

  19. July 20, 2010 10:32 am

    I’ve gone by that website a time or two. I love that excerpt! The smell of books is one of my favorite things.

  20. July 20, 2010 10:34 am

    I’ve never heard of this book but I sure do love that excerpt.

  21. stacybuckeye permalink
    July 20, 2010 12:30 pm

    This sounds like a wonderful pick me up! The smell of books is very awesome, e-readers not so much 🙂

  22. July 20, 2010 12:43 pm

    I bet this book would be great for those days when I am feeling ho-hum about my life, and I will have to think about getting a copy. Actually, I bet it would be great for my husband too. Thanks for the great review and the excerpt, it does indeed sound awesome!

  23. July 20, 2010 12:55 pm

    Everybody needs a good “throne room” book. Thanks for the tip!

  24. July 20, 2010 12:56 pm

    I think it would be fun to start compiling my own list and then comparing it!

  25. July 20, 2010 1:23 pm

    We have a friend here in IN whose husband has been in critical care for a week from heart surgery (things are not going well). This would be perfect for her. She needs a smile. Thanks for the idea!

  26. July 20, 2010 4:26 pm

    I’m a big fan of his blog. It’s a super way to start the day. I’m going to read the book one of these days.

  27. July 20, 2010 4:29 pm

    Someone else who loves the smell of books and think that’s awesome. Yea! Have to show this to my coworker because she thinks I’m nuts.
    Thanks for the review Kathy.

  28. July 20, 2010 5:07 pm

    Sounds like something I’d like to nibble on lately. I need some more awesome!

  29. July 20, 2010 5:19 pm

    It’s awesome that you can right about anything!

  30. July 20, 2010 7:30 pm

    Sounds like I may need to pick up this book for someone who really needs a pick me up at work.
    Thanks going to look into it, thanks for the heads up 🙂

  31. July 20, 2010 7:48 pm

    I love the title of this book! All of us need some awesome in our life!

  32. July 20, 2010 7:54 pm

    Thanks for the review – it sounds really good.

  33. July 20, 2010 8:35 pm

    it defintely seems like an every now and then type of book but it’s cute. I love the excerpt you posted. books and bookstores are amazing. 🙂

  34. July 20, 2010 9:22 pm

    I loved the smell of books that you shared with us. I need to check out his blog and the book!

  35. July 21, 2010 1:10 am

    I haven’t had much luck with books based on blogs, but that title just cracks me up. 😀

  36. July 21, 2010 2:53 am

    This sounds fun, but definitely like a book to tip into here and there. Love the bit on the smell of books!

  37. July 21, 2010 10:44 am

    I have never heard of this title before but your review has me sold! This sounds like a great book to have around the house and share with the family. We love this kind of book! Thanks for the great review!

  38. July 21, 2010 4:44 pm

    I just recently heard about the blog and the book. And it is so fun to take a moment and think about those little things (like the smell of books) that are so awesome.

  39. July 21, 2010 5:12 pm

    This one sounds delightful. It would be an interesting venture to jot down the awesome things in one’s life. Someday they will surely make me smile. 🙂

  40. July 21, 2010 7:58 pm

    This sounds like such a fun read!!! I’m sure some of the items resonate more than others though!

  41. July 21, 2010 8:00 pm

    I like the sounds of this and the images the words have left with me.

  42. July 21, 2010 9:48 pm

    This book sounds … well … awesome. I love stuff like this.

  43. July 22, 2010 4:09 pm

    Sounds like a lovely book!

  44. July 22, 2010 6:30 pm

    I’m so excited for this book, once I finally have my own copy 🙂

  45. July 26, 2010 1:43 am

    I have to have this book. I think it would be a great book for days I’m feeling blue. I can just read a few awesome things to cheer me up.

    I’m going to get it for my Kobo e-reader.

  46. July 28, 2010 10:35 am

    Sounds like it might be fun. I love the smell of books, too. 🙂

  47. August 4, 2010 8:20 pm

    I have to check this out and the link. Thanks very much!

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