WITF's Pick of the Month bring's you the very best books and more. Every month we’ll recommend a great book for you to check out--from biographies and novels to poetry, children’s books and more. We’ll promote selections monthly on WITF TV and on WITF FM 89.5. Read along with us as we discover literary finds that engage, enlighten and entertain. Bookmark this page to keep up to date with the latest info about monthly picks—including details on how you can meet the authors. Pick up a copy and start reading today!
Author and magazine editor Janice Kaplan spent a year working to approach every day and every situation with gratitude. The changes she was able to make in her own life, combined with the lessons she learned from interviews with researchers and celebrities are contained in "The Gratitude Diaries: How a Year Looking on the Bright Side Can Transform Your Life".
Soon after she left her position as Editor-in-Chief of Parade magazine, Kaplan began working with the John Templeton Foundation on a research study about how Americans view gratitude. Through this work, she began to understand how important this approach to life can be, yet how few of us embrace it. This led her to decide - while at a New Year's Eve party she was definitely not enjoying - to apply these lessons to her own life each day and see where she might end up by the next New Year's Eve.
After only a short time, Kaplan began to understand what researchers meant by being able to re-wire one's own brain patterns to focus on gratitude rather than problems. "I quickly realized that gratitude wasn't the same as happiness--it has a much deeper resonance ... It requires active emotional involvement-- you can't be passively grateful, you have to stop and feel it, experience the emotion."
Kaplan guides the reader not only through her own experiences, but also through the research of leading experts about how a person's decision to be emotionally involved in a positive way can make an impact on a marriage and other family relationships, as well as one's outlook on money and careers, and even the impact one the body's health. The changes she makes in her own life convince her own friends and family to embrace similar practices.
Her interviews with celebrities like Matt Damon, Daniel Craig, and Jerry Seinfeld add another fun and informative element to the conversation.
On the importance of gratitude, Kaplan likes to refer to the quote from the great Roman orator Cicero: "Gratitude is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all others."
This month's pick is part of WITF's Transforming Health project. Through September the public is invited to participate in "A Summer Read," a unique program that encourages residents to visit local libraries to borrow "The Gratitude Diaries" and hold discussions with their book clubs, friends, family and colleagues. The "Summer Read" campaign will culminate with a special Author Event featuring Janice Kaplan in October.
For more information visit TransformingHealth.org.
--by Aaron's Books
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