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Thanks a Thousand: A Gratitude Journey

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  2,092 ratings  ·  344 reviews
The idea was deceptively simple: New York Times bestselling author A.J. Jacobs decided to thank every single person involved in producing his morning cup of coffee. The resulting journey takes him across the globe, transforms his life, and reveals secrets about how gratitude can make us all happier, more generous, and more connected.

Author A.J. Jacobs discovers that his co
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published November 13th 2018 by Simon Schuster/ TED
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Bert Stanaland I think he likes his coffee better than his shirts, underwear or shoes and that is a good reason to track everyone who makes the cup of coffee possibl…moreI think he likes his coffee better than his shirts, underwear or shoes and that is a good reason to track everyone who makes the cup of coffee possible.(less)

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Diane S ☔
Dec 26, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 An expanded version of a TED talk given by this author. Was attracted to it for two reasons. I have decided I the coming year to try to focus more on things on the outside instead of always looking inward. This is sometimes hard to do when one has various medical issues and chronic pain. I want to try focusing on what I do have as opposed to what I don't. We will see how that goes, but I'm hopeful. The second reason is simply that I'm a coffee addict and I was curious how far the author woul ...more
May 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Drinking Coffee GIF - DrinkingCoffee GIFs

What all does it take to make a cup of coffee? Who all are involved? Most of us would think of the barista, the coffee bean pickers, perhaps the packagers and the cashier at the grocery store. Those putting additional thought into it would think of many more, as A.J. Jacobs did when he decided to thank everyone involved in getting his morning cup of joe to him. He embarked on a journey around the globe in his venture to show his gratitude to those who make his cup of coffee possible.

This is an
Apr 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is another delightful book from A.J. Jacobs! "Thanks a Thousand" is the story of his project to thank as many people as possible for producing his morning cup of coffee. Jacobs thanks the barista at the coffee shop, the person who selects the coffee beans, the company that makes the lid for the cup, the engineers who provide the water, he even flies down to South America to thank the farmer who grew the coffee plant! His goal was to thank a thousand people, and he lists them at the back of ...more
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I just love AJ Jacobs. His lifestyle experiments are so fun and insightful. This short book about thankfulness is from the TED book series which I didn’t know existed, so I’ll be checking out more of those. Here, Jacobs focuses on all the folks it takes to make something he and I both enjoy immensely: coffee. It’s a good reminder to think about the bigger picture and be appreciative for all the things.
Todd Tyrtle
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this because it's such a great idea but I feel like something was missing. Maybe it was the lack of any sort of stakes for the author. To me it read like an expanded to-do list, ticking off people to thank.

But I *love* the idea and I'm glad it's done - I just feel like something got lost in the translation because I just couldn't get invested in it. I suspect he had some trouble at times as well - especially toward the end where he didn't even know how many people he had
Nov 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Gratitude is one of those trendy zeitgeisty topics like mindfulness and minimalism, but it's one that's a little harder for me to swallow. I was pleased to see that one of my favorite authors had written a book on the subject, so it wouldn't annoy me as much to read. I tend to choose a more pessimistic path most of the time, so the idea of being actively grateful is a little bit of a challenge.

For his "gratitude journey," Jacobs sets out to thank everyone who has a role in delivering his morning
May 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In addition to gratitude, there are interesting facts woven into the stories. When the author is thanking people like the coffee grower and people working in the water agency, he includes facts about coffee and water maintenance. There is one part where he goes off on a tangent and is talking about himself (what he's thankful for in his own life). He should have included more stories from people who made his cup of coffee possible. Other than that, it's a nice, feel-good kind of book. ...more
Aug 01, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A.J. Jacobs tries to thank everyone involved in making his morning cup of coffee possible. When I heard that, I thought quite narrowly. Meaning, I thought, okay, thank the barista, then the coffee roaster, then the purchaser, then finally the coffee farmer. But, Jacobs thought more broadly. He thanked the barista, but also the designer and manufacturer of the coffee cups and lids. There's also the coffee tasters, the makers of the coffee grinders, basically everything involved in getting a cup o ...more
I have been a fan of A.J. Jacobs’ books for a while now! I remember reading The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World maybe 10-12 years ago and feeling proud it was my first toe dip into what at the time felt like “serious” adult non-fiction (Which, ha..I know now it’s not all that serious, but it was a big step back when I never read non-fiction) Although I loved The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World and The Y ...more
Tim Johnson
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
A few years back my boss got the idea that we should put together a series of classes on different topics for adults.

"I'll do mine on coffee," I said taking a sip of my latte.

"Can you be more specific?" She asked, restlessly swirling the straw of her iced coffee.

"You know, I'll do some research, put together a quick history, we'll make some common coffee drinks and explore different ways to make coffee. Maybe we'll even do a follow up class with some coffee recipes." I thought, feeling like I h
Camille Maio
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
AJ Jacobs has become one of my favorite authors and Thanks a Thousand doesn't disappoint! As someone who finds that a grateful life is a happier one, I loved the premise. And his thesis on what it takes to make one cup of coffee is mind-blowing. It will help me look at every day conveniences in a new light. My only complaint is that as a TED book, it was quite short and I think this is a topic he could have easily explored in more depth. Still, the size does make it easily recommendable to peopl ...more
John Behle
Jan 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Nice book. I am a fan of A J Jacobs and enjoyed his earlier works on the Bible and his breakthrough (for me) 2005 work on his self assigned reading project-the 32 volume Encyclopedia Britannica.

I make it a point to thank people. From the cashier at my local grocery to colleagues in my profession, a sincere show of gratitude is my way of giving back. Jacobs takes on the trail of how his paper cup (with insulating sleeve) of java makes its way, from tree to barista, to his coffee shop in Manhatta
Jaydee Hanson
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A J Jacobs does it again. He makes you laugh a lot while teaching. In this book, he uses his coffee as a jumping off point for a serious, but funny discussion of the importance of giving thanks.
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Grateful for AJ Jacobs

I am an A J Jacobs fan. His books are journeys that I enjoy following, and Thanks a Thousand is no different. In this day & age especially, I think we need reminders of how fortunate we are and how many people contribute to even the smallest parts of our days. Thank you!
Dec 28, 2020 rated it it was ok
The only reason I read this is because it was a gift from my boss. The sentiment of practicing gratitude daily is nice, but WOW what a self-indulgent white savior-esque piece of writing.
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thanksgiving books are much harder to find than Christmas themed ones. But I put extra effort in this year and was not disappointed. Jacobs tells an inspiring, educational, and sometimes surprising tale of how coffee gets "from field to face," but instead of focusing on the process, he focuses on his own appreciation and gratitude for said process.

This was my first TED book (I didn't know they existed until I found this book) and it was well-worth the read. Not only does it demonstrate how exten
John Lamb
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is a great project and idea, plus Jacobs weaves in some interesting facts and background.
Niels Philbert
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
I don't drink coffee, and I still give this book four stars.

I will compare it to an espresso; not much in regards to volume, but high in effect. This because the book is not about coffee but about gratitude. It's one of the best and most compact attempts of showing how gratitude begets happiness and not the other way around.

A.J. combines engaging details with sprinkles of humor - a style I enjoy very much.

Read it as the shot that it is and you will feel the effects shortly.
Sep 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Short but good read.
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Title: Thanks a Thousand
Author: A.J. Jacobs
Read by: Read by the Author
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Length: Approximately 3 hours and 13 minutes
Source: Review Copy from Simon and Schuster. Thank-you!

Thanks a Thousand is a great book for January as it details one man’s journey of gratitude. Author A.J. Jacobs tries to find all the people responsible for his morning cup of coffee from the Barista to the coffee growers, to those who make the cups, and all of those in between. It was an interesting jo
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
I discovered this new book by A.J.Jacobs by accident when I was browsing at the bookshop a couple of weeks back. I got it for my friend and I was so tempted that I got another copy for myself. I finished reading it today.

In 'Thanks a Thousand : A Gratitude Journey from Bean to Cup', A.J.Jacobs tells us that he wants to change himself and feel more happy. (He says in one place that his default mental state is 'generalized annoyance and impatience' and in another place he describes himself as 'My
The Story Girl
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned, 5-stars
Really enjoyed this, just as I have enjoyed all of the books he has written! Thought-provoking as always. In every one of his books, Jacobs conducts some kind of life experiment (whether it's trying to live according to the Bible literally or trying to follow as much health advice as possible), and in this one, he goes on a journey to thank a thousand people who are involved in the production of coffee: from the obvious ones (baristas at his local coffee shop), to the not so obvious (the person ...more
Kristy Miller
Dec 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
What does it take to get your daily cup of coffee in your hand? A lot. A.J. Jacobs goes on a quest to thank a thousand people involved in delivering his daily cup of Joe's Coffee. He starts with the barista, and works his way through the owner, to the logo designer, to the people guaranteeing purity in water and food inspection, to truck drivers. He talks to pallet makers, steel manufacturers, the designers of the cup lid and java jacket, all the way down to the people picking the coffee cherrie ...more
Jan 15, 2021 rated it it was ok
This book was engaging and quite easy to read; the author uses a very conversational style, which, for the most part, works well. The premise is both intriguing and yet very simple, and I enjoyed thinking through the various people, products, and acts of labor that go into making a cup of coffee. That said, I took issue with several of the author’s conclusions, noticed some glaring omissions, and felt that the gratitude journey was fairly superficial at times. In a way, however, this made the bo ...more
Feb 02, 2019 rated it liked it
There's a lot to ponder. Gratitude is a discipline that needs to be practiced. Happiness doesn't lead to gratitude; gratitude leads to happiness. ...more
Kristi W
Dec 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"...gratitude is a discipline that needs to be practiced." I feel as if I've been tiptoeing around this lesson for years. I know it. I believe it. I don't practice it often enough.
In Thanks a Thousand, Jacobs practices and practices and practices gratitude in ways that I have never considered. He spends a year thanking all of the people who bring his daily cup of coffee to him. He debates the ethics of coffee, but thanks the providers. He appreciates the luck that he has experienced in his lifet
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love AJ Jacobs books, ever since reading The Know-It-All back when I worked in a bookstore. Most of his books are about taking on some sort of absurd challenge - reading the entire Oxford English Dictionary, spending a year following Biblical scripture literally, following every diet trend and fad for a year - and writing about his journey. He always manages to be insanely involving, insightful without becoming preachy or heady.

Thanks a Thousand is all about gratitude; Jacobs' quest now is to
Jan 18, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
AJ Jacobs is starting to run out of ideas I've been a big fan of his "stunt" journalism that I liked quite a bit in high school (and saw later successors with Tim Ferris and Mary Roach). His older books were funnier, longer and more insightful without being preachy. This is literally a glorified and expanded TED Talk.

Gratitude is one of those trendy zeitgeisty topics like mindfulness and minimalism, but it's one that's a little harder for a reformed nihilist and perpetual pessimist to take earne
Oct 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This was an interesting book. Jacobs details his journey to thank every person/industry involved in making & presenting the coffee he buys every morning at his local coffee shop. This book got me thinking, as I suppose it was meant to, about how much we take for granted the everyday things in our lives here in the U.S. The coffee we buy at the coffee shop doesn't find its own way there and make itself. The water coming out of my faucet didn't get itself there on its own. The food in my grocery s ...more
Tamara D
Mar 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing
For Christmas, I was given the gift of a couple of bags of Joe Coffee brand coffee (I highly recommend it. Great coffee!)
A couple of months later, a friend gave me this book as a birthday gift, a book in which Jacobs decides he needs to become more grateful and starts off with the joys of his favorite coffee which is, you guessed it, Joe Coffee!!
So, I knew this book was a match made in heaven as soon as I started reading it! It’s really a fun book that does make you ponder what goes in to the s
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A.J. Jacobs is a New York Times bestselling author, Esquire editor and human guinea pig.

Among Jacobs’ life experiments:
--The Know-It-All. The bestselling memoir of the year he spent reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica in a quest to become the smartest person in the world.
--The Year of Living Biblically. The bestseller about his life as the ultimate biblical man. He followed every rule of th

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