THE BOOK OF AWESOME
The Book of Awesome presents simple pleasures for a younger, hipper generation. From the smell of gasoline to fixing electronics by smacking them to the extra time you get when the clocks roll back, The Book of Awesome reminds readers of little things that make us smile everyday.
Entries include: Old dangerous playground equipment, Wearing underwear just out of the dryer, Being the first table called up for the dinner buffet at a wedding, Watching The Price Is Right when you're home sick, When the vending machine gives you two things instead of one, The first shower you take after not showering for a really long time, When cashiers open up new checkout lanes at the grocery store, Sleeping in new bed sheets, Waiters and waitresses who bring free refills without asking, and hundreds more.
Some entries are short and others expand into wonderfully funny and astutely observant essays. As well, there are many photos from award-winning Canadian photographer Sam Javanrouh complementing the text of this "universal high five for humanity."
So what’s this all about?
Polar ice caps are melting, hurricanes swirl in the seas, wars are heating up around the world, and the job market is in a deep freeze.
It’s getting pretty ugly out there.
That’s why one chilly spring night I started a tiny website called 1000 Awesome Things. For a boring guy with a nine-tofive job, it became a getaway from my everyday.
I never imagined that writing about finding money in your old coat pocket, the smell of gasoline, or watching The Price Is Right when you’re at home sick would amount to anything.
Honestly, when I started the site I got excited when my mom forwarded it to my dad and the traffic doubled. Then I got excited when friends sent it to friends and strangers started sending me suggestions: “When cashiers open up new checkout lanes at the grocery store,” “The smell of rain on a hot sidewalk,” “Waking up and realizing it’s Saturday.”
It seems like maybe these tiny little moments make an awesome difference in many of our rushed, jam-packed lives. Maybe we all love snow days, peeling an orange in one shot, and Popping Bubble Wrap.
Maybe we’re basically all the same.
Over the past year the website grew into a warm place where people around the world came to curl up under a blanket and think about the small joys we often overlook. With so much sad news and bad news pouring down upon us, it’s fun to stop for a minute and share a universal high five with the rest of humanity.
What started on a whim has changed me for the better too. Now when I get the thank-you wave while merging, hear the crack of ice cubes in my drink, or move clothes from the washer to the dryer without dropping anything, I just smile and enjoy the moment.
So . . . that’s the story so far. That’s how we got from there to here. And now it’s time to come on in. The fire’s crackling and there’s a seat on the couch here. Cuddle up and let’s all get into it.
Let’s all get onto it.
And let’s all get a little bit
The other side of the pillow
Have you ever found yourself lying in bed wide awake in the middle of the night?
You know how it is: Clock’s clicking past 1:30 a.m. and you lie there with your eyes bugged open, chewing your upper lip, tapping the sheets with your fingers, completely frustrated. Your pupils have long adjusted to the dark, so your eyes are darting around the room over and over, trying to identify dark shapes or watching the moonlight shadow-dance around the walls. Maybe your thoughts won’t settle down, you just can’t get comfortable, you ate spicy food before bed, you have a presentation the next morning, or maybe it’s just the frustration itself keeping you in a terrible, never-ending cycle of sleeplessness.
So you play dead and try to remain motionless as long as possible. You change positions back and forth, side to side, left to right. You get up and go to the bathroom or start reading a book. Maybe you try to remake the bed, since by now you’ve probably managed to twist your sheets and blankets into a completely unusable, tightly wound knotpile barely covering your legs.
On nights like this, when you just can’t sleep, one of the greatest things invented is simply Turning Over the Pillow.
Yes, flipping over your pillow and checking out the other side cranks Bed Comfort up a few notches and is a simple and easy way to help you relax and get comfy.
The other side of the pillow, folks. Because it’s flat when you’re sagging, fresh when you’re stale, and cold when you’re hot, baby.
When cashiers open up new checkout lanes at the grocery store
Though I hate to admit it, I am a slow, indecisive mess in the grocery store checkout lane.
Since I am an extremely cheap person, I watch the prices scroll up on screen like a hawk, often saying things like “Oh, I thought that was on sale,” or “Actually, I don’t really want that anymore,” forcing the cashier to call in price checks to the unresponsive produce department or find a temporary home for the pack of melting Fudgsicles I’ve decided to leave off my list last minute.
And because I’m watching the screen so closely, I start bagging my groceries late, fumble with my wallet, and awkwardly leave my shopping cart blocking the lane like a metal crisscrossed castle knight enforcing a firm “Thou shall not pass” law in its trademark silence.
Yes, I clog up the line and annoy everybody behind me. I’m one of Four People You Don’t Want to Stand Behind in the grocery line.
"Brilliant in its ability to highlight simple, shared, universal truths... The Book of Awesome has some hilarious stuff. What with global warming, economic catastrophes, and wares raging with no end in sight, it's reassuring to know that sometimes less is more."
—Elana Rabinovitch, Women's Post
"In this adaptation of his blog www.1000awesomethings.com, Pasricha celebrates the simple pleasures of everyday living. Focusing on both tangible pleasures and simple experiences, Pasricha provides a contemporary take on everyday inspiration that skips the typical Chicken Soup for the Soul fare: "When you push the button for the elevator and it's already there," ("Ding!"); "When the boss goes out of town" ("Who's up for a three-hour lunch?"); "Peeling that thin plastic film off new electronics" ("Welcome to the world, remote control"). Other items get more substantial discussions, including the other side of the pillow, old playground equipment, hotel lobby bathrooms, the last day of school, and the five-second rule. Though tongue-in-cheek, Pasricha emerges a committed but inviting optimist, combating life's unending stream of bad news by identifying opportunities to "share a universal high five with humanity." Readers looking for simple, unsentimental pick-me-ups should find this happy browsing."
"Funny, sweet, and filled with just enough nostalgia-laced goodness to bring out your own inner Pollyanna. I dare you to read this book without compiling your own list of awesome things to add."
-Jen Yates, author of Cake Wrecks
“Little things, it turns out, are extremely important to happiness, and THE BOOK OF AWESOME will remind you of a thousand little things that will make you happier."
—Gretchen Rubin, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Project
"The awesomest part about THE BOOK OF AWESOME is the realization that if you enjoy the simple moments of awesome in your life, you will be happier."
—Ben Huh, author of I Can Has Cheezburger? and How to Take Over Teh Wurld
"1000 Awesome Things is the #1 awesome website."
—Frank Warren, bestselling author of PostSecret
“A high-five for humanity.”
“1000 Awesome Things is a new page to bookmark.”
“Laugh-out-loud funny, tinged with just enough sarcastic nostalgia.”
“Even a cynical white person can't deny the appeal of THE BOOK OF AWESOME
—Christian Lander, author of Stuff White People Like
“THE BOOK OF AWESOME gives me 14,001 things to be happy about. Bravo for taking note of the sunny side of life!"
—Barbara Ann Kipfer, author of 14,000 Things to be Happy About
“1000awesomethings might be described as optimism for the rest of us. Sunny without being saccharine, it's a countdown of life's little joys that reads like a snappy Jerry Seinfeld monologue by way of Maria von Trapp.”
—The Vancouver Sun
“Unrelentingly optimistic without being sappy. It's less about awesome things than it is about seeing the awesomeness of the everyday.”
—The Toronto Star
“Sometimes, it's nice to remind yourself of life's sweeter side and the pleasures to be had from the small things—like peeling the plastic film off new electronic gadgets or sneaking your own cheap snacks into the cinemas... Life really is awesome after all.”