Rating:

the gratitude diaries book coverReviewed by Richard Wisniewski

I came across The Gratitude Diaries by Janice Kaplan one day as I was doing personal research for my book on the topic. Upon reading the introduction to the New York Times bestselling book, I was captivated, intrigued and sold. Now, I do not say this quite often at all. I firmly believe that every single human being walking on planet Earth should read this book. It is not only life-transformative, it’s life-enlightening.

The concept of The Gratitude Diaries was an idea that came to Kaplan on New Year’s Eve. With the hustle and bustle of society, especially in New York City, Kaplan made it her personal resolution to dedicate 365 days to gratitude and appreciation. Rather than finding fault in things the way so many people do, Kaplan’s intention was to see the silver lining and the bright side of everything.

The entire book is not necessarily written like a diary; however, it is actually based upon Kaplan’s personal diary over the course of her 12 month resolution. Each chapter is dedicated to a specific month and theme. For an example, there is a month (chapter) dedicated to appreciating your loved one more. In another chapter, she depicts how gratitude can help in the hardest of times, which is one of the heaviest chapters of them all. Furthermore, she has carefully constructed a book that is dedicated to appreciating and understanding gratitude in the 12 most vital and imperative aspects of life. Kaplan definitely deserves her bestselling author status and her invitations to do interviews for companies like Google.

Now, many people who often think about the ideology of gratitude believe that they are grateful in their life. Reading The Gratitude Diaries gave me a whole new perspective on what it means to be truly grateful each and every day. As you explore and dive through this book, Kaplan beautifully constructs the notion that many people have actually become so ACCUSTOMED to the material possessions around them that much of their life has become background noise. This philosophy was a complete Oprah Winfrey “Aha” moment for me.

One of the most fascinating aspects of this book is how Janice Kaplan created a book that not only informs the reader about her journey, but also indirectly teaches the power of gratitude in each aspect of life. Now, Kaplan does make it clear that this book is not a spiritual book but rather book for those people who find it difficult to appreciate their life. With dozens of interviews and scientific studies cited, Kaplan provides an in depth and high quality understanding of the impacts of appreciation, gratitude and positivity. Like I said before, every human should be required to read this book.

At the end of the book, I was genuinely sad that it was over. I am very inspired to share this book with as many people as possible. In fact, it would be a dream to interview Kaplan in greater depth on the topic. For those who have not read the book just yet,  there is one piece of advice that Kaplan reiterates several times: write ONE thing that you are grateful for each and every day! Only ONE THING.

There is something in every single day to be grateful for. Everyone simply needs to open their eyes and remove the filter preventing them from being grateful or appreciative.


With a BA in History, Economics and Spanish, Richard is an avid writer and a passionate reader. With a love for all genres of books, Richard appreciates the art of writing and the love an author puts into a project. Richard began to expand his craft upon partnering with numerous companies across the globe. Currently, Richard is preparing to launch a co-creation project all about living your best life and in the process of writing a series of books.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Penguin Group. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.