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Books about learning to be thankful


We’re almost there – 2020 will be coming to an end soon! The time has come for giving thanks and looking ahead. These titles are available for ordering at You can read them online as an ebook or request a physical copy to be sent to your nearest branch.

“The Year of Less” by Cait Flanders: In her late twenties, Cait Flanders found herself stuck in the consumerism cycle that grips so many of us: earn more, buy more, want more, rinse, repeat. Even after she worked her way out of nearly $30,000 of consumer debt, her old habits took hold again. When she realized that nothing she was doing or buying was making her happy — only keeping her from meeting her goals — she decided to set herself a challenge: she would not shop for an entire year.

“Happiness is a Choice You Make” by John Leland: In 2015, the award-winning New York Times journalist John Leland set out to meet some of the city’s oldest inhabitants for a series on America’s fastest-growing age group: those over eighty-five. Leland was at a crossroads in his own life. His marriage had fallen apart, and at 55, he was alone for the first time. He was also caring for his elderly mother, whose main desire was to die. He understood aging, like many of us do, as nothing more than the relentless deterioration of body, mind, and quality of life. He wondered: Is there a threshold at which life is no longer worth living?

“How to Raise Kind Kids” by Thomas Lickona: We all want our kids to be kind. But that is not the same as knowing what to do when you catch your son or daughter being unkind. A world-renowned developmental psychologist, Dr. Thomas Lickona has led the character education movement in schools for forty years. Now he shares with parents the vital tools they need to bring peace and foster cooperation at home. Kindness doesn’t stand on its own. It needs a supporting cast of other essential virtues — like self-control, courage, and gratitude.

“The Book of Delights” by Ross Gay: The winner of the NBCC Award for Poetry offers up a spirited collection of short lyric essays, written daily over a tumultuous year, reminding us of the purpose and pleasure of praising, extolling, and celebrating ordinary wonders.

“Thanku: Poems of Gratitude” by Miranda Paul and Marlena Myles: This poetry anthology, edited by Miranda Paul, explores a wide range of ways to be grateful (from gratitude for a puppy to gratitude for family to gratitude for the sky) with poems by a diverse group of contributors, including Joseph Bruchac, Margarita Engle, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Naomi Shihab Nye, Charles Waters, and Jane Yolen.

To put any of these on request give us a call at 619-469-2151 or visit

— Chelsie Harris is managing librarian of the La Mesa branch of the San Diego County Library.

Source: La Mesa Currier

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