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About the Book - A Simple Act of Gratitude image

Erik Kolbell quote

About the Book page title image

A Simple Act of Gratitude is a book that tells the story of an inspiration, the writing of 365 Thank You Notes, and how my life was changed by the people who received them.

In December 2007, I had reached what I viewed as a nadir in my life. While my life seemed full of debts and disasters, I ached for the things and the security I felt I deserved. On January 1, 2008, as this dissatisfaction pervaded my thoughts, I took a walk in the mountains above Pasadena, where I was inspired to write one thank you note a day for the next year.

Although it took more than a year to complete the writing of 365 thank-you notes, I continued writing them until 365 were completed. And then kept on. I learned to be grateful for the life I had, recognizing that the love I had for my children made my life already richer than the many people I envied. I learned to be grateful for my law firm, my practice, and for the love of friends and family that surrounded me. I became thankful for the many people around me who dealt with challenges far greater than the ones facing me, with courage and style. I learned to recognize the many people in my life who had protected and cared for me.

A Simple Act of Gratutide tells the story of how all these things happened, and could be traced to the willingness to be grateful, in fact to the grace I received from writing 365 thank you notes.

Reading Group Guide

reviews title image

"365 Thank Yous is told with impressive humility, heart and soul."
-- Bookpage

"Count your blessings... If you're out of work, down on your luck, or feeling ho-hum about the start of a new year, 365 Thank Yous might provide a fix for your doldrums."
-- Missourian

"Kralick's memoir of a year of gratitude is an inspiring story of how one man was able to change his life through acts of kindness... By the end of the book, I'm positive the reader will find himself searching for pen and paper to draft his own thank yous - I know I did."
-- Times Record News

"[A] small book with a big message."
-- Roger Fransecky, huffingtonpost.com

"This story will inspire you and teach you about the gift of gratitude — and may even make you sit down and write someone a thank you note!"
-- Elevated Existence

"Profoundly honest and uplifting, John Kralik's story reminds us of all those in our own lives who deserve our thanks. Though his journey was remarkably personal, it has the power to be a call to action for all of us."
-- Jeffrey Zaslow, coauthor of The Last Lecture

"To paraphrase Edmund Wilson, gratitude is one of those rare things you get more of by giving it away. With lucidity, warmth, and grace, this is the lesson that John Kralik has imparted to us. I am indeed grateful for this book!"
-- Erik Kolbell, former minister of justice, Riverside Church, and author of The God of Second Chances

A Simple Act of Gratitude was originally published in hardcover as 365 Thank Yous.