Saturday, April 14, 2012

5 reasons why The Book of Awesome totally lives up to its name

Today's post is for Jolene, who told me that I need this book in my life. And she was right :)

Title: The book of awesome : snow days, bakery air, finding money in your pocket, and other simple, brilliant things
Author: Neil Pasricha
Year: c2010
Summary: Based on the blog, The Book of Awesome is a high five for humanity and a big celebration of life's little moments: popping bubble wrap; wearing underwear just out of the dryer; fixing electronics by smacking them; getting called up to the dinner buffet first at a wedding; watching The Price Is Right when you're home sick; hitting a bunch of green lights in a row; waking up and realizing it's Saturday. Sometimes it's easy to forget the things that make us smile. With a 24/7 news cycle reporting that the polar ice caps are melting, hurricanes are swirling in the seas, wars are heating up around the world, and the job market is in a deep freeze, it's tempting to feel that the world is falling apart. But awesome things are all around us-sometimes we just need someone to point them out. The Book of Awesome reminds us that the best things in life are free (yes, your grandma was right). With laugh-out-loud observations from comedy writer Neil Pasricha, The Book of Awesome is filled with smile-inducing moments on every page that make you feel like a kid looking at the world for the first time. Read it and you'll remember all the things there are to feel good about.

I like the idea of this book which, I have to quickly add, was recommended to me by Jolene. Yay Jolene :) A lot of the items listed (either by Pasricha or by others) have a nostalgic feel about them and took me back to my childhood. Specifically, back to a time when life was simple, anything seemed possible and, best of all, you felt protected and loved always. Gosh, adult life can be such a rude shock, can't it? In this post I do little more than recount five examples of what Pasricha considered 'awesome,' and give my reasons for believing so.

Reasons just as good:

  • When you're right near the end of a book - you don't want it to end because you think the characters are your best friends BUT you know that it has to, otherwise people would never get their happy ever after and, remember, I NEED THAT
  • Your favourite old comfy t-shirt - because it smells familiar, and like home (and possibly like your favourite laundry powder that you love to eat - yes, I know somebody who buys their laundry powder because it tastes nice), and reminds you of good times (and even good people). My own favourite comfy shirt is a tunic not a t-shirt, and I wear it to sleep in because of the memories I associate it with. We are strange creatures, are we not?
  • Reasons I would love to have added to the list but I'm not quite at that point yet:

  • Smiling and thinking of good friends who are gone - when are people at that point? One day, though, I hope to be able to remember Tracy with laughter and not sadness. And when I do, I will absolutely understand the reason for its inclusion in Pasricha's book. Until then no pressure, life, no pressure.
  • What simple things do you consider awesome?

    Good crying jags are overrated. I'm quite an emotional person ABOUT THINGS. And by things, I mean books, movies, pictures, tv series, chocolate. See? Things. I'm not necessarily emotional about people. If anything, with people I tend to be a little too blunt and over opinionated. (Can you tell I have more feeling/empathy/emotion for book characters than, say, siblings? It's probably not healthy but I try not to think about it too much). Sometimes, I need a good cry. Just a few minutes to sit by myself and cry. With full on sobbing, nose running, red eyes. Totally ugly. Not one of those horribly depressing 'oh my heart is broken and not even sticky tape will fix it' kind of things. I mean the kind that feels cathartic. Feels good. What I do (dirty little secret coming up) is when I feel that I'm long overdue for a crying fest I chuck in a sad BUT HOPEFUL movie (note the 'but hopeful') movie and use it as a damn good excuse to just bawl my eyes out and get all the excess emotion out of the way. And then go back to daily life.

    Your pillow
    I love to travel. I haven't done much international travelling, but I have done loads of trips here and there around NZ and, as much as I've enjoyed every single trip, I love it better when I can come home to my own bed and my own pillow. Only then do I really relax and truly appreciate what a great trip I've just had. Nothing like time away to make the coming back so much sweeter.

    Bedhead all day long
    Although, really, in my case it'd be bedhead PLUS pyjamas AND a marathon re-watching of Supernatural because this is what weekends are for. AREN'T THEY? (Deliberately forgetting the instances where friends have turned up and I'm sitting there on the couch, loaded up with popcorn/chocolate/coke, hair standing on end, in pyjamas and looking rather crazed. And like good friends they say nothing and pretend I'm normal).

    The smell of books
    Books are familiar friends. They're also about new beginnings, new relationships, new hopes, new expectations and, as ever, new possibilities. It's a comfort thing for me, I think.

    Falling asleep in the backseat of a car late at night on the drive home
    I have crazy/mad/beautiful memories of a childhood lived in Wellington. A lot of them about family. My dad comes from a large family and a good portion of our evenings and weekends was spent visiting them, and seeing as how they stretched from Trentham, Upper Hutt all the way out to Thorndon, Wellington that'd be a fair amount of time sitting in the backseat of one of dad's ridiculously male excuses for a car. (And by that I mean the bright orange Chrysler Valiant Regal he used to tootle around in that came complete with a deep, growly rumble like an oncoming thunder storm). I always adored when we'd visit family, I just never appreciated the amount of time that either of my parents would think we'd need to stay there. Seriously - A FULL DAY? For an introvert like me, it was equal parts heaven and hell. By the end of the evening you'd find me curled up in the backseat of the car with my battered and much loved copy of Fantastic Mr. Fox. That book got me through many a social situation and I will love it forever. The part of the day I liked, though, was the drive home to Newlands: dark dark night, watching the glare of the streetlights as they flashed past, heading down Ngauranga Gorge and seeing the lights shine over the sea...and being lulled to sleep by the motion of the car because I knew that at the other end dad would have no choice but to pick me up and carry me inside to bed. That was when I felt safest, being carried by my dad. Funny the things we remember.


    breve711 said...

    There is a book 2. The book of even more awesome (i think)

    Jolene said...

    <3 - beautiful post - as always! - such a talented lady :-) So glad you liked the book..Ooohhh & there's a book 2...awesome! Lol.....BTW...I'm still in my pj's hehe

    tosca said...

    @breve711: Have requested it :P As well as (which I didn't notice earlier, either) The book of (holiday) awesome:

    Jude said...

    Awesome!! Thanks Tosca and Danielle, I've already placed 3 requests from this blog. Gonna keep reading the blog to find some more, thanks for the inspiration lol

    tosca said...

    @Jude: YAY YOU! I wonder, though, if you'll still be so positive when your request list has grown by 30 extra and they all turn up at once... :)

    Bennett said...

    Falling asleep in the back seat and being carried inside half-awake is one of my favourite childhood memories. But now when my own kids fall asleep in the car and I pick them up, they tend to wake up and grumble at me. I hope they figure out how awesome it is before they get too big for me to carry them...

    tosca said...

    First time commenter! Welcome :) I wish I could have appreciated it a little more and, maybe, even told my dad so. And I know what you mean - when I carry Mr1 inside (my nephew) he tends to flail a bit and whack me on the nose :/