Books for Gratefulness Practice

Your webteam has selected the books below as having lasting value in the practice of grateful living. In addition, you will find other recommended books listed under each of our gratefulness topics. Thank you for buying books through us!

Gratefulness, the Heart of Prayer
A Listening Heart
Deeper Than Words
Seasons of Thanks
Uncommon Gratitude
Attitudes of Gratitude in Love
Words of Gratitude
Bonus: 7 books on gratitude research


Book cover Gratefulness, the Heart of Prayer: An Approach to Life in Fullness
It makes me happy that, after almost two decades, this book still finds a steady stream of new readers. Now and then, I hear people who made Gratefulness their daily reading in a time of crisis, in sickness, or on their deathbed. This fills me with awe. So does that fact that groups who read and discuss books together have found this one helpful. What do I myself like about it? That it treats the main aspects of gratefulness in a systematic way, without – I hope – being dry. And I specially like the list of key words arranged from A to Z (yes, I even have one for “X”). In fact, the Glossary we plan to include on this site will continue and expand that idea. - Br. David

Brother David Steindl-Rast, with foreword by Henri Nouwen
N.J. Paulist Press; 1984. ISBN 0-8091-2628-1
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Book cover A Listening Heart: The Spirituality of Sacred Sensuousness
Ever since I added the two new chapters, "Sensuous Asceticism" and "Sacred Sensuousness," to A Listening Heart, this has become for me a favorite among my own books. - Br. David

Brother David with foreword by Matthew Fox
Crossroad/Herder; Revised Edition; 1999
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Deeper Than Words cover with abstract artDeeper than Words:  Living the Apostles' Creed

“I have always felt that in endorsing a book I was honoring the book and its author. Brother David’s Deeper Than Words, however, brought a new and startling sensation: I found myself sensing that the book was honoring me by allowing me to endorse it. Never before have I felt this way about a book… This book belongs on every pastor’s desk, and on the nightstand beside the bed of every Christian who is trying to deepen his or her spiritual life.” – Huston Smith, author of The World’s Religions: Our Great Wisdom Traditions

Brother David with foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Random House; released:  June 15, 2010

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painting of a set table Seasons of Thanks: Graces and Blessings for Every Home, by Taz Tagore

A natural way to develop a practice of grateful living is to carry on the time-honored tradition of saying grace at mealtimes.  Created around holidays celebrated by a wide variety of cultures throughout the year, this elegantly designed book is a rich source of stories and words to feed your soul and express your gratitude.  Proceeds from the book go to Appreciate Network’s program for homeless youth.
- Margaret Wakeley, December, 2005         

Stewart, Tabori & Chang, New York (2005);
ISBN: 1-5849-429-1
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See also www.reciprocityfoundation.com


book cover with text Uncommon Gratitude on it.Uncommon Gratitude:  Alleluia for All That Is.
In Uncommon Gratitude two fascinating story-tellers tackle head-on the question, "What is life all about?" From the 2004 Tsunami to the 7 Deadly Sins, and from World-shaking events to daily haps and mishaps. When, how, and why can we shout "Alleluia!" - become Alleluja - in the midst of it all, in spite of it all? Before I put this page-turner down, I had wept and smiled and shouted "Alleluia!" in my heart in deep gratitude for this uncommon book.
- Br. David Steindl-Rast, March, 2010

Joan Chittister and Rowan Williams
Liturgical Press; ISBN: 0814630227
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Bookcover: Attitudes of Gratitude in LoveAttitudes of Gratitude in Love
We can have happier and more joy-filled relationships if we focus on what’s right about them rather than what’s wrong,” writes M. J. Ryan in Attitudes of Gratitude in Love, the follow-up to her bestselling Attitudes of Gratitude. In her characteristically down-to-earth style, Ryan helps readers use the practice of gratitude to get back in touch with why they fell in love in the first place and deepen the love between partners, no matter how long they’ve been together. The book is divided into two sections—the attitudes of gratitude that bring our personal lives more joy, peace, and love, and the simple behaviors we can begin to practice to change any relationship for the better, right this moment. - Conari Press

M.J. Ryan, with foreword by Daphne Rose Kingma
Conari Press; ISBN 1573247650
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Bookcover: Words of GratitudeWords of Gratitude
For Mind, Body, and Soul

Writing the Introduction to Words of Gratitude by Robert A. Emmons and Joanna Hill gave me a three-fold pleasure. It was a pleasure to introduce a book which conveys the message of gratitude so clearly, succinctly, and eloquently. Also, juggling with proverbs, as I did in my Introduction, is always a pleasure for me. And finally I could anticipate the pleasure readers will derive from the lovely layout and design of this perfect gift-book. - Br. David

Robert A. Emmons & Joanna Hill
Introduction by Brother David Steindl-Rast
Templeton Foundation Press; ISBN 1890151556
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For a full list of books by Brother David Steindl-Rast,
please see this page.


Want more?  Delve into gratitude research:

Robert A. Emmons - Thanks! coverThanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier
This fine, succinct contribution to the relatively new field of positive psychology (which seeks to promote emotional wellness, rather than treat disorder) focuses on what a French saying calls the memory of the heart. Emmons (The Psychology of Gratitude), a leader in the field and professor at UC-Davis, looks at gratitude from an interdisciplinary perspective, including literature, psychology, religion and anthropology. He demonstrates how it contributes to emotional equanimity and pleasure, richer personal relationships and greater health. Perhaps Emmons's most interesting chapter is on ingratitude, which Kant called the essence of vileness and which Emmons sees as resulting from the grudging resentment of one's own dependence on others. (from Publishers Weekly)

Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D.
Houghton Mifflin Company; ISBN 0618620192

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Emmons and McCullough - Psychology of Gratitude coverThe Psychology of Gratitude
Gratitude, like other positive emotions, has inspired many theological and philosophical writings, but it has inspired very little vigorous, empirical research. In an effort to remedy this oversight, this volume brings together prominent scientists from various disciplines to examine what has become known as the most-neglected emotion. The volume begins with the historical, philosophical, and theoretical foundations of gratitude, then presents the current research perspectives from social, personality, and developmental psychology, as well as from primatology, anthropology, and biology. The volume also includes a comprehensive, annotated bibliography of research on gratitude.

Edited by Robert A. Emmons and Michael E. McCullough
Oxford University Press; ISBN 0195150104

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Cover of book Living in Gratitude by Angeles ArrienLiving in Gratitude: A Journey That Will Change Your Life the word NEW
Author Angeles Arrien invites you to cultivate the power of deep appreciation so that it becomes our foundation for daily living. Sharing some of the latest scientific research, she gives examples of how gratitude boosts the immune system, fosters creativity, mends relationships, and improves financial well-being.  Integrating her research with stories, prayers, teachings, and practices from cultures and traditions spanning the globe, Angeles presents a 12-month plan for mastering the art of giving thanks every day through practices. 

Angeles Arrien
Publisher: Sounds True, Inc.; ISBN 160407082X
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book cover of Gratitude and EducationGratitude in Education: A Radical View the word NEW
The intersection of gratitude and education has been at the center of Dr. Kerry Howells' research on educational philosophy for many years. In her latest book, Gratitude in Education, Howells takes the notion of gratitude from the framework of positive psychology and applies it to both effective teaching techniques and student ownership of their learning. Powerful examples from teachers and students, and quotes about gratitude from many different voices, provide inspiration to do things differently in the classroom, staff-room, and at home. Watch Kerry's TED talk, How Thanking Awakens Our Thinking.

Kerry Howells
Sense Publishers: ISBN: 9460918123
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Daniel Schouela - Gift and Labor of Gratitude coverThe Gift and the Labor of Gratitude:  Reflections on Generativity in Adult Development
Following Erik Erikson's contributions concerning the centrality of inter­generational relations in adult development, this book proposes that the emergence in adulthood of the capacity to give is dialectically linked to the capacity to feel grateful for the gifts one has received. Gratitude, and in turn the capacity to give, are viewed as the fruit of an ongoing labor by way of which persons sustain an awareness of their indebtedness, overcome their sense of inequality in reference to their benefactors, and come to experience them­selves as having something of value to transmit to others. This book is addressed to researchers and clinicians concerned with emotional development in adulthood and, more generally, to individuals who wish to reflect upon the dynamics of personal transformation in the latter half of life.

Daniel Schouela
VDM Verlag Dr. Mueller; ISBN 3836435403
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Margaret Visser - Gift of Thanks coverThe Gift of Thanks: The Roots, Persistence and Paradoxical Meanings of a Social Ritual
This fascinating inquiry into all aspects of gratefulness ranges from the unusual determination with which parents teach their children to thank, to the difference between speaking the words and feeling them, to the way different cultures handle the amazingly complex and important matter of giving, receiving, and returning favors and presents.  The Gift of Thanks considers cultural history, including the modern battle of social scientists to pin down the notion of thankfulness and account for it, and the newly awakened scientific interest in the biological and evolutionary roots of emotions.  In Margaret Visser's hands, gratitude becomes a key to understanding many aspects of everyday behavior.

Margaret Visser
HarperCollins; ISBN 0002007886

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Yellow cover of The Gratitude FactorThe Gratitude Factor:  Enhancing Your Life Through Grateful Living
Charles Shelton uses his skills as a clinical psychologist to present insights into the human experience of gratitude based on his own research.  The exercises, strategies, and reflection questions threaded throughout the book give it a unique practical dimension that facilitates the reader's growth in gratitude.  Shelton's highly original reflection on Jesus as a grateful person lends a valuable spiritual dimension to his work.  The Gratitude Factor will benefit individual readers and well as serve as a resource for spiritual direction workshops, spiritual formation courses, or ministry formation programs.

Charles M. Shelton, PhD
Hidden Spring (Paulist Press); ISBN 978-1587680632
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