The most recommended gratitude books

Who picked these books? Meet our 14 experts.

14 authors created a book list connected to gratitude, and here are their favorite gratitude books.
Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

What type of gratitude book?


Book cover of Thank You, World

K.L. Going Author Of This Is the Planet Where I Live

From my list on pictures showing kids how we’re all connected.

Who am I?

Growing up, my father was a biologist and my mother was a children’s librarian, so I suppose it’s no surprise that I’ve become a children’s book author who writes about valuing the planet where we we live. I’ve always had a deep love of reading and some of my most cherished childhood memories are of walking through the woods behind our house, with one parent or another identifying the plants, animals, amphibians, birds, and insects that shared our land. My very first piece of writing was a poem about an owl that I wrote in first grade, and now all these years later, I’m still reading, writing, and recommending books that celebrate our marvelous world.

K.L.'s book list on pictures showing kids how we’re all connected

K.L. Going Why did K.L. love this book?

This book has a lot of the qualities I love in a picture book: it has a simple yet meaningful text, colorful illustrations with plenty of details, and a message about connection and gratitude. What more could you ask for?

The reason I end up sharing this book again and again when I do read alouds with young children is the eight panel layout on each double page spread, where each panel represents a different part of the world, so children see the same experience portrayed in multiple ways. The pictures are so detailed they invite you to study them and compare one panel to the next.

By Alice B McGinty, Wendy Anderson Halperin (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Thank You, World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Thank you, breeze, for lifting up my kite wings past treetops tall and proud.

Thank you, trees. Your branches are my playhouse. I'm climbing to the clouds!

Eight very different kids, from eight different continents, all go about their day and experience the same moments of happiness: greeting the sun in the morning, swinging on a swing, flying a kite, being tucked in by Mommy at bedtime. 

Uplifting and narratively rich, this audiobook reminds us that the world isn't as large as it seems and that life's greatest pleasures are the simple ones.

Book cover of The Science of Getting Rich: By Wallace D. Wattles 1910 Book Annotated to a New Workbook to Share the Secret of the Science of Getting Rich

Robert C. Worstell Author Of Get Your Self Scam Free

From my list on helping you learn how to make honest money online.

Who am I?

I've been scammed several times. Even getting out of one and then being suckered into another. So after the last time, I just quit buying stuff until I'd gotten how and why I could get flim-flammed to begin with. So people could wise themselves up and get their freedom back. It only took a couple of years of my life, but I was able to use all my experiences of being scammed, so the research technically started many years earlier. I've got several degrees including a doctorate, and have published hundreds of titles from the research I've done in various fields. Even one on how to research.

Robert's book list on helping you learn how to make honest money online

Robert C. Worstell Why did Robert love this book?

Sure, this book is easily found online, since it's been downloaded almost since the Internet was createdand spread by xeroxed copy before that. If you only read the last chapter, it tells you a very simple (one-page) set of key principles that makes money find you. (I memorized that last page to have it handy all the time.)

By Wallace D. Wattles,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Science of Getting Rich as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace Wattles. The classic book updated for the modern day. Full and complete with added notes and exercises, you can write directly in the book!The added exercises help you to implement the work and gain mastery over the material. Have you even read a book and by the time you got to the end forgot the advice from the beginning of the book? This book solves that problem! The Right to be Rich We are all destined to great thing if and when we put our mind to it. Discover the age old principle…

Book cover of Thankful

Wendi Silvano Author Of Turkey Trouble

From my list on Thanksgiving for children.

Who am I?

I never knew Turkeys had so much personality—that is until I lived with a family high in the Andes Mountains of Peru, and met their turkey Pavito. When they scraped leftovers into a trough for their dogs, Pavito would come running too (certain that he was just “one of the dogs”). He would chase me around the courtyard or sit nearby making strange gurgling noises. He became the star character in my books. As a teacher and mother of 5, I have seen which picture books young readers respond to best—those they connect to, laugh at, remember, and which hold their attention. 

Wendi's book list on Thanksgiving for children

Wendi Silvano Why did Wendi love this book?

Thankful, is a beautiful list of simple, everyday things that people are thankful for, from a poet being thankful for words that rhyme to children being thankful for morning storytime. It is a great reminder that we can be thankful for the simple things in life (things that we might not usually think of when asked to name something we are grateful for). It has engaging, rhyming text that is meant to be read aloud, while young readers delight in the details of the charming illustrations.

By Eileen Spinelli, Archie Preston (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Thankful as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Celebrate everyday blessings, practice thankfulness, and observe the wonderful acts of service that keep us going each and every day. Eileen Spinelli, bestselling and award-winning children's author, charms with rhymes and whimsy in Thankful, perfect for any young reader and their family.

Thankful is a heartwarming board book that teaches children ages 0-4 to:

Focus on the blessings that we often take for granted Appreciate essential workers and what people in our everyday lives provide: "Like the gardener thankful for every green sprout, and the fireman, for putting the fire out."

Meant to be read aloud, Thankful features:

Endearing storytelling…

Book cover of The Psychology of Gratitude

Patrick M. Garry Author Of The Power of Gratitude: Charting a Path Toward a Joyous and Faith-Filled Life

From my list on gratitude and how it can uplift your life.

Who am I?

I have published more than twenty books and hundreds of articles. But not one of those books and articles inspired the kind of devotion I felt toward The Power of Gratitude. In a way, this book encapsulates a lifetime of writing. It is the book I believe I was called to write.

Patrick's book list on gratitude and how it can uplift your life

Patrick M. Garry Why did Patrick love this book?

While we sometimes might think of gratitude as just a simple emotion or reaction, Emmons and McCullough show a much more complex side to gratitude. 

In this book, Emmons and McCullough explore the scientific and medical aspects of gratitude. The book helps the reader understand all the psychological and medical benefits produced by a life lived with gratitude.

By Robert A. Emmons (editor), Michael E. McCullough (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Psychology of Gratitude as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

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. This work contributes a great deal to the growing…

Book cover of Everything is Better Than You Think: How Gratitude Can Transform Your Life

Denise Kiernan Author Of We Gather Together: Stories of Thanksgiving from Then to Now

From my list on gratitude making every day feel like Thanksgiving.

Who am I?

Denise Kiernan is a multiple New York Times bestselling author of narrative nonfiction books including The Girls of Atomic City, the Last Castle, and We Gather Together. Throughout her career as a journalist and an author, she has explored underrepresented stories and characters and the impact they have had on history. These stories of the unsung offer fresh perspectives on historical tales we think we already know. At the heart of many of Kiernan’s nonfiction explorations are women from a variety of different backgrounds and time periods. She has devoted her last three books to the history of Thanksgiving and gratitude, writing separate books for all ages.

Denise's book list on gratitude making every day feel like Thanksgiving

Denise Kiernan Why did Denise love this book?

It’s really quite simple: if you focus on negative things, you’ll feel miserable. If you focus on the things that are wonderful in your life, you will feel better. And chances are, you’ve got plenty of wonderful things in your life.

The author of this book is a Maryland pastor, but I don’t think you need to be a Christian to enjoy or even grasp the message of the book. I like that he references the science that has brought gratitude to the masses, and written about it in such a straightforward manner.

By Will Johns,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Everything is Better Than You Think as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Want to feel fully alive? You can feel your best right now by following the simple method laid out in this book. Your life is actually much better than you think it is. It all depends on what you focus on. Order now to find out how you can be your best every day by changing your focus. It is like having a magical set of glasses that you put on each morning. Your entire day will look different when you look at your life through the lens of gratitude. You will begin to notice the good that is already…

Book cover of Wild Ride: Women’s Stories and Life Lessons

Jacqueline Jeynes Author Of Targeting the Mature Traveler: Developing Strategies for an Emerging Market

From Jacqueline's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Self-motivated Loves projects Loves trekking Art historian

Jacqueline's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Jacqueline Jeynes Why did Jacqueline love this book?

This book is an inspired compilation of short 1-2-page reflections on memories of love, life, and "interesting" events from 55 women around the world, and what a great cover design! 

It was definitely a fascinating mix of stories to demonstrate that however diverse their circumstances might be, all the women managed to capture the courage and determination they needed to overcome adversity and survive.

Underpinned with humor, an impressive will to take risks, and a sometimes quirky look at life, you can certainly find inspiration from these women and their tales.

From stories about lost relatives and life lessons from unexpected acquaintances to buying a house using 3 credit cards (yes, really!), this was a great way for Kathy to say we should all enjoy a "wild ride" at some time in our life. 

By Kathy Klaus,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Wild Ride as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Wild Ride began as a project for the Humour Academy, a three year course. The ideas for this book was to collect stories from women about any event or stage of their life. Without filters for age, topic or writing the expedrience, it captures the authentic voice of each woman. In addition, each "author" provides a piece of advice they would give to their younger self. The book is divided into four sections: The Value of a Story, Emotions and Memory, Gratitude and Love Remembered...the latter being an opportunity for family to share a story about their loved one. All…

Book cover of Thanks a Thousand: A Gratitude Journey

Dave Kerpen Author Of The Art of People: 11 Simple People Skills That Will Get You Everything You Want

From my list on entrepreneurs who want to go further faster.

Who am I?

I love building businesses. I’ve built several businesses, ranging from a one person consultancy to a venture-backed tech company to an 8-figure marketing agency to a managed HR marketplace to a virtual memorial services company. The only thing I love more than building businesses is building and helping create new entrepreneurs. These books have helped me tremendously in my journey and I hope they help you as well!

Dave's book list on entrepreneurs who want to go further faster

Dave Kerpen Why did Dave love this book?

Gratitude is a fundamental part of my life as an entrepreneur and leader. Of the many books I love on gratitude, this is my favorite. It’s funny and poignant and successfully makes the case that gratitude is a game-changer when it comes to building the business and life of one’s dreams. I am grateful I found this book and this fantastic author!

By A.J. Jacobs,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Thanks a Thousand as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Bestselling author A.J. Jacobs has undergone a life-changing and entertaining journey. The idea is deceptively simple: he takes one of our greatest pleasures- our morning cup of coffee - and tries to thank every single person involved in making it, from the barista to the coffee farmer and all those in between. This turns out to be a stunningly large number, including artists, chemists, presidents, mechanics, biologists, miners, smugglers and goatherds. Hundreds of people. Thousands. Maybe more.

Through this seemingly straightforward quest, Jacobs reveals inspiring truths. The book is a reminder of the amazing interconnectedness of our world. It shows…

Book cover of We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga

Nancy Bo Flood Author Of First Laugh, Welcome, Baby!

From my list on Native American celebrations today.

Who am I?

Stories help us understand ourselves, another culture, or a new student sitting alone at a nearby desk. While teaching, working side by side, and living on the Navajo Nation for nearly twenty years, I wanted to share some of the special and surprising aspects of their culture—especially the kindness, wisdom, and the laughter Navajo people shared with me. Laughter is a holy gift for the Navajo people. First Laugh shows the reader why this is true. My books have been given a variety of national and international awards but the best reward is when a child looks up while reading one of my books, quietly grins, and then proudly says, “I am in this book.”

Nancy's book list on Native American celebrations today

Nancy Bo Flood Why did Nancy love this book?

This is a delightful journey of seeing the thankfulness expressed by the Cherokee people for the gifts of each season.  Reader and listeners might pause and think about “what is something for which I am thankful?” Page by page this question is answered as one becomes aware of the gifts we often take for granted—water to refresh us; air to sustain us; earth to hold us; and family who love us, and thus we give thanks. 

By Traci Sorell, Frane Lessac (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked We Are Grateful as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

2019 Sibert Honor Book
2019 Orbis Pictus Honor Book
NPR's Guide To 2018’s Great Reads
2018 Book Launch Award (SCBWI)
Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2018
School Library Journal Best Books of 2018

2018 JLG selection
2019 Reading the West Picture Book Award

The Cherokee community is grateful for blessings and challenges that each season brings. This is modern Native American life as told by an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation.

The word otsaliheliga (oh-jah-LEE-hay-lee-gah) is used by members of the Cherokee Nation to express gratitude. Beginning in the fall with the new year and ending in summer, follow…

Book cover of A Simple Act of Gratitude: How Learning to Say Thank You Changed My Life

Ivan Nossa Author Of The Power and Magic of Gratitude: Expand the vibration of your life and put wings to your journey

From my list on the power of gratitude.

Who am I?

My journey of being an author has been a magical ride. I wrote my first book at 47 when nobody gave me credit about becoming a real author and later I left my good job to fulfill this dream and changed my life completely with a bit of thoughtlessness behavior, I must admit now if I look back. But it has been worthwhile. I wrote books on gratitude, forgiveness and love but my most famous book is The Power and Magic of Gratitude that became a bestseller in Italy. Since then I have been known for spreading the powerful message of Gratitude with countless meeting, conferences and events.

Ivan's book list on the power of gratitude

Ivan Nossa Why did Ivan love this book?

A lawyer who finds himself going through very rough times in his life, both financially and emotionally. At that point, he started to choose selflessness as a way of life and his road started to go down a dangerous path. He regains his balance thanks to gratitude. He starts writing gratitude messages, small letters just to say thank you. The more he writes the more he feels better and suddenly his life changes. Now he's successful in business and love.

I can’t recommend enough writing thank you messages during your days to people you know, clients, and everyone that comes to your mind. And I thank the author for this precious idea.

By John Kralik,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Simple Act of Gratitude as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Who in your life deserves thanks? What started out as an experiment- a quest to send 365 Thank You notes in a year- became a way of life for author John Kralik. After he hit rock bottom, the genuine effort of writing a brief note each day eased his anger, frustration, and sadness. This new focus on being grateful- even when it seemed there was little left to be thankful for- transformed his difficulties and fears as if by magic. Friendships grew bonds and finances improved. Expressing gratitude exposed the richness in his life, and the process can…

Book cover of Thank You and Good Night

Julie Fortenberry Author Of Darcy's First Sleepover

From my list on picture books about sleepovers.

Who am I?

One of my favorite childhood memories is of kindergarten painting time. The teacher let us use thick tempera paint on big sheets of paper and actual easels! My abstract paintings have been in the Whitney Museum of American Art. But for the last 17 years, I’ve been painting for preschoolers and kindergarteners. My own stories are often inspired by my children and tend to be about leaving the comfort of home for the first time. I’m the author and illustrator of Darcy's First Sleepover, Pearl Goes to Preschool, The Artist and the King, and Lily’s Cat Mask which received a Kirkus starred review and was added to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. My next book, Grandpa and Jake, will be out in March of 2022.

Julie's book list on picture books about sleepovers

Julie Fortenberry Why did Julie love this book?

This is a lullaby of a book. Cozy all the way through. Three adorable animal friends spend the night together playing, doing yoga and the chicken dance, watching a shooting star, and, before drifting to sleep, giving thanks for the many things they are grateful for. The comforting sounds of the words are reminiscent of Goodnight Moon. The illustrations are graceful and simple. Patrick McDonnell is peerless.

By Patrick McDonnell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Thank You and Good Night as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 2, 3, 4, and 5.

What is this book about?

The sun set, the moon rose, and Clement buttons his favourite pyjamas, ready for bed. But then his friends arrive for a surprise pyjama party! Together they play, snack and practice yoga before wishing on a shooting star and finally getting tucked into bed. But not before saying thank you for all of the wonderful and simple joys they've shared.

Inspired by the internationally acclaimed MUTTS series, this warm and engaging picture book is perfect for sharing at bedtime.

Introducing bestselling author and cartoonist Patrick McDonnell to the UK for the first time.