The Book of Awesome

Published 28, Nov, 2012
Author // Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy says "we don’t know much about author Neil Pasricha, but, boy, do we like the way he thinks. Because this guy takes appreciating the little things in life to a whole new level."

The Book of Awesome

"Awesome" is a word that seems to be attacked relentlessly by critics. Their argument  - how many times have you heard this – is that “awesome” means something that describes awe – and perhaps the latest episode of Glee doesn’t quite fit that mold.

I honestly don’t care.  Words happen to fall in to use because they fill the gaps – and there was a gap in the popular vocabulary to describe something that was very, very cool.  Which incidentally is another word of the same ilk, adapted from its former use because it filled a void.  So I’m perfectly OK with both "awesome" and "cool".  I use the latter a lot, in fact.  (It seems to fit those situations in life which are one step down from awesome.)

All of which is a roundabout way of saying I had no problem in ignoring the incorrect use of an adjective in the title and picking a copy of The Book of Awesome out of the bargain bin of a Toronto bookstore last week. I remember reading about it and being intrigued by the premise of this book when it came out in 2012.  Written by Neil Pasricha, it emerged from a then obscure website 1,000 Awesome Things   – essentially one man’s blogging record of uber-cool moments in life we can all relate to

Why write about it here?  Featuring the book seemed a fitting complement to the delightful posts I get from time to time here as Editor of which deal with appreciating the little things in life from people living with HIV who have learned to smell the roses, and which we love to post ion this site.

I have to report the book is a joy to read.  Awesome, in fact.  It’s a series of short chapters, 1-2 pages in length, each containing something that will make you almost certainly smile with recognition at its peculiar awesomeness.  A sampling of some of these moments will tell you exactly what I mean. Ready for some awesomeness?

Wearing underwear right out of the dryer.

Seeing a cop in the side of the road and realizing you are doing the speed limit anyway.

Having a whole row to yourself in the plane.

Popping bubble wrap.

Being the first table to be called up for the dinner buffet at a wedding.

The moment at a concert after the lights go out and before the band comes on stage.

Fixing electronics by smacking them.

Bakery air.

When the socks from the dryer all match up perfectly.

Peeling an orange in one shot.

When the vending machine gives you two items instead of one.

When the thing you were going to buy is already on sale.

Peeling that thin plastic film off new electronics.

Scraping all the lint off an overflowing lint trap.

The smell of rain on a hot sidewalk.

The smell of the coffee aisle in a grocery store.

The smell of frying onions.

Picking up a q and a u at the same time in Scrabble.

Eating a free sample of something you have no intention of buying.

Finally remembering a word that’s been on the tip of your tongue for so long.

Finally figuring out how your hotel shower faucet works.

Nailing a parallel parking attempt on the first try.

When you nudge the person snoring next to you and it makes them stop.

Solving the Wheel of Fortune puzzle before the people on the show.

When you arrive at the bus stop just as the bus is coming round the corner.

When your suitcase tumbles down the luggage chute first after a long flight.

Waking up and realizing it’s Saturday.

Finding money in your old coat pocket.

Snow falling on Chistmas Eve.

Get the picture? This guy takes appreciating the little things in life to a whole new level. Now I don’t know a thing about this guy’s health status, but he would make a great HIVer, don’t you think? An awesome one in fact!

About the Author

Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy - Publisher

Award-winning blogger Bob Leahy first made his social media mark a decade ago on where there are still to this day almost 3,000 entries of his available to be read. He was a featured blogger on Ontario’s campaign, along with founder Brian Finch. He joined at its inception in 2009 and became it's Editor a year later.

Born in the UK, Bob’s background is in corporate banking, which he gladly left in 1994, after being diagnosed with HIV the previous year.  He has chaired the board of PARN (Peterborough AIDS Resource Network) and has been an executive board member of both the Ontario HIV Treatment Network (OHTN) and the Canadian AIDS Society (CAS).  He was inducted in to the Ontario AIDS Network’s Honour Roll in 2005.  Bob is currently a member of Ontario’s GMSH (Gay Men’s Sexual Health Alliance). He also writes for

In 2012, Bob was honoured with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal for his work and commitment to HIV/AIDS in Canada.

Bob continues to write for this site while in the Positivelite.Com editor’s seat, with a particular interest  in HIV prevention, theatre and the arts in general. He is accredited media for a number of Toronto theatres. He lives in Warkworth, Ontario with his partner of thirty-two years and three dogs.