Review of Alphatudes, the alphabet of gratitude by Michele Wahlder Rated 3.75 by Karen Bentley, America's Spiritual Reviewer
Alphatude is a playful new word made up by author Michele Wahler that morphs alpha bet and grati tude. Using the alphabet theme, Wahlder gives us 26 A to Z topics deserving of gratitude. Each topic features a quote, a short narrative explanation, an affirmation, and a prayer. Personally, I like to express thanks for tangible experiences like clean sheets, heat on demand and electricity at the flip of a switch, but Wahlder prefers more abstract subjects. She reminds us, for example, to be grateful for now because planning and worry rob us of joy in the present moment. She also draws our attention to other topics like choices, obstacles and ex’s. My favorite reminder of gratitude is for the word yes. Who doesn’t want to hear yes more often? Maybe we should say it more often, too.
Alphatudes is a visually appealing book and would make an ideal gift. Each of the 26 topics is introduced by beautiful artwork with a different background color. The dramatic fonts used for graphic accents add to the overall attractiveness. Even the laminate coating on the cover and pages makes for a pleasing, tactile page-turning experience. There’s also something about the 7.5 inch square shape that makes you want to like this book. All-in-all, the thoughtful detail that went into the design, layout and packaging is quite extraordinary and sets Alphatudes way apart from the pack.
Wahlder helps us to understand that gratitude is more than a social grace. It’s a powerful, easy-to-use tool in our personal bag of tricks for uplifting self out of a rut and aligning with Source. Need to get out of a depressed state of mind? Use gratitude to escape from the downward slippery slope of life. Need to undo a hateful thought about yourself or another? Use gratitude to navigate from a negative state of mind to a positive one. Lucky for us, the thoughts we carry around in the mind can be changed, and gratitude is a fast, convenient way for everyone to do it. Gratitude requires absolutely no skill. It’s not dependent on age, gender, ethnicity or income. It’s available to all of us, and most importantly – it works!
I enjoyed Alphatudes even though Wahlder doesn’t always push herself to make the most original or insightful point in her narratives. Instead she tends to summarize and recycle information that we’ve heard before. That said, there is no end to our need to be reminded to express gratitude for our life experience. Alphatudes isn’t the kind of book you gobble up and read all at once. Rather, it’s one you put on your bed stand and read section by section before you go to bed at night. Like a prayer, it helps you to find deep nourishment and renewal.
The Aphatudes theme of gratitude could be easily adapted to a highly targeted series of books : Alphatudes for Grandparents, Alphatudes for Teachers, and so on, and I do hope the author and publisher will consider it.