15 March 2014

The Grateful Table by Brenda Knight, Book review

Grateful Table: Blessings, Prayers and Graces

  • Hardcover: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Viva Editions (November 5, 2013)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936740567


What would happen if you sat down to dinner with the likes of Alicia Keyes, Jonathan Safran Foer, David Lynch, Morgan Freeman, Sir Ben Kingsley, Alton Brown, Neil Gaiman, Deepak Chopra and David Foster Wallace? Fascinating conversation, without doubt, and one of the things that all these folks have in common is that they practice gratitude and have a lot to say about it. These thinkers and luminaries included in The Grateful Table make this a thoroughly modern book of blessings, both heartfelt and deeply profound.

Saying grace is one of our loveliest traditions and one that has stood the test of time for good reason - it simply feels wonderful. Whether holding hands and praying to the heavens above or waxing poetic about the bounty of food, these blessings turn any group of people into family, connected by the power of gratitude. Compiled by the editor of and collaborator on the runaway bestseller Attitudes of Gratitude, Brenda Knight has employed the practice of gratitude for years. The Grateful Table is not your grandmother's book of graces. Filled with fresh voices and contemporary expressions, this book of blessings will make every occasion more meaningful.

My Thoughts:

Saying Grace at the dinner table never entered my family's thoughts or so it appears as I never recall a single time it was done. Once married though, my husband shared his hope I would follow his customary habit of saying thanks before eating, particularly as we planned to have a family.

Thirty nine years and two children later, it felt like our words of thanks were always the same, 'Heavenly Father, we thank you for the blessings you have given each of us, we thank you for this food and pray you will bless it to the use of our bodies and pray that you bless the hands who prepared this food. Thank you Lord. Amen.'  with an occasional 'boy scout version' (ex-RAF Flyboy was also a Scoutmaster) 'Thank you God for this food, yea God!'
I imagine a bored God sighing heavily...Even the well known quote 'it is the thought that counts' didn't make me feel any better!

Our thoughtful daughter must have shared my feelings as with a flourish she produced a copy of Brenda Knight's and said it was time for a change!

Filled with appreciation for life and a good dose of gratitude for others, The Grateful Table is a wonderful opportunity to spruce up thanks gone a bit stale. There is so much to be thankful in life but too often we rush through and fail to take time to give real thanks. 

With this book Brenda Knight has given a new life to precious times as we gather around the table.  Each prayer, blessing or quote listed for that particular day is shared by one of us during this special time as we discover new blessings proving Grace before meals is not a thing of the past!

Amongst those you will find Irish and Armenian prayers, and quotes and blessings from a whole spectrum of known and not so well known figures.

You might like also to know the proceeds from the sale of this book goes to Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency (BOSS), an organization working directly with at-risk youth and families to help them get back on their feet!

I'll close this by sharing just one of the inspiring blessings included in Brenda's book, shared by Albert Einstein:

"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle!"

Well worth checking out and 5 stars!!

Meet the Author:

Image of Brenda Knight

Brenda Knight is a twenty-year publishing veteran, starting at HarperCollins and authored American Book Award-winning Women of the Beat Generation, Rituals for Life and Wild Women and Books. 

Knight has worked with many bestselling authors including Mark Nepo, Phil Cousineau, Congresswoman Jackie Speier, and Paolo Coehlo. 

Knight volunteers for the American Cancer Society as a counselor for the newly diagnosed and leads writing workshops called "Putting Your Passion on Paper." Founding editor of Viva Editions, a division of Cleis Press, Knight lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Note to Readers: This was a gift and all opinions are entirely my own!


  1. Oh I think I'll look for that one!! I love giving thanks at meal time and you are right...you get in a rut sometimes. Here's the neatest thing...my father in law has Alzheimer's and really struggles to retrieve words. He still loves to give thanks and pray out loud though. :)

    1. Stacey, I give thanks for each comment I receive but hearing about your DIL absolutely made my day! Thank you so much for sharing!
      We are of course only on 15th March blessing (no peeking ahead) but we have appreciate each and every quote and I am so glad my daughter found this (thanks to another blogger too!)
      All the best,

  2. It's such a shame not many people say grace before meals, or say thank you altogether.

    Thanx for this post Noelle.

    God bless.


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