I agree with Alfie that too much praise can be a problem. But I don't take that to mean "never praise" any more than I would realistically try to never correct. When kids are motivated externally, whether it's with a candy, a sticker, or a "good job", the reward becomes the motivation. But as an adult, I want a gentle but honest assessment when I am learning a new skill, a thank you when I do something for some one else, a little encouragement when I am struggling. We are social creatures, and it is natural that we want to know how our actions are viewed by those we care for.
I think sincerity is perhaps the most important part of praise. The kindergarten teacher who says "good job" 512 times a day loses some credibility. I am much more likely to say "thank you" to my kids, if they have helped around the house, or "that's pretty" if they've done some artistic thing. I don't make a huge deal out of every little thing, make my voice high pitched and squeaky, jump up and down with false enthusiasm. And as an adult, this is how I typically expect to be treated; polite appreciation when it is warranted.
I remember as a kid thinking too much praise was almost insulting - implying that is is somehow surprising that a child did what was expected. Or even beyond the usual - at 7 & 8, I enjoyed reading the newspaper. I was just interested in the world. But I found it embarrassing that adults thought that was a big deal, or their business, or something. Teachers wanted to make it an assignment, my mother glowed with pride and told her friends, and only my dad understood that no response at all was OK, but so was discussing current events, explaining some of the background, talking about it as if I were a regular human, with opinions and interests of my own, and that I wasn't interested in praise or even "learning". When my mother and teacher took too much interest, I quit. It had been my hobby, and they were taking it away.
John Holt in one of his unschooling books tells of a day playing catch with a kid. There was no need for praise or criticism - if the ball landed in the glove, that was the intrinsic praise, and no words were needed. And when they missed, the learning was direct. They didn't need an observer to narrate, "good try" - the kid knew if he had tried or not.
I wandered way off, sort of, but I also don't know the protocols for an online book club. So, (gently and honestly, see above
) let me know if this is supposed to be a more structured discussion. But I have been anxious to get going here too!