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29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life Hardcover – October 6, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Lifelong Books; First Edition edition (October 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 073821356X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738213569
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 6.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,239 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Just a month after her wedding, 31-year-old Walker was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis; two years later, she was bitter, isolated, and addicted to both pain medication and self-pity. In need of help beyond drug detox, Cami takes the advice of a South African healer: give away something every day, for 29 days. Walker soon learns that being mindful of giving also means being open to gifts from others, and that gratefulness and mutual generosity is the key to a better, more rewarding life. Glimpses into Walker's day-to-day difficulties-work, family life, constant therapeutic treatment and addiction recovery among them-crop up among the stories of her daily gifts, grounding the work (based on Walker's Web site) in personal details. But the meat, an admirable reworking of The Secret (in that it should actually help someone, at least gift recipients), speaks largely to those already initiated into the cult of positivity.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Publisher’s Weekly, 9/7
“Glimpses into Walker's day-to-day difficulties…crop up among the stories of her daily gifts, grounding the work in personal details…An admirable reworking of The Secret (in that it should actually help someone, at least gift recipients).”

Blogcritics.org, 9/25
“It reminded me a lot of Michael J Fox’s book, since it was more about the journey rather than the author…29 Gifts is a great read. The author’s tone throughout the book is extremely friendly and upbeat, even while recounting her darkest moments…This is the practical component of The Secret… One of the many things I found great about this book is that while it exudes positivism, the author, Cami Walker, is a realist…The relative simplicity of the 29 gifts movement is refreshing…A fantastic book.”

Boston Globe, 10/4
“Walker’s a plucky writer, and it’s hard not to be inspired by her story…Can ‘29 Gifts’ work? Well, at the very least, it makes you more aware of the good in your life, and it shifts the focus from yourself to others.”

Deseret News UT, 10/10
29 Gifts stands out among other ‘inspirational’ books because Walker doesn't hold back. She describes her disease and symptoms in vivid detail. And it's that bravery which makes the process ring true. Following Walker's journey, one realizes that most of us give many little gifts each day. But without the right mindset, they seem like little tasks instead…Read all at once or at leisure, 29 Gifts is worth your time. Not only does it put a face on MS, it puts a face on perceptions and the power of the mind to overcome adversity.”

InfoDad.com, 10/29/09
“It’s all very uplifting, potentially of genuine value in teaching people to look outside themselves and the daily grind of their lives.”
 
Library Journal, 11/15/09
“Walker presents a story that gets to the core of the emotional pain and loneliness that people feel when suffering from a serious disease like multiple sclerosis…Readers will instantly connect with this narrative of her journey…Her story unfolds nicely, and the reader is left with a good picture of what it’s like to live with MS. Walker turns what could have been a book about self-pity into a great read about pain and a creative way to get on with life.”

Oprah.com, 11/20/09
“This holiday season, why not embrace the spirit of giving with your own 29 days of kindness?”

Orange County Register, 11/12/09
“An insightful and moving story.”

January, 12/9/09
“In this season of giving, 29 Gifts cuts to the very heart of the thing: giving to enrich and share rather than receive. If it doesn’t change your life, it will at least make you think.”

Book a Week with Jen blog, 12/2/2009
“The perfect gift for anyone who needs a feel good story…I enjoyed the read. It made me give a few gifts myself.”

Roanoke Times, 12/27/09
“I really love the idea of the 29 gifts, and the book did a good job of getting me to stop and think about how one’s attitude toward the world colors one’s experience of it.”

L.A. Intuitive Healing and Spiritual Growth Examiner, 12/30/2009
“A remarkable and inspiring book…I highly recommend it as a gift for someone struggling with depression, a major illness or wanting to heal on any level…Let this review be one of my 29 gifts to you and let this book be a present to someone in need.” 

Cape Times, 1/22/2010
“A delight…Well written…At times hilariously funny, at times very sad, and at all times it had me spellbound…It is a book full of wisdom.”

Books for a Better Life, winner of the MS Awareness Award, 2/22/10
“[An] inspiring story of giving.”

Albany Herald, 3/5/10
“If you like reading a book for content, then you will really like this book…Cami’s book was certainly an inspiration to me. I plan to start my 29 days soon.”

Energy Times, April 2010
“The story of how even small gifts—a perfect conch shell here, three dollars there—helped give Walker a grateful heart and taught her not to be overwhelmed by illness.”

Metapsychology Online Reviews, 3/28/10
“[Walker’s] story is moving and inspirational; this book is likely to appeal to those striving to live a life of gratitude.”

Saginaw News, 3/26/10
“A poignant and insightful account of the transformative power of acts of kindness."

Sacramento Book Review, 5/1/10
“Takes the reader smoothly into the day-to-day world of a young bride (Walker) who gets a devastating medical diagnosis just weeks after her wedding…Walker’s work transcends the ‘inspirational and spiritual’ genre, as this book is well-written to the point of approaching true eloquence…Don’t wait to buy this book."

Momentum, Summer 2010
“Walker’s book gives new meaning to the phrase ‘giving is better than receiving’…The lessons of 29 Gifts are applicable to everyone, healthy or not. It is an easy, enjoyable read—but more importantly, it opens a reader’s eyes to the ultimate gift: giving to others.”
 
Curled Up With A Good Book, September 2010
“[Walker] has written her book in such a way that readers from just about any faith path should be able to take away something of value…Walker is brutally honest about the physical, psychological and emotional impacts of MS in her life. She does not candy-coat her symptoms or the challenges they present. Yet her book offers hope—especially for people trapped in a mindset of scarcity.”
 
WellBella, November 2010
“[A]heartfelt memoir… [the] book became a movement of giving.”
 
Cleveland Plain Dealer, 11/12/10
“Walker describes the transformative experience of giving, and though it can be perkily Oprah-esque, its sincerity is evident and the benefits the author reaped are real.”
 
AsiaSpa Magazine, March/April 2011
“Written with raw honesty it teaches how to overcome adversity and provides inspiration for us all.”

MSWorld.org, 3/10/12
“Much more than a story about M.S.—it is a story about the power of giving…The experiences from [Walker’s] 29 days of giving will give you much food for thought.”


More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

Once I picked up this book I could not put it down... I literally read the whole book in one sitting!
Aaron P. Quick
This is the story of how that prescription changed her life and inspired her to share it with others, growing into a world wide giving movement.
Eileen T.
Her 29 days of giving make up the heart of the book, with each chapter representing one day, or one gift.
Beth Cholette

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 53 people found the following review helpful By P. Heaphy on October 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just received this book yesterday, and while I didn't read it all in one sitting, I thought about it for the whole day until I could come home and pick it up again. In a way, reading this book is like having a best friend trusting you with her deepest, darkest secrets, and you feel honored to be there for her. Cami Walker writes with poignant honesty about her diagnosis with MS, her recurring addictions and depression, and the stress that chronic illness places on marriage. And yet, most amazingly, this book is uplifting! While each chapter title focuses on the gift given that day, the writing style is more memoir and flows seamlessly between "past" (before diagnosis) and present day. There are references to spiritual leaders and healing messages, but they are subtle and "real", not over the top as too often found in books of similiar genres.

The title ("29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life") gives insight into only a small portion of what this book is about -the reminder that gratitude can start in the smallest of places. It is the act of giving, not the gift received, that makes the world a better place. This is not a how to book, it is not a book about unrealistic expectations or what you will get in return, except that I already feel like i have been given a gift, and look forward to passing this book on to others.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth A. Weiss on September 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an amazing first book / memior, inviting you in to share Cami Walker's ride back to recovery after receiving a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and subsequent tailspin into anxiety, depression and addiction. Cami teaches us, through the help of her teachers, and searingly honest prose, to give consciously, without resentment, from our abundant selves: to be bigger that we think we are. Her book takes us through each day of her 29 day giving journey and the wonderful change in her mind set, as she stops focusing all her mental energy on her diagnosis, and starts to open up to others through simple, mindful activities. As she does so, the world starts to unfold and give back, buoying her back to better health, restored relationship, and a new path. I didn't put this book down until I reached the 29th day of Cami Walker's journey of giving: a great effort! Thank you for sharing, Cami.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Michelle M. Olsen on October 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
29 gifts is an amazing book. Writer Cami Walker writes with raw vulnerability, power, inspiration, humor and integrity. This book is about how giving changed Cami's life as well as influencing thousands of people. I cannot recommend this book enough to anyone. If you want to be reminded of the good the world, read this book. If you want to be reminded of miracles in the world, read this book. If you want to know that abundance is in this world, read this book. If you are in a tough place and need inspiration, read this book. If you want to learn how to create new perspective in your life, read this book. And if you just want to feel the humanity in the world, read this book. Thank you Cami for writing this book.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Eileen T. on October 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read Cami Walker's 29 Gifts in two sittings because it was hard to put down. Cami writes with stark and compelling honesty that grabbed me from the very first page. Her story is real and grounded yet deeply inspirational. While in the depths of despair as her life is crumbling from the effects of MS, a very wise woman, Mbali, gives Cami a simple but profound prescription to give away 29 gifts in 29 days. This is the story of how that prescription changed her life and inspired her to share it with others, growing into a world wide giving movement. Cami is a gifted writer with a beautiful message. I have already passed my copy of her book on to a friend.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Merri Jill Finstrom on October 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the kind of book I'll keep close by for those days I need a lift to my spirit and a reminder to approach life with more gratitude. I found myself pinching the corners of certain pages so I can easily return to those words that helped me discover something about myself.

Cami's courage to share the intimate details of her journey with MS is powerful, eye opening and a generous gift. But, you don't need to be struggling with a chronic disease to appreciate her words. The concept of giving to find out what we have to offer in this world is good medicine for anyone.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jamie A. Nelson on October 18, 2009
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This book is an inspiration account of the author's process of healing her body, life and spirit through giving. I found it touching and deeply personal. It is the kind of book that stays with you long after being read. Highly recommended.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By kelly welch on December 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I literally just finished this book and needed to share with others how incredible it is. I have never written a book review before, but felt it was more than necessary! Cami Walker's story is so honest and easy to relate to. You feel like if you were in her situation you would be thinking, saying, and doing exactly what she does. Her diagnosis of MS and her past of addiction bring such a profound sense of strength to her story. Though the 29 gifts don't come easy, this book shows you the remarkable journey the giving takes her on. Seeing how much giving with kind intentions has helped her life, I am inspired to start my own 29 days of giving. I can't wait for each and everyone of my friends and family members to read this book! And what a perfect time of year to begin a more conscious practice of giving!
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