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I Like Giving: The Transforming Power of a Generous Life Paperback – February 18, 2014

4.5 out of 5 stars 142 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The core message of this simple yet quite moving book is twofold: first, giving can be a joyous thing, and, second, giving generously can change the world, one gift at a time. Appropriately, the story here begins with a mysterious Thanksgiving turkey given anonymously to someone in need. Several chapters discuss the scientific benefits of giving—what happens when we give—which strongly suggest that it is more satisfying to give than receive. Giving to others, these studies indicate, makes us both happier and healthier. On the other hand, Formsma also acknowledges that sometimes giving can be “messy,” such as when people don’t respond the way we think they should: some might appear ungrateful; others may reject the offer outright. The solution, suggests Formsma, is to give with no strings attached. There is, he maintains, no “right” response. I Like Giving is full of stories—from the author as well as from people simply describing various small, random acts of generosity. Generosity, notes Formsma, usually has positive ripple effects, spreading out from individuals to families to the greater community. The word inspiring can often be overused, but here, it is most appropriate. A bighearted feel-good book for our times. --June Sawyers

Review

Praise for I Like Giving

“Important and exciting! I Like Giving could be the beginning of a movement of generosity.”
—MARK BATTERSON, author of The Circle Maker

“I Like Giving
will light you up on the generosity dial.”
—DAVE RAMSEY, host of The Dave Ramsey Show and New York Times best-selling author

“I Like Giving
inspires us to explore giving that is full of cheer and joy. These stories have opened up our eyes to
see our daily interactions with people in a whole new way.”
—DAVID and BARBARA GREEN, cofounders of Hobby Lobby

“I Like Giving
is a beautifully written book with the right title, because people really do like giving. Brad Formsma
has an inspiring message, and his book should be on every kitchen table, like a daily vitamin for the soul.”
—STEPHEN POST, best-selling author of Why Good Things Happen to Good People

“Brad’s understanding of generosity is a wake-up call for the giver inside us all.”
—MICHAEL JR., award-winning comedian
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook (February 18, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1601425759
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601425751
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #347,568 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
This book is an inspiration. Anyone picking it up should expect to realize how easy it is & how great it feels to help others. It doesn't require a grand gesture or huge expense. It can be as simple as paying someone a compliment or take it a step further and offer to help someone instead of passing them by. Giving can become addicting. Imagine what it would look like if everyone lived this way. I'm with Mark - this could be the beginning of a generousity movement. The personal stories are genuine, real life & relateable - their website and some of the videos I've seen are heartwarming - bring out your tissues.
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Format: Paperback
The transforming power of a generous life, practical ideas, inspiring stories. With praise from both Dave Ramsey and Mark Batterson, as well as a totally cool cover (complete with multi-colored polka dots!), this book had my attention as soon as I pulled it out of the box it arrived in.

The author tells many stories, but one statement really stood out to me. His grandfather wrote him a note when he was fourteen and it said, "Brad, Winston Churchill said you make a living by what you earn and a life by what you give. I thought this would be well worth remembering. Love, Gramps." He goes on to talk about how "prophetic" that note actually was, and how his life changed over time to be less about having and more about giving. But what an incredible thing, to remember spending time with your grandpa (or with any family member!), who spent the time to make things (in the case of his grandpa, it was making loaves of bread together) intending to give them away to others who needed them, and who really taught you - in a practical way - about the power of a gift. That is an incredible legacy to leave behind, it really is!

Later in the book, he tells us that "Joy doesn't come from filling your life with stuff. Joy comes from giving your life away." There are many examples provided of ways to give more away, and to live a life of generosity instead of one that is ultimately about being selfish. Examples are given from the author's life, and from stories submitted by other people. They are some really amazing stories of generosity, and well worth reading! Each section is pretty short, making this an easy book to read in chunks, and it would be a wonderful book to use in a small group.
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Format: Paperback
When generosity is less about something we do and more about something we are, the amazing happens.

That’s what this book is about.

If you feel stuck in neutral, this is your invitation out. Get ready for a lifestyle of giving that is far more creative and experiential than what obligation and duty have told you. I have always been a big fan of generosity, but this book has pushed me into a deeper awareness of the people around me and how even the smallest gesture of kindness can make a significant difference, for them but also for me. I Like Giving is full of practical wisdom and great stories that will make you want to go out and make your own story. And that’s exactly what you should do because, as the book says, “A generous world is a better world for all of us.”
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By Jonathan on September 22, 2014
Format: Paperback
Brad Formsma, creator of the website ILikeGiving.com and I Like Giving series of short films, has written a book by the same name that distills his philosophy on giving and encourages us to find joy in being generous.

On TV, at the mall, and next door, we Americans learn that having a nice house, multiple cars, TVs, nice clothes, computers, video games, etc. is "normal." In one of the many powerful giving stories told in I Like Giving, a man and his wife befriend a female student from Russia studying in the US. After she graduated and was preparing to go home, they asked her if she was hesitant about going back (it being the early 90s and Russia being in a state of political and financial turmoil.) "No!" she responded vehemently. "I would never want to be like you Americans. You spend all your time taking care of your things."

I Like Giving is, in the main, a series of giving stories in which Americans (a few of them rich, but many of then middle-class or even poor) respond with generosity to the needs they perceive around them. Most of these stories are simple. A six -year-old girl goes to Target with her mom to buy nail polish, only to instead help two teenage girls afford the nail polish they are eyeing; a man gives his postman a tip and a sincere "thank you for your service"; a college student forgets her laundry in one of the dorm washing machines only to come back the next day to find them dried, neatly folded, and bagged, with a thoughtful note, "just wanted to help you a little bit during this stressful time." The collective weight of all these stories is downright inspirational. If so many Americans can find such thoughtful and creative ways to give, I certainly can too!

Some of the giving stories are bigger.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I picked up Brad Formsma’s I Like Giving: The Transforming Power of a Generous Life. The title did not grab me. I expected that the pages would included highly individualized tale of how rewarding he finds giving. And yes, he does open up his own story of giving but what makes this book so special are the stories he shares from co-conspirators, givers and recipients of his and others’ generosity. Some of the gifts given are simple: time, attention, small acts of service. Some gifts are radical acts of generosity: vacations, money for college tuition, surgery, water heaters and forgiveness. Formsma shares and these giving stories in hopes to inspire readers toward more generous living.

This isn’t a ‘theology book.’ Formsma’s, giving is an act of faith and his response to nudges from the Holy Spirit. He doesn’t unpack this, preach or try to persuade people of the moral obligation to give. Instead he tries to awaken the desire to give by sharing stories and ideas and invites us to look for people and situations we can give towards. This book is an invitation more than a summons.

There is a ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul‘ feel to some of these stories: heartwarming encounters and miraculous answers to prayer. I may just feel sentimental, but I was really touched by a lot of these stories and do find them inspiring. As someone who has been on both side of generous giving–responding to God’s leading to give and someone who has received and sustained by the generosity of others, I encourage you to read this or go to Formsma’s website ilikegiving.com and watch some of the short films which highlight the ways people are giving. Be inspired and do something. I give this book four stars: ★★★★.

Thank you to Waterbrook Multnomah for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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