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One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are Audible – Unabridged

4.5 out of 5 stars 1,982 customer reviews

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I think this is one of those reviews that I'm going to take some heat over because I know this book and the author are very popular in Christian circles right now. That's why I wanted to read it myself, because I had heard so much about it.

First, the positive. I know several bloggers who are sharing their own 1000 gifts/gratitude lists and I'm always blessed to read them. I have kept my own accounting of what I call "grace notes" for years so I understand the blessing of looking for things to be thankful for. Voskamp shares from her heart with stories about her family and her own spiritual journey, and I think anyone reading this book would come away with a heightened sense of looking for God's grace in daily life whether it be having one's child come through surgery or the admiring the beauty of a full moon. I appreciate the encouragement to live life fully right where we are without feeling we need to work through a "bucket list" of daring experiences or exotic locations before we can be fulfilled.

But, this was a difficult book for me to read. Voscamp is obviously a poet at heart but the entire book is sing-songy with long descriptions and awkward word phrases and metaphors that I found distracting. It doesn't read as someone would actually talk in real life conversation.

As an example: "...tonight over our farm will rise the Great Hexagon of the blazing winter stars - Sirius, Rigel, ruby Aldebran, Capella, the fiery Gemini twins, and Procyon, and in the center, scarlet Betelgeuse, the red supergiant larger than twice the size of earth's orbit around the sun - and I will embrace the skin of a boy child that my body grew from a seed.
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By Amo on March 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I am a little baffled by One Thousand Gifts. Baffled that everyone seems to love the book, baffled at the reviews, and baffled that I do not seem to be enjoying the book like I expected.

I have seen some major comment craziness over this book which causes me a little apprehension in sharing my thoughts because I don't particularly want to be stoned or have virtual banana peels throw my way. The truth is; however, I did not love it. I had to force myself to keep reading which having a review copy demanded.

Sure, I was touched by the sadness author Ann VosKamp has had to deal with and I wished it was not so for her. Plus, I think giving thanks to God is important; however, I found myself weighed down by her constant, poetical voice. It was hard to follow and taxing to read. Sometimes, I wanted her to say what she meant straight out and not make me search for the intended meaning nor be forced to reread sentences because of the unconventional wording. I personally feel that her prose works for short blog posts but not an entire book, and I wondered if the entire message of the book could be condensed into one or more blog posts that would have been just as encouraging.

As I was reading, there were sentences and sections that made me pause and want to line it up with truth. I wondered if in her manner, there were liberties taken. Just three of the parts that made me wonder were as follows:

"If clinging to His goodness is the highest form of prayer, then seeing His goodness with a pen, with the shutter, with a word of thanks, these really are the most sacred acts conceivable." (pg. 61) So, writing down or taking pictures of what you are thankful for is a sacred act and actually "the most sacred act conceivable"?
"Here is the only place I can love Him.
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14 Comments 1,051 of 1,124 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
I read both good and bad reviews before getting this book thinking that all the good reviews definitely outweighed the bad. But after reading it, I suggest you heed the negative ones carefully, including this.

I've been a creative writer and editor for nearly 20 years and this book is a "headthrobber." I appreciate the theme and the whole passion for thanksgiving and living life fully for Christ, but the way it is written is agonizing. Too many adjectives clumped together, too many dangling clauses, too many useless words, and a trail of thought that has no structure... The whole gift is just lost on me by the time I get to the end of the paragraph. Rather than be blessed by the beauty of what it wishes to impart, I ended up annoyed and disturbed that I am reading a journal of sorts of a very messy mind. I couldn't finish a paragraph without heaving a sigh and rubbing my wrinkled forehead. I am surprised that so many people are rating this with 5 stars. I wish someone edited this in a way that would have preserved the thought without sacrificing style, but with a clear trail of thought, well-structured paragraphs, beautifully constructed sentences, and wise use of adjectives.

I feel the author tried too hard to translate a painting into words, making this book a canvass of her own abstractions. It felt as if she had a thesaurus beside her and used every polysyllabic word without hesitation. It seemed like she had many resources (especially on constellations and the cosmos) and just wanted to pour everything she knows in one book. What a mess.

I am NOT recommending this to any one at all.
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