Customer Review

179 of 204 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Meh. An over-sweetened Latte., July 28, 2011
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This review is from: One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are (Hardcover)
I have resisted reading this book for some time. Everyone I knew and their sister, and friend, and, and, and- was reading it. Finally I could not take it anymore. Maybe there was something about being thankful I have missed out on that Ann had discovered? I knew the premise of this book, sat in on some conversations on it, blah, blah, blah. I will make it quick.

1-First of all it is so easy to get lost in the words. I am a writer too, and I love poetry, my eyes are skilled to read, my brain to comprehend, and yet I found both to be quite difficult while reading this.

2-It is just too lengthy. I kept screaming inside- "OK! I GET it!"

3-I have a Bible Degree. Talk about stretching the scriptures to accommodate your ideas. I see what she was trying to do, but it is a little over the top. I don't think, in many areas, the scriptures mean what she is deriving from them. Now there is a certain amount of interpretation that I think is allowed, but this, in areas, was taken too far.

4-The last chapter is appalling. As some have already said. I cannot view God in the sensual (mildly put) manner she uses here. It freaked me out. Now I am not someone who is uncomfortable with the idea of sex, not in the least. But in this context. Yucko. Yucko. Not good.

5-I feel this book, though meaning to be encouraging is in fact depressing. I don't see how focusing so much on the negative is a way to the positive. Let's just be positive. I know life is hard, and hard things happen. I think this book would be better for those who have been through trauma. It's a little more melancholic than I think the average reader with average bad days can gain from.

I am shocked in a way at all the 5 stars. It creeps me out that Christianity seems to be taking this overly emotional, and dramatic turn. (as seen in the overabundant interest in this book) I prefer a more solid view of God, and Jesus. But then I prefer to sing hymns, over sappy worship songs.

If I had to liken it to something it would be this- An iced coffee with too much syrup, so much syrup, that you literally gag on the sweetness, and your tongue is desperately searching to taste the coffee, the actual coffee, but it is just lost in the sticky, gooey, sugary syrup.

I gave it 2 stars because it has created more thankful people.
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Comments

Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 13 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 29, 2011 7:11:01 PM PDT
pavndol says:
I have not yet read or bought this book , but I am intrigued by the reviews and the fact it is on the NYT's 'best seller' list - as Ann's blog tells us.

Why then are there so many 5 star reviews? Is it really helping those who read it (primarily women) or, is it just good marketing by the publisher who will be measuring its success by sales - and NOT content?

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 1, 2011 11:13:18 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 1, 2011 11:17:43 AM PDT
Minnaloushe says:
I think it's both. I think it is genuinely helping some people who connect with her experiences and/or like her style of writing. It's a very emotional book, and so emotional people are going to plug into it.

I think that it is also good marketing, and there is even advertising for it like crazy on her site-

I also used to work at a Christian Bookstore, I knew the publisher's quite well. I was a little surprised to see Zondervan behind this due to the scripture stretching, and the last chapter-which is why I think Christianity as a whole is getting overly emotional. Not that it should be void of emotion, but the emotions surrounding the religion are allowing for watered down/own interpretation type thoughts and beliefs- and that bothers me.

The other reason this book in my opinion is a top seller, is because everyone wants to jump on a bandwagon, and there has been quite a bandwagon created over this book. Having said that-I do think it's great to come up with a thousand things to be thankful for. I just think it could have been done in a better, and more solid way, and in that-would have reached more people than just primarily women.

I don't think you can go wrong in getting the book, it's just that if I can save you 10$- Write down 1,000 things you are thankful for. God is good, though seemingly sometimes unfair, he knows best, and he loves you. End.

Be sure to read the first pages on the "Look Inside" feature to see how you feel about her writing style, or read her blog. If you get the book and her style bothers you, just read one chapter a week, and reflect, then go back. =)

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 2, 2011 2:26:40 PM PDT
pavndol says:
Thanks so much for your comments. I did a 'look inside' as you suggested and wondered how a child turning fours years old, could remember so much detail of the tragedy surrounding her sister. Children have a built in cognitive protection and lack literal awareness at that age, so I am not convinced the details are her own. But that has nothing to do with her style which I found somewhat 'wordy'

I will probably end up reading it at some point - however, I share your concern regarding watering down theological truth with emotion.

I loved your comment:

"God is good, though seemingly sometimes unfair, he knows best, and he loves you. End"
Thank you

(Maybe I will now start a list !!)

Posted on Aug 25, 2011 6:29:40 PM PDT
Thank you for your insight. Several friends are reading this book right now and I was thinking about getting a copy for myself.

Posted on Oct 20, 2011 3:14:40 PM PDT
LibraryLady says:
Excellent review; thank you. I can relate to all of your 5 points.

Posted on Nov 18, 2011 6:50:44 PM PST
Thank you for a good, honest review. Your words say what I wish I could. I thought maybe something was wrong with me for not loving her blog. I have tried to read and like her blog, and I simply cannot get over the melodramatic melodrama. I had to laugh at your syrup comment. I couldn't help it.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 9, 2011 6:27:27 PM PST
it is because it is martha stewart for the mind. a perfectionist's handbook. no thank you.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 9, 2011 6:32:02 PM PST
Kudos to you for being honest and warning others. I don't get this book! I liked reading your review though. Do you blog?

Posted on Jan 15, 2012 1:05:46 AM PST
Yours is the best/most helpful of the dozens of reviews I've read for this book. Actually, I had just reviewed it before I read yours, but I agree with most of what you said as well. I, too, am bothered by all the 5 star reviews. Sometimes we seem to be playing "emperor's new clothes".

Posted on Jul 21, 2012 9:35:02 PM PDT
Very, very well-said. I must say, this is one of the most down-to-earth, logical reviews I have read thus far. Thank you!
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