29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life Info

Which weight loss plan works best? What are the best books on health and nutrition - What is the best free weight loss app? Discover the best Health, Fitness & Dieting books and ebooks. Check our what others have to say about Cami Walker books. Read over #reviewcount# reviews on 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life before downloading. Read&Download 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life by Cami Walker Online


After a devastating MS diagnosis, one woman shares her
inspirational journey in gratitude and generosity--in this New York
Times
bestseller.

At age thirty-five, Cami Walker was
burdened by an intensified struggle with multiple sclerosis, a chronic
neurological disease that left her debilitated and depressed. Then she
received an uncommon "prescription" from South African healer Mbali
Creazzo: Give away 29 gifts in 29 days.

29
Gifts
is the insightful story of the author's life change as she
embraces and reflects on the naturally reciprocal process of giving.
Many of Walker's gifts were simple--a phone call, spare change, a
Kleenex. Yet the acts were transformative. By Day 29, not only had
Walker's health and happiness improved, but she had also created a
worldwide giving movement. 29 Gifts shows how a simple, daily
practice of altruism can dramatically alter your outlook on the
world.

Average Ratings and Reviews
review-bg

4.08

3105 Ratings

5

4

3

2

1


Ratings and Reviews From Market


client-img 4.6
151
24
14
8
2
client-img 4
15
18
10
1
1
client-img 3.64
1086
1008
315
3
1

Reviews for 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life:

2

Mar 26, 2010

155.232 W I read this at the advice of a good friend, but I wasn't that taken by this simplistic story of turning your life around by doing good for others. And I just didn't like the author. Her 29 gifts were often not really gifts at all or such minor gifts such as "letting" her aunt scrub her apartment, washing the dishes so her husband wouldn't have to, letting him pick the movie at the theater, etc. And although she says they have no money,she seems to be throwing it around,telling us about 155.232 W I read this at the advice of a good friend, but I wasn't that taken by this simplistic story of turning your life around by doing good for others. And I just didn't like the author. Her 29 gifts were often not really gifts at all or such minor gifts such as "letting" her aunt scrub her apartment, washing the dishes so her husband wouldn't have to, letting him pick the movie at the theater, etc. And although she says they have no money,she seems to be throwing it around,telling us about all of her restaurant eating, her massages and other spa treatments. I've been without money and that's not how I lived.
On the other hand I did get some insight into life with MS and I do appreciate the message that doing things for others is self healing.
...more
3

Jan 20, 2011

It's hard for me to give this book a rating. For me, it deserves two different scores.

If I am rating the concept and the inspiration I received from reading it, I would give it a 5. The idea that giving a gift a day for 29 days is really inspired. It helps take the focus off of selfish things and puts it on giving to others. And that can have a profound impact on a person's life. I love this and I have found my own way of thinking has been changed as I have thought how I can implement some of It's hard for me to give this book a rating. For me, it deserves two different scores.

If I am rating the concept and the inspiration I received from reading it, I would give it a 5. The idea that giving a gift a day for 29 days is really inspired. It helps take the focus off of selfish things and puts it on giving to others. And that can have a profound impact on a person's life. I love this and I have found my own way of thinking has been changed as I have thought how I can implement some of these ideas.

However, if I am rating the connection I felt to the author, I would give it a 2. I just didn't really care for her. I was extremely sympathetic for all she had to go through, and I'm sure her MS is a terrible, daily struggle, but I just didn't relate well to her personally. Nothing against her at all. Just a matter of taste.

That being said, I would recommend it to others. A bit of language, but not much. Just something to be aware of. ...more
2

Oct 30, 2011

This is a tough one for me. I was inspired by the core message, and I am going to accept the 29 gifts challenge. I struggle as most people do with balance,negative self thought etc;. Embracing abundance through giving is a good place to start.
Where the book fell down for me was the author's lifestyle. All the while documenting her and her husband's financial travails, her life style seemed to be one of dining out frequently and spa treatments. I do not begrudge her these experiences. Having This is a tough one for me. I was inspired by the core message, and I am going to accept the 29 gifts challenge. I struggle as most people do with balance,negative self thought etc;. Embracing abundance through giving is a good place to start.
Where the book fell down for me was the author's lifestyle. All the while documenting her and her husband's financial travails, her life style seemed to be one of dining out frequently and spa treatments. I do not begrudge her these experiences. Having battled a chronic illness myself, the occasional treat is a boon to the body and spirit. But my experience, and I suspect those of many others are a far different reality.
There were wonderful nuggets of insight and wisdom. I especially enjoyed the essays at the end of the book and Mbali's history and message.I applaud Ms. Walker's intent in writing this book. Intention is everything really. She intended this to be an educational and inspirational work. For the most part she succeeded. ...more
5

Jun 12, 2011

My Mother gave me this book for my 40th Birthday. She had no clue the challenges I was facing in my life at the time, I didn't want to trouble her or have her worry, she was a big worrier (hmmm. that's where I get that from).

My Mother passed away this last October as I was not yet finished reading the book. I often would let her know during our phone conversations that I was in the process of reading the book and enjoying it.
I received a phone call from my Aunt on October 26th telling me that my My Mother gave me this book for my 40th Birthday. She had no clue the challenges I was facing in my life at the time, I didn't want to trouble her or have her worry, she was a big worrier (hmmm. that's where I get that from).

My Mother passed away this last October as I was not yet finished reading the book. I often would let her know during our phone conversations that I was in the process of reading the book and enjoying it.
I received a phone call from my Aunt on October 26th telling me that my mother was in the ER and might not survive the night and that I had better get there quickly (she lived 3 hours North of me). The blessing and gift for me is that I took this book on my roadtrip to get to the hospital in hopes of getting to read it aloud to her. I showed it to her and she recognized it and smiled and I began reading it to her from where I was in the book. I have applied the lessons I learned in the book beyond the 29 days and try to apply them daily, not always easy but easily thought of.

She passed away on October 28th at 5:30am (after just a week of her Liver Cancer diagnosis)and there is no greater gift that could be received than this book and the lessons of humanity one learns from it. Thank You Mom*
...more
1

Apr 19, 2011

I'm conflicted. While I think the concept of the 29 gifts is worthwhile, count me among Cami's detractors who believe:

So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in I'm conflicted. While I think the concept of the 29 gifts is worthwhile, count me among Cami's detractors who believe:

“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." (Matthew 6:2-4)

I found Cami Walker to be the Elizabeth Gilbert of giving - whiney and self-pitying on the one hand and boastful and self-congratulatory on the other.

I couldn't help but roll my eyes while listening to the epilogue.

Oh, and just in case you didn't get it the first 500 times she casually mentioned it, Cami's website for self-aggrandizement is www.29gifts.org.

Hmm, I notice that I used the prefix "self" in reference to Cami and her disciples a lot.

...more
5

Aug 19, 2017

I loved this book! It is an easy read that examines a philosophy in which feelings of scarcity in one's life can be transformed into abundance. It is very important to read it to the very end as the added stories are inspirational. There is also a website
29gifts.org to join others who are also practicing building abundance in their lives.
2

Nov 07, 2013

I read this book in preparation for the Nerdy Girls 29 day gift challenge. I really like the idea of intentionally giving a gift every day for 29 days and I was hoping this book would give me ideas and inspire me. I certainly got plenty of good ideas but I left this book more feeling annoyed than inspired.

Over all I found the book to be a big waste of time but Walker did offer up this one beautiful paragraph, "I've come to believe over the last twenty nine days that giving and receiving are two I read this book in preparation for the Nerdy Girls 29 day gift challenge. I really like the idea of intentionally giving a gift every day for 29 days and I was hoping this book would give me ideas and inspire me. I certainly got plenty of good ideas but I left this book more feeling annoyed than inspired.

Over all I found the book to be a big waste of time but Walker did offer up this one beautiful paragraph, "I've come to believe over the last twenty nine days that giving and receiving are two sides of the same coin. One cannot exist without the other. I now view giving and receiving as an exchange of energy – a universal transaction that each one of us takes part in over and over, moment to moment. I am also seeing that each exchange is – whether I am on the giving or receiving end – a divine experience, what my mother would call a God Moment. During the moments I am offering or accepting a gift, the part of me that is true spirit is connecting with the true spirit of another individual, and are both in that instant connected to the divine force that created everything out of nothing, the light from which we all draw inspiration and energy."

Oh yes, now that's lovely. That thought is a gift.

I understand that memoirs are by their very nature navel-gazing exercises, but Walker 's egocentrism was tough for me to swallow. Each gift was countered by what she what got back and this rubbed me the wrong way. Instead of focusing on the gift or the receiver – it was all about Cami. It was all about what Cami got back. With each chapter this got on my nerves more and more. I wanted to know more about the gift. I wanted to know more about the receiver. All got was more about Cami Walker.

It didn't help that I was reading the Epilogue at the same time that typhoon Haiyan was destroying the Philippines. I wanted to throw the book in the trash when Walker wrote, "… and I trust that God will provide us with the funds to meet our needs." Really??? God will provide her with the funds to pay the cell phone bill while the people in the Philippines are losing everything? What about them? Maybe they just didn't give enough gifts??? Somebody needs to break the sad news to her that the universe does not revolve around her. In fact, Mbali gave Walker the 29 day challenge because she was too focused on herself. Did she learn nothing?

The Epilogue of the book is followed by stories from other people who have participated in the 29 day challenge – I would rather have read 200 pages of those stories! The story about the teacher who gave a Christmas gift to the Bad Boy was really touching. For me that story illustrates what giving is really all about, making someone else feel cared about if only for a moment.

When I start my 29 day challenge I want to keep the story of Bad Boy in my heart. I want to remember that it is better to give than to receive. I want to go through the 29 days without thinking about what I get back. I look forward to getting started on this journey. Maybe my first gift should be forgiveness to author...she did at least start a gift giving community. ...more
1

Feb 20, 2013

I like to listen to audiobooks while I do beadwork. My library doesn't always have stuff I know I want to read, so I find myself listening to books that sound at least marginally interesting- and which sometimes are.

This one, though, was so not my thing. I liked the concept & the blurb, but I didn't like the tone, I didn't like the execution, and I surely didn't find the writing engaging. I was put off by too many things to count. The tone seemed to me to see-saw between deeply self-pitying I like to listen to audiobooks while I do beadwork. My library doesn't always have stuff I know I want to read, so I find myself listening to books that sound at least marginally interesting- and which sometimes are.

This one, though, was so not my thing. I liked the concept & the blurb, but I didn't like the tone, I didn't like the execution, and I surely didn't find the writing engaging. I was put off by too many things to count. The tone seemed to me to see-saw between deeply self-pitying and gaggingly self-congratulatory with no stops in the center. The sad and self-pitying parts rang on my ear as whiny, while the shining-light-of-the-world parts just made me weary.

Not for me, not even a little bit. ...more
3

Apr 25, 2012

I read this book because my community is doing a Community-Wide Read with it, and I like the idea of having a reading experience in common with a bunch of people. Plus, obviously the fact that it was selected is a pretty heavy recommendation from at least some people.

I'd give this a 3.5 if it weren't for the fact that I was rolling my eyes at a lot of the spiritual stuff, and occasionally at the protagonist's behavior.

First off, props to Ms. Walker for dealing so positively, as a general rule, I read this book because my community is doing a Community-Wide Read with it, and I like the idea of having a reading experience in common with a bunch of people. Plus, obviously the fact that it was selected is a pretty heavy recommendation from at least some people.

I'd give this a 3.5 if it weren't for the fact that I was rolling my eyes at a lot of the spiritual stuff, and occasionally at the protagonist's behavior.

First off, props to Ms. Walker for dealing so positively, as a general rule, with her life-altering condition. I'd never realized how scary MS was - she certainly conveys the miserable details vividly enough to make one want to nervously check one's own family tree for genetic red flags.

As mentioned, I'm not really into the spirituality thing, so the divinations and so on kind of leave me cold. The other thing that bugs me is how frequently Ms. Walker and her husband go out to eat, even though they're in big-time debt and on the verge of panic about their finances. I get that they're both low on time and energy, and you have to eat. And sometimes you need to treat yourself when you're going through a tough time to remind yourself that you deserve enjoyable things (though I think Americans often take this idea too far - a tiring work day or a tough social situation is suddenly an excuse for retail therapy, even though long-term this just digs you deeper into a hole, likely leading to more tough times and pulling you into a vicious cycle).

BUT, my feeling is, if you're having meltdowns over your finances and borrowing major money from your parents, you do not need to go out for BREAKFAST, let alone do so multiple times in a month. Heck, at most restaurants, that's not even good for your health, which is also, obviously, a major problem of Ms. Walker's. Many Americans are sort of conditioned to want a hot supper, and if you don't have time and every to cook, then I can understand eating supper out a lot. But even regular restaurant lunches sound iffy to me under the circumstances - it's just so much cheaper (and usually healthier, and not at all difficult) to throw together a sandwich or salad at home. And BREAKFAST? For less than the cost of one restaurant breakfast, you can get enough healthy cereal and fruit to last you a week, and not having energy is hardly an excuse - pouring a bowl of cereal is a lot easier than getting yourself to a restaurant.

Also: at one point, Ms. Walker goes by a homeless man into a store to buy her "favorite" juice drink, and comes back out to give him her change, which is 72 cents left over from a five. I'm sure cost of living is high in L.A., but you don't get yourself out of debt by treating yourself to four-dollar juice drinks right and left! She's also always buying bottled water, which annoys me, because someone so into health and connection to the universe and all that should realize that bottled water is the devil. And also another useless money-suck.

My favorite takeaway from this book is the concept of "giving mindfully." I think it's a great idea to focus on what you're doing when you make a gift, whether it's time, money, or whatever - to imagine the specific benefits you're potentially creating, and to reinforce in yourself the idea that you are a person who has something to offer the world and who enjoys giving. I also like the idea of trying to give something that feels scarce in your own life, because it reminds you of how much you do have. Plus, I think it's good to get into the habit of giving even when you can't afford much - whether it's giving a little time when you're crunched, or a little money when you're in a tight situation - because of the mindset it creates for you. If you always tell yourself, "I'll give when I have more money/time/etc.," when does that really end up happening?

(That said, I am a big fan of realism and of not making a bad situation worse; I don't believe in giving if you actually, really, truly can't afford it.)

Because I'm such a fan of the "mindful giving" idea, I had to tell myself while reading this that it's basically impossible to talk about one's own experience with mindful giving without sounding a bit self-congratulatory. Otherwise, I would have been a bit annoyed by all of Ms. Walker's descriptions of the gifts she gives and how much they help other people and make them happy.

Anyway, this is a quick and rather uplifting read that I'm glad I took the time for, and I hope people in our Community-Wide Read program will like it. ...more
3

Apr 23, 2010

I got interested in this because the author has MS. My sister has MS, so I'd like to learn more about the challenges & feelings the disease can cause. I felt like the author gave a very honest view of her struggle, and so I liked that aspect of the book.

I've noticed in my life in the past that gratitude is a very powerful emotion, and I think that ties in with the experiment the author writes about here. When you focus on the positive things in your life, you'll notice more positive things. I got interested in this because the author has MS. My sister has MS, so I'd like to learn more about the challenges & feelings the disease can cause. I felt like the author gave a very honest view of her struggle, and so I liked that aspect of the book.

I've noticed in my life in the past that gratitude is a very powerful emotion, and I think that ties in with the experiment the author writes about here. When you focus on the positive things in your life, you'll notice more positive things. In much the same way, the book says that giving things away makes you feel worthy of receiving good things.

My takeaways from the book:

- It's important to record things: the gifts you give, as well as the things that come back to you. Be mindful of your journal & the gifts.
- Do daily meditation & affirmation. Think of things to be grateful for. Reflect on the tradition of giving in your family.
- Try to give something you think you can't live without, or something that feels scarce.
- We each have many gifts to offer the world.

I also liked this quote from page 15: "Gratitude keeps your heart open. When you give with an open heart, you receive the profound gift of humility."

There was a lot of stuff that was a little too far out there for me -- some of the voo-doo-sounding ceremonies, for example. And some of the attitudes in the book bothered me: I know the author was being honest about her emotional state, but the whining got old at times. And the male friend (sorry, forgot his name) seemed awfully what's-in-it-for-me focused. Perhaps it's supposed to show that giving can benefit regular folks, not just zen masters who normally write this kind of book. But it kinda bugged me. Maybe I prefer to read stuff from the zen masters.

I'm sure giving is positive, but I didn't come away from the book sold on the idea that I needed to follow some 29-day program. ...more
4

Jan 11, 2010

In 29 Gifts Cami Walker tells of how her life was turned upside down when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis one month after her wedding. Quickly losing control over her body and facing a drastically different life than she had planned she sank into a deep depression and prescription drug addiction. When her neighbor, a South African healer prescribed a regime of 29 days of gift giving to heal her, Cami thought the idea was crazy. Desperate to gain control of her life she finally agreed In 29 Gifts Cami Walker tells of how her life was turned upside down when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis one month after her wedding. Quickly losing control over her body and facing a drastically different life than she had planned she sank into a deep depression and prescription drug addiction. When her neighbor, a South African healer prescribed a regime of 29 days of gift giving to heal her, Cami thought the idea was crazy. Desperate to gain control of her life she finally agreed and 29 Gifts is the story of what happened.

This is truly a beautiful, thoughtful book written by someone who believes in what she has experienced and wants to share it. Much of what happens to Cami makes perfect sense, she was wholly focused on her own pain and misery and simply shifting her focus to those around her helped a lot. She begins leaving the house more to visit friends in need and this helps her begin pushing through her pain, getting more exercise and seeing that she isn't as limited as she thought. Still the improvements in her life over just 29 days are impressive and her subsequent devotion to spreading the 29 days of giving is heartfelt and touching.

I listened to the audio version of this book and it is fabulously well read by Tavia Gilbert. The wide range of convincing accents she uses from posh British to low brow Cockney really brings the characters alive and makes you feel like you've met them.

This is a sweet little book that will warm your heart and possibly even change your life. ...more
5

Oct 27, 2011

I'm inspired into action! While having trouble joining her website (techie problems) --I called a phone number on the "29 Gifts" site and Cami Walker answered the phone. Surprised the heck out of me! I chatted about Cami about her book --and her health, (she hasn't been doing very well for a couple of months). Having MS is a daily challenge.

Lin from Goodreads (and our Woman's group) sent me this book ----so its now my turn to 'gift-give'.

I bought 5 more of Cami's books this morning from Amazon! I'm inspired into action! While having trouble joining her website (techie problems) --I called a phone number on the "29 Gifts" site and Cami Walker answered the phone. Surprised the heck out of me! I chatted about Cami about her book --and her health, (she hasn't been doing very well for a couple of months). Having MS is a daily challenge.

Lin from Goodreads (and our Woman's group) sent me this book ----so its now my turn to 'gift-give'.

I bought 5 more of Cami's books this morning from Amazon! (with plans to give to other friends)

I joined the website "29 gifts" and have started my 29 gift-giving today. I hope other people I know will join me on Cami's website....and 'gift-giving'. (doing this with others together could make the experience so much more rich in quality)

Too often its easy to say: "I give all the time...I don't have a track my giving ....for *29 days*.....[like some control freak].....
WHY NOT????? I think it puts FIRE and ENERGY into making our good intentions REALLY MANIFEST ---

AND----it allows us to feel good about OURSELVES ---



...more
5

Nov 15, 2010

Wow, what a great little book! In 29 Gifts, Cami Walker retells her inspirational story of how an unlikely prescritpion (stop focusing on your self and give 29 gifts in 29 days) shifts her focus from the MS diagnosis she is living with just one month after being married to what she can offer to the world. The "prescription" comes from a friend and spiritual teacher, an African medicine woman named Mbali Creazzo. When Cami is at her darkest hour and decides she has nothing more to lose, she Wow, what a great little book! In 29 Gifts, Cami Walker retells her inspirational story of how an unlikely prescritpion (stop focusing on your self and give 29 gifts in 29 days) shifts her focus from the MS diagnosis she is living with just one month after being married to what she can offer to the world. The "prescription" comes from a friend and spiritual teacher, an African medicine woman named Mbali Creazzo. When Cami is at her darkest hour and decides she has nothing more to lose, she remembers Mbali's advice and figures, why not? The results are amazing! Mbali explains that by shifting her focus away from the negativity of her illness and focusing instead on what Cami has to offer to the world, it opens the door for abundance to flow in. And flow it does, immediately! The book is written in a straight-forward practical way. Each chapter covers a gift and what resulted from that gift. Cami is so inspired by the growth she experiences that she begins an entire 29 gifts movement. Grassroots and online, Cami first blogs about her experiences and encourages friends and family to join her. No sooner do they begin and strangers join too. What would the world be if everyone espoused this mentality of giving to strangers for the sheer joy of brightening someone's day? This is a quick and easy read and very moving. I hope the idea catches on. For more information on the 29 gifts movement visit www.29gifts.org and pick up the book, which is a gift in itself. It will leave you feeling positive and full of great little insights. It's so rare to pick up a book that sparkles like a ray of sunshine. It will restore your faith in humanity and leave you itching to do something nice for someone. What a perfect read for the holiday season too, it's made me think more about the gifts I am giving this year. In fact, I'm giving this book as a gift this holiday season! ...more
3

Apr 17, 2015

This book has a really great message, and one I agree with wholeheartedly. However, I could have done with a bit less of the new-agey stuff. Also, I got a little tired of the whiney tone of the author's voice. I know she was going through a very tough time, and her health is a serious matter, but I felt there was too much focus on her struggles and how badly she behaved.
1

Oct 09, 2015

Of course I love the (not new at all) concept of giving with an open heart, and looking outward instead of worrying about oneself all the time. This is especially difficult but even more important when one is struggling. However, I found the author whiny and I think there's a lot to be said about not letting your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Pretty much the opposite of this book!
2

Jun 27, 2015

Twenty-nine gifts. One a day for (almost) a month. Sounds like a great idea. But the book, in my mind, wasn't up to it. Or, perhaps, the author wasn't up to it.

The main reason I didn't like the book was that I thought the main character was selfish. When a friend made the suggestion of 29 gifts to her, she said it would all come back to her (or something to that effect). Fine. But it seemed like the main character was looking for a return on her investment so to speak, and was expecting the Twenty-nine gifts. One a day for (almost) a month. Sounds like a great idea. But the book, in my mind, wasn't up to it. Or, perhaps, the author wasn't up to it.

The main reason I didn't like the book was that I thought the main character was selfish. When a friend made the suggestion of 29 gifts to her, she said it would all come back to her (or something to that effect). Fine. But it seemed like the main character was looking for a return on her investment so to speak, and was expecting the gifts to benefit her as much as the person to whom she was giving the gift. To me, that's not giving - that's selfish. And one day, she gave a gift to herself. Say what!

Second reason I didn't like it was I thought some (quite a few) of the gifts were rather trivial. I say that with some hesitation, because I imagine it's hard thinking of something to give every day - they're not all going to be grand gestures. But several were so subtle I had to play back the audiotape to listen again to make sure I hadn't missed the gift. That's what kind of impression some of the gifts made on me.

The third reason I thought the book was only so-so was a lot of the book dealt with some of the context of what was going on with her MLS and her relationship with her husband rather than the gifts, per se. It set the context for what she was trying to rise above with the gift-giving. But I wound up thinking of her as very selfish and petulant. Now, I don't have MLS, and I know that's judgmental, but I can't deny how I felt, either.

In some fairness, perhaps my dislike for the book was as much because of the narration (I listened to the audiobook version) as to any fault of the author per se. The emphasis and tonal inflections made the protagonist sound selfish, petty, whiny - i.e., dislikable. Now, I realize the author may not be that way at all, and that she meant the emphasis and inflection in a totally different way. Perhaps if had I read the book instead of listened to the audiobook I might have come away with a completely different impression. ...more
3

Sep 28, 2017

A personal memoir about one women's story to heal herself by giving 29 gifts in 29 days. She was to give mindfully, with no expectations of receiving. The results were pretty miraculous, so much so that she continued the 29 day cycle for over a year. "Healing doesn't happen in a vacuum. It occurs through our interactions with other people." You can join the movement at www.29gifts.org.
4

Feb 18, 2018

A positive read -- I found myself smiling often while reading it!
5

May 04, 2012

I LOVED this book. I have been suffering from a set of illnesses very similar to MS for 2 years now. I have EDS, which causes severe pain and my muscles to pop out of joint often, and Dyautonomia/POTS/NCS, which causes my heart to race, my blood pressure to drop and me to faint. And basically every part of my body that is controlled by my Autonomic Nervous system to be out of whack!! Some days I cannot even walk or I lie in bed shaking and cannot move or speak. It has changed my life completely. I LOVED this book. I have been suffering from a set of illnesses very similar to MS for 2 years now. I have EDS, which causes severe pain and my muscles to pop out of joint often, and Dyautonomia/POTS/NCS, which causes my heart to race, my blood pressure to drop and me to faint. And basically every part of my body that is controlled by my Autonomic Nervous system to be out of whack!! Some days I cannot even walk or I lie in bed shaking and cannot move or speak. It has changed my life completely. I have gone from an energetic, overachieving stay at home Mom, who worked part time just for fun, and served on many committees and boards, to being wheel chair bound for a time. This book inspired me so much!! While I am a bit better now and have now resumed SOME of my old activities, waking everyday with the realization that I face another day with this horrible chronic “sentence” is so hard. I loved hearing the anxious thoughts of Cami throughout the book; they were so true to what I feel!!! I loved reading about how she turned those thoughts around, and while she still has hard times, the way she copes and perseveres has really helped me. Sometimes with a chronic life changing illness you can over analyze every pain or symptom. You can spend endless hours at doctors, researching causes and treatments online, mourning your past, and hiding from your friends and family. 29 Gifts is brilliant, it causes a person who is suffering to think of others, which is very hard to do when you are struggling with your body and your new reality. I am starting the 29 Gifts program ASAP; actually I believe I began yesterday, so I will keep it up  Thank you Cami for this book! ...more
4

Jan 10, 2013

Interesting read and one Ive recommended to a few folks already. The author, newly married and newly stricken with a debilitating flare up of her newly diagnosed MS, is overwhelmed by all she has to deal with and has, understandably, become pretty poor me. But a challenge from a friend to embark on a 29 day challenge to practice gratitude, mindful giving, and learn to graciously receive gives her a much needed change of perspective. I found a lot familiar in her struggles and I appreciated the Interesting read and one I’ve recommended to a few folks already. The author, newly married and newly stricken with a debilitating flare up of her newly diagnosed MS, is overwhelmed by all she has to deal with and has, understandably, become pretty “poor me”. But a challenge from a friend to embark on a 29 day challenge to practice gratitude, mindful giving, and learn to graciously receive gives her a much needed change of perspective. I found a lot familiar in her struggles and I appreciated the honesty in her writing and describing the reality of the feelings and thoughts that accompanied this project. Some of the spirituality elements didn’t connect with me, but I really enjoy reading about other perspectives and approaches. I don’t think I will ever be as sort of New Agey as the author, but I appreciate anyone who is making a honest search for spirituality and truth in their life.

I can’t say this book changed my life but there were a number of gems throughout the work that resonated with me and have stuck with me long after I stopped reading. I thought this was a powerful look at how little acts and mindfulness about how we interact with others and view ourselves and world can really make a large impact. If nothing else, the world would be a shockingly better place if we all made an effort to give one “gift” per day and focused on being a part of the larger community. ...more
3

Dec 20, 2013

Nice enough story about giving to others and seeing coincidental good things happening (also known as good karma coming around). I found I liked reading it, even though it felt a bit formulaic for the type of book it was -- there's a guru that sends the author on this mission to do good, the author thinks a lot about themselves throughout, and in the end, after completing the mission, things are better. Ends with examples from others following the same proscribed 29 days of giving. I was Nice enough story about giving to others and seeing coincidental good things happening (also known as good karma coming around). I found I liked reading it, even though it felt a bit formulaic for the type of book it was -- there's a guru that sends the author on this mission to do good, the author thinks a lot about themselves throughout, and in the end, after completing the mission, things are better. Ends with examples from others following the same proscribed 29 days of giving. I was surprised to find a scant 4 years after publication, the websites with further information and tools to support this mission have disappeared. These websites were a part of the story, and to see them neglected until they disappeared doesn't speak well for the long term benefits of this program... ...more
2

May 08, 2010

Cami Walker was diagnosed with MS shortly after her marriage and is learning to cope with her severe symptoms. One of her spiritual advisers suggests she give 29 gifts in 29 days. This sounded like an interesting concept. The author mentions that her spiritual adviser believes that we live in a world of consumption and even though we have many material things, we may still be living in scarcity. I really liked this part. Unfortunately, this message can be understood without having to go through Cami Walker was diagnosed with MS shortly after her marriage and is learning to cope with her severe symptoms. One of her spiritual advisers suggests she give 29 gifts in 29 days. This sounded like an interesting concept. The author mentions that her spiritual adviser believes that we live in a world of consumption and even though we have many material things, we may still be living in scarcity. I really liked this part. Unfortunately, this message can be understood without having to go through the author's descriptions of her spiritual cleansings, multiple addictions and all the support groups, new age bs and massages. ...more
0

May 14, 2019

I cant imagine the agony involved in finding out at a relatively young age about the diagnosis of a debilitating chronic disease. Im glad that Cami Walker was able to turn her despair into a movement that has helped herself and hundreds of others look outward to help others rather than inward at their own pain.
There were times when I felt she made questionable choices, and I got bored during long descriptions of divinations, etc, but hey, its her book and her life so she can write it how she I can’t imagine the agony involved in finding out at a relatively young age about the diagnosis of a debilitating chronic disease. I’m glad that Cami Walker was able to turn her despair into a movement that has helped herself and hundreds of others look outward to help others rather than inward at their own pain.
There were times when I felt she made questionable choices, and I got bored during long descriptions of divinations, etc, but hey, it’s her book and her life so she can write it how she wishes. ...more
2

Jul 07, 2010

The very first book I ever read as part of my nifty book club. I am loving the book club... Not so sure about the book. The book was built on a principal I appreciate, getting out of your own way and focusing on other instead of yourself. The author struggles with MS and her story is quite inspiring. Giving a gift to someone every day for twenty-nine days really did improve her life and decrease her symptoms. My hesitation to recommend the book stems from its new age flare.
3

Dec 26, 2018

[For what it's worth, this was apparently a best-seller a decade ago. I'd never heard of it.]

I have never felt so mean while writing a review. I realize it seems ungenerous to say that I didn't like this book, especially when there's nothing seriously wrong, per se, with it. I also realize that it's ironic that the book is about altruism and I feel (in the interest of warning readers) that I can't just say nice things about this book.

Let's just say it wasn't my cup of eat-pray-love-tea. The [For what it's worth, this was apparently a best-seller a decade ago. I'd never heard of it.]

I have never felt so mean while writing a review. I realize it seems ungenerous to say that I didn't like this book, especially when there's nothing seriously wrong, per se, with it. I also realize that it's ironic that the book is about altruism and I feel (in the interest of warning readers) that I can't just say nice things about this book.

Let's just say it wasn't my cup of eat-pray-love-tea. The concept of giving, focusing on what you have to offer others and the abundance in your life, rather than the scarcity you perceive, is incredibly worthy, and I am sure others of my Goodreads friends will enjoy it. But me? Not so much.

Perhaps it was the whiny, journal-style of writing which put me off. Had the author written the whole thing as if it were a memoir, with some sense of long-term self-analysis in her review, rather than a daily diary, I might have cut her a bit more slack, and certainly, slack is what she deserves. Written 10 years ago, when Walker started her 29Gifts.org movement, about her life when she was two years into an MS diagnosis after a lifetime of misdiagnoses, two years into a marriage, four months into a move from San Francisco to Los Angeles with no circle of support, and 3 1/2 decades into a life that was apparently filled with (self-disclosed, marginally referenced) addiction and mental health problems, the story should have made me sensitively warm to the author's plight. But mostly, it didn't.

Some of this book is exhausting. Walker seesaws and zig-zags between pride in her business coaching skills and absolute catastrophizing over her illness, her financial situation, her self-esteem. Her meltdowns, when she is obviously surrounded by loving, caring people, are wearying. Again, it's completely understandable and if she were a sister or friend, one would have loving patience and forbearance. But it makes for a seemingly disingenuous set-up for the lessons the book is designed to impart. It's like she's trying to make herself seem pitiable and overwhelmed so that she can point out what a stellar turnaround she's had. It just feels very self-serving.

Next, this book is very woo-filled, which I'll admit isn't my thing. But hey, I don't have to partake of divinations and sea shell rituals and a sudden acclimation to prayer to respect that they work for others.

But woo aside, which Walker doesn't seem to acknowledge might be a bit unusual for the average reader, it's almost like Walker sets out to make the reader find her unlikeable so she can win them over, and for me, at least, it didn't work.

At one point in the book, the author and her husband, who have moved to Los Angeles to pursue his career (one in a tenuous, undependable, entertainment profession), get themselves in a lot of debt due to the author's medical situation. (Published in 2009, the story starts in 2006, long before the somewhat helpful ACA protections, so their money troubles are understandable.) The author has spent much of the book up to this point snapping at her husband (again, understandably, due to frustration with her illness), and does the same here because she literally has bowed out of paying attention to their finances and then attacks her husband for doing exactly what she asked him to do. Instead of developing a mature game plan, or even discussing one, she secures a sizable loan from her father, without even discussing it with her husband. Of course, a tempest ensues.

Fine, I get it. But in the literal *days* after this, where anyone else would be retrenching to shore up financial reserves, they go out to eat over and over and over, just the two of them and also with friends and decide they're going to get a dog even though they really want to have a baby. (Because that's obviously what you should do if you've got so much debt you can't stop crying?) If you literally can't afford your bills for the current month, to the point of taking a HUGE loan, why are you not being extra-cautious? Her health requires special self-care measures, but she literally THROWS OUT a $90 bra because her shaman told her it would cleanse her so she could receive a divination reading.

The amount of debt she and her husband has is large but not insurmountable, and the Bank of Daddy helps her out, and yet she focuses on her emotional discomfort at borrowing, ignoring that the *physically laboring poor* would likely give anything to be in her financial shoes. Later, almost as an afterthought, Walker recognizes that a homeless man with AIDS has it worse than she does. Her aunt and mother both fly out, one to clean her house and one to give the author's husband some respite from her emotional outbursts. People seem to be bending over backward from the outset to give her blessings and care, and if the book were about how this 29 gift challenge led her to recognize that, it might have worked. But it's not there, not even subtly.

Meanwhile, Walker's stand is that for her purposes, at least, it's not important to give anonymously, and so much of the book seems to be her saying, "Oh, look at this good way I learned to give. And you know I'm good because I was sheepish about accepting gifts, but see how I'm also good at overcoming that." Bah. (I kept hearing her narration in the voice of the actress who plays Tahani on The Good Place, who might have made this more amusing.)

Yes, I'm being (hopefully uncharacteristically) ungenerous. But 95% of the book is supposed to be the author's 29-day story of learning how to mindfully give, and to generously receive, and I just can't give this book love. I'm all for karma and the good you put out there returning to you in unanticipated ways, but the author's story didn't do it for me.

The cause is nonetheless worthy. Walker and her friends grew a website out of this movement that still exists almost 13 years later, and some of the participants/followers (including journalist Daryn Kagan) share their stories in the latter part of the book. These are lovely, woo-free, and more approachable for the average reader.

There's a bit of an afterword by the author's shaman/guru Mbali Creazzo (formerly her next-door-neighbor Toni), with a guide to approaching the 29 Day Giving Challenge, including writing affirmations ("Today I give with love." "Today I give with gratitude." "Today I give with Patience") and avoiding "gives" that come from places within oneself that might be draining -- obligatory, begrudging, resentful, etc.

If you are non-judgmental, comfortable with spirituality (of any flavor) and are open-minded to what I've callously called "woo," I suspect you'll enjoy this book, which proceeds along a path I suspect was designed to make the author seem frustrating so that her sense of self-love and improvement would be uplifting. To me, it all seemed heavy-handed. I'm inclined to suggest the reader visit the 29Gifts.org website, first, to see if the method resonates, and perhaps start with the end of the book, the shaman's afterword.

Woo aside, Mbali tells the author very early in the book, "Cami, I think you need to stop thinking about yourself." Amen, sister. ...more

Best Books from your Favorite Authors & Publishers

compare-icon compare-icon
Thousands of books

Take your time and choose the perfect book.

review-icon review-icon
Read Reviews

Read ratings and reviews to make sure you are on the right path.

vendor-icon vendor-icon
Multiple Stores

Check price from multiple stores for a better shopping experience.

gift-icon

Enjoy Result