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

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

4.1 43
by Cami Walker
 

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At age thirty-five, Cami Walker was burdened by a battle with multiple sclerosis, a chronic neurological condition that made it difficult for her to walk, work, or enjoy her life. Seeking a remedy for her depression after being hospitalized, she received an uncommon prescription from an African medicine woman: Give to others for 29 days.

29 Gifts is

Overview

At age thirty-five, Cami Walker was burdened by a battle with multiple sclerosis, a chronic neurological condition that made it difficult for her to walk, work, or enjoy her life. Seeking a remedy for her depression after being hospitalized, she received an uncommon prescription from an African medicine woman: Give to others for 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 and receiving. 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 created a worldwide giving movement.

The book also includes personal essays from others whose lives changed for the better by giving, plus pages for the reader to record their own journey. More than a memoir, 29 Gifts offers inspiring lessons on how a simple daily practice of altruism can dramatically alter your outlook on the world.

Editorial Reviews

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.
Library Journal
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 (MS), which she was diagnosed with at age 35. Readers will instantly connect with this narrative of her journey to find an alternative to withering away in her apartment. Through the help of a spiritual leader, Walker begins to heal herself emotionally by giving away 29 gifts in 29 days. 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.
From the Publisher
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.” 

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.”

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."

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.”

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.”
 

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786745999
Publisher:
Da Capo Press
Publication date:
10/06/2009
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
307,735
Lexile:
970L (what's this?)
File size:
307 KB

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Meet the Author

Cami Walker was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2006 and created the online 29-Day Giving Challenge in April 2008. She has continued her own giving cycle every month since. Walker lives in Hollywood, California, with her husband, Mark.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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29 Gifts 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 43 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this book is wonderful!! so inspirational, it touched my life like no other book ever has..it is a must read..a true story that will change your life..i can't say enough about the book, the author or how it touched and changed my life..enjoy
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loveed the most that the author was brutally honest about her MS and the effects that it has had on her life...it was refreshing to read something I could relate to and know that I am not the only one going through the same things :-)
Sher51 More than 1 year ago
After hearing about the author on a radio show, I had to go out and purchase the book! Was lifting in my heart, and help us through a death at Chritstmas time. Great gift to all you love.
Joan43VA More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful book for anyone experiencing pain of any nature.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I always thought i was the only one who felt that way about my MS and i am not. Thank you for sharing it really helps!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has certainly made me wake up every morning looking forward to surprises life has to offer. I don't try to get through the day anymore, I get from the day. What an amazing feeling that is to be able to look for a chance to make a difference in someone's life no matter how simple it is. I makes me wonder: if only each of us follows the author's step to start a journey of giving, this world will definitely be a much better place. What a unique message this book has.
JLynnD More than 1 year ago
Cami Walker has captured the essence of how selfless giving can energize and help heal numerous hurts and pains of life - emotional, financial, physical, et.al. She chronicles the results of a prescription she received, when she asked a spiritual mentor to help her deal with her recent and severe MS diagnosis, to give 29 gifts in 29 days. The key is honesty and altruism - giving with intention but with no expectation of return. Walker's writing style is entertaining and engaging, and the transformation she experiences really draws you in. I loved the book, and we are reading it as a selection in my church book group.
Frisbeesage More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He smiled, holding her close.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You here?
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a great read.
jennbunny More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent book.....not just because of the unique nature of giving 29 gifts and what that brings to one's soul, but also to hear a woman's story of coming back from the brink of an MS diagnosis. It made me realize quite a few things in my own life listening to her weave her story.
dosterk More than 1 year ago
I read about this book in a magazine and something resonated with me due to some current struggles in my life. Cami's writing really drew me into her life and I could feel her pain and struggles, and then joy and celebrations as the challenge of giving daily gifts changed her outlook on life. I highly recommend this book and have already suggested it to many of my friends and family, and will also be purchasing a few copies to give as gifts.
Denise_in_MD More than 1 year ago
Cami's story is truly inspirational---I've used highlighter, folded down the corners of pages, and bought copies for friends/relatives that I know will get as much out of reading this book as I have. This book will change your perspective and your attitude about the mark you leave on others (and ultimately the world). Enjoy!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Not just all feel good, but deep insight into the process of giving and the self-development that happens.
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indigo13 More than 1 year ago
Anyone interested in deepening connections can read this and learn just how easy it really is...
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