29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life (Hardcover)
How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life
Da Capo Lifelong Books, 9780738213569, 256pp.
Publication Date: October 1, 2009
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.
About the Author
Praise For 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life…
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).”
“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.”
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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
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."
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.” Cleveland Plain Dealer, 11/12/10
“Walker describes the transformative experience of giving, and though it can be perkily Oprah-esque, its sincerity is evident and the benefits the author reaped are real.” AsiaSpa Magazine, March/April 2011
“Written with raw honesty it teaches how to overcome adversity and provides inspiration for us all.”
MSWorld.org, 3/10/12 “Much more than a story about M.S.—it is a story about the power of giving…The experiences from [Walker’s] 29 days of giving will give you much food for thought.”
Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com
- What is your first impression of Cami when we meet her in the prologue? Does it change by the end of the book, and if so, how?
- Do you think that Mbali's admonition to Cami to "stop thinking about yourself" is fair, considering Cami's condition?
- Is Mbali's suggestion to lift Cami out of her "black hole" by giving away 29 gifts in 29 days one that you think would work in your own life if you were confronted with similar circumstances?
- Is there someone in your life like Dr. Kim who has changed your perception of the world and your place in it? In what ways?
- Mbali tells Cami, "When you are overgiving, you are not living in abundance, but in scarcity. . . . When you give from a place of service, honesty, and fullness, you are left feeling revitalized." Do you agree with Mbali, and if so, why?
- What role does meditation play in Cami's life, and in what ways does it help her address feelings of distress in her life?
- Cami writes, "One of the profound changes I've seen for myself since I began giving is that I now feel comfortable counting every gift I mindfully offer to another person. I no longer feel pressure to make a grand gesture for it to count." Do you feel you're always mindful of your intention in giving someone a gift?
- Of all the gifts that Cami gives in her first 29 days, is there one that resonates more for you than another? Which one and why?
- Is there a story from the 29 Gifts community at the conclusion of the book that touches you more than another?
- If you were to start the 29 Gifts program today, who would be the first person on your list to receive a gift, and why? What would you like to give that person?