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One Good Deed: 365 Days of Trying to Be Just a Little Bit Better

3.4 of 5 stars 3.40  ·  rating details  ·  216 ratings  ·  57 reviews
Erin McHugh had spent the better part of her adult life doing community work, but in more recent years, the minutiae of life and working as a bookseller kept her busy and away from those higher impulses. Then one day she learned a distant relative was actually going to be canonized. Was this a sign? What followed next was McHugh’s sincere urge to recapture a sense of chari ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published September 1st 2012 by Abrams Image
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The devastation of Hurricane Sandy makes One Good Deed a most timely book. I live in NYC, and for the last week have seen not only the worst that Mother Nature can do, but also the best that human nature can be; and being a better human being is what this book is all about.

Erin McHugh chronicles her 365 day journey to be "a little kinder, a little more helpful, a little more thoughtful" by doing one good deed a day. The deeds don't have to be big, they can be as simple as bringing a friend flowe
Rachael Settles
I'm so glad I had the opportunity to read this & I'm going forward with the last line of the book...."little is fine. Little & constant is life-changing."
Erin not only inspires others with her project of doing a good deed a day for a year, her actions inspire others to extend these acts of kindness to more people. What a delightful domino effect ensues.

Moreover, Erin's attitude toward herself is augmented as she recognizes the effects of her good deeds. She makes the following suggestions on the day entitled "Pass it On".
"Today speak as kindly to yourself as you do to others.
Allow someone else to help you the way you help other people.
Give your
I was really looking forward to reading this book, as I myself am currently working to perform one good deed (or act of kindness, as I've been calling them) per day. It was my new year's resolution- the first one I've ever been excited to work on and the only one I've ever tried to keep. I started my project long before I even heard of this book, and when I saw this title on my library's list of new books, I was really excited to read it, because I thought it would be full of recommendations and ...more
Anyone who wants to be a better person will be able to take something away with them after reading this.

The main crux: Be aware of the people around you and try to make their lives better.

I really just meant to do a quick flip through, but for some reason it pulled me in. The writing style is very conversational, the author isn't preachy and each page tells a story that is relate-able.

P.S. Based on the blog:
P.P.S. I like that author's a lesbian, but it's not a boo
I gave up on this book after reading about a months worth of 'good deeds'. It was just too shallow for me and most of the 'good deeds' are things that considerate, thoughtful people would do anyway. I was hoping for more enlightenment. I don't think basic consideration, politeness, or simple unselfishness should be considered a good deed. For instance, one day the good deed was giving up the window seat on a train/bus (the author apparently loves her window seat) so that an elderly couple could ...more
Maria M. Elmvang
"One Good Deed" is Erin McHugh's account of how she spent one year doing at least one good deed per day. The 'good deed' in question didn't have to be something big or elaborate - it could be something as simple as calling up a friend to let them know she was thinking of them, handing over a cup of coffee to somebody in need, or even just biting her tongue and letting something go.

While you could read "One Good Deed" in one sitting, it would really be doing it a disservice. To fully appreciate i
Barb Wiseberg
Loved it - I expected a sweet little 1 hour read but ended up savouring this book over a few nights.

One Manhattan author, with a mission to do 365 good deeds, one day at a time. It was a wonderful glimpse into the generous, warm spirit of the author and a testament to how we can all make a difference, one small gesture at a time.
I always enjoy books about people that step out of their comfort zones and try to make their lives better and more meaningful. Erin McHugh gave herself an impressive goal to do one good deed a day for an entire year. McHugh's personality really shines in this book and some of the deeds she describes are quite funny. After finishing the book, though, I found myself a bit let down. While some of the deeds McHugh's does are original and very thoughtful, a lot of them are just simple things that any ...more
Heather Berkowitz
I wasn't sure what this was going to be, but the preview sounded interesting and, frankly, it was a free nook book. I found that I couldnt put it down because everything in it is just so relatable. I've also found that I'm paying more attention to things, too: on the way home from work, I saw an elderly woman raking her lawn and it looked like she could have stopped. I'll be honest and say that I didn't pull over and offer, but I think recognizing that there are other people in the world is just ...more
I was very happy to have received a review ebook copy from

The idea of a book with 365 good deads was pretty exciting! I do love a "feel good book".

This book is written as a journal and, as the title say, this extraordinary lady will make you smile with her daily random acts of kindness.

My favorite good deeds must be when she goes to the first bus stop to make sure she gets her favorite seat and when she ends up with two ice creams!!

Overall I must say I did enjoy the book, even tho
Liz Phelan
Much different than what I expected as I thought this book would be a laundry list if charities and volunteering events. The author is a single woman living in New York City whose life is significantly different from mine. I appreciate that she sought out opportunities everyday to be thoughtful. Some acts of kindness were incredibly small and some large. My takeaway from this book is to be aware if others and seek out opportunities to be thoughtful whether by holding open a door or giving a genu ...more
A writer from New Bedford, currently living in New York, chronicles her year of doing one good deed per day. As she does, she explores its impact on herself, her friends and loved ones, and the world at large.

I loved this book. In fact, if I had borrowed it from the library, I would have bought a copy to keep. I want to meet Erin McHugh and be her friend. She's that likeable, that loving, and that witty.

Highly recommended.
I liked the book! I thought that the concept was a nice idea. But for me, some of the deeds were not always deeds, but they seemed to be common sense. What I did think was refreshing was that in today's society, people sometimes forget common sense and decency so maybe it was enough content to make a book out of. I did like author Erin McHugh's goal to be optimistic about different situations though. I, like McHugh, live in New York but I do not always think of the things that I do as deeds (off ...more
Loved this book. Realized how easy it is to do a good deed daily and doesn't have to me montary. I put a challenge on my FB page for others to try and do a good deed a day, I will check back after a couple months to see how others are making out. Such an inspiration.
Anyone who wants to be a better person will be able to take something away with them after reading this. - Tamara, Computer Services

Reserve a library copy.
Carol Richey
This is a little gem of a book. Other reviewers have stated that it's not terribly inspiring since it counts as good deeds what might be considered as ordinary kindness. I'll admit I felt the same when I first began reading it, but now that I've finished it I fully appreciate the beauty of what Erin has done by encouraging each of us to be a little bit better each day. As far as I'm concerned, when you wake up each day asking, "How can I make this day a little better?" and then try to act on it ...more
Loved it! As I got to the middle of the book I was becoming more aware of my own daily good deeds!
A delightful little book! So easy to read, and it made me smile!
This book really highlighted to me the differences between a stereotypical Midwesterner, me, and a stereotypical New Yorker, the author. Coming, as I do, from the land that made Oprah famous, doing good deeds for others is a kind of second nature. That's why I thought this would be an interesting book, it would give me 365 ideas for doing good deeds for others, some of which I could use. As you start to read the first few days of good deeds, you see things that aren't 100% obviously good, like y ...more
I won this book on Goodreads and was looking forward to opening its cover and curling in a chair and reading. Having come from a long line of glass-half-empty people and having adopted their precepts, I have made an effort through the years to change this flaw. I was anticipating this book would be the perfect guide to keep me on the right track. On a closer look, however, I was partially mistaken.

The author, McHugh, gives prompts for good deeds, such as offer to give directions to someone in a
**I received a copy through a Goodreads giveaway**

I think this is a great challenge to accept. I think that each of us do good deeds for others every day, but like the author we often aren't even aware that we're doing it. Her challenge was to consciously do something nice for someone else every day. What she discovered was that even a simple gesture could mean the world to someone else. She also discovered how much she did on a regular basis that she never gave herself credit for.

One Good Deed:
*** I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway ***

I am just loving this book! It's not a book to read at once; it's a book to absorb day by day.

I have read the introduction and a handful of days and love the author's writing style. It's casual and animated. I can hear and picture her in my mind (she has great facial expressions and gesticulates a lot).

I was a little leery winning this book as I thought it might make me feel like a bit of a loser that I don't "do" enough. But it's quite the opposit
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked up One Good Deed: 365 Days of Trying to Be Just a Little Bit Better by Erin McHugh. Mostly I was worried about how I would feel when I read it. Which totally defeats the purpose of the author’s project.

After discovering that one of her relative was being canonized for sainthood, Erin McHugh attempts a to do a good deed a day for an entire year. The book is written in journal form, which mirrors her blog of the same name. Erin chronicles each day’s good
John Orman
Wow, what a bunch of great ideas of how to improve your life, mainly by observing the world and its people, and meeting their needs instead of concentrating on our own.

Out of the 365 wonderful suggestions, here is a sampling:

Share a memory
Share the wealth
Share your knowledge
Count your blessings
Be nice
Do what you can
Make a little sacrifice.
Be as generous as you can
When you are wrong, apologize!
Renew a friendship
Do unto others
There is sheer joy in giving joy!
Hardest of all--Hold your tongue!
Love i
Actually, I bought this on a whim and didn't even look at it for a long time, but it was great. She's got a great writing style and seems funny and honest. I'm already looking up her other work!
Not all of these counted as good deeds and some of them seemed a little redundant. However this book served as a reminder of a few things. 1. I am not the terrible person I believe myself to be in my head. Often I do many of these things without thinking of them as good deeds. 2. I needed a reminder that basic things like tipping at the coffee shop mean a lot to people and you should do it every time you can. I do like that the author gives a lot of money away to other people. She strikes me as ...more
This is going to be a different kind of review. One Good Deed by Erin McHugh is the type of book that makes you take a hard look at yourself. After reading it, I wish I had her enthusiasm and altruistic spirit. I'm grateful for waking up everyday, but I can't say that I'm truly happy everyday. It doesn't take much for my mood to change. I spend too much time worrying and complaining about what I don't have instead of appreciating what I do have. I don't know if I could follow in Erin McHugh's fo ...more
I really like the idea of this book - "do a good turn daily" (to quote the Girl Scouts). The author decides she will do one good deed each day for a year - and write about it. The book starts out great, but by the end of the year, I feel the author was running out of things to write about, and it just became a series of entries about her daily routine. That said, it did make me start to think about what I could be doing to help other people - so I guess the author was successful in her goal to m ...more
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