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

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3.62  ·  Rating Details ·  2,096 Ratings  ·  516 Reviews
Burdened with multiple sclerosis at the age of 35, Cami Walker was given an uncommon prescription from an African medicine woman for her depression: Give to others for 29 days.
Audio, 5 pages
Published November 1st 2009 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published 2009)
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B
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 ...more
Melodie
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 batt
...more
Krystal
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 th
...more
Debby
Jun 12, 2011 Debby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Kecia
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
...more
Denise
Jan 11, 2010 Denise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 a ...more
Elyse
Oct 27, 2011 Elyse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
...more
Nic
Apr 25, 2012 Nic rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
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, w
...more
Elena
Nov 15, 2010 Elena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone!
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 remem ...more
Angela
Apr 23, 2010 Angela rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
...more
Jenna
May 04, 2012 Jenna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Roberta
Apr 19, 2011 Roberta rated it did not like it
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
...more
Bekka
Apr 17, 2015 Bekka rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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.
John Kaufmann
Jun 27, 2015 John Kaufmann rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: misc
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 gift
...more
Sheryl
Apr 23, 2012 Sheryl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life was recommended by my pastor, and I’m so glad I read it. It’s full of wisdom and insight, including advice from the author’s mother on the secret to a long-lasting marriage, who said “’It’s very simple. We never break up. No matter what.’”

The story is written by Cami Walker who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) shortly after her wedding. Seeking relief from her resulting depression and her suffering from the disease, a “medicine woman
...more
K.
Dec 28, 2012 K. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3

A cousin recommended my mom give this book to me. Very candid account of a woman learning to look beyond her own miserable problems to discovering the reality and humanity of other people.

The message I would give 5 stars. The botherment was Ms. Walker's rush to turn her fledgeling experience into a worldwide effort (she was ready to take it to the world after she completed something like 4 days of giving out of the prescribed 29). And NOT that we shouldn't share things that rock our world, but
...more
Andrea
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 th ...more
Julia
Feb 09, 2016 Julia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cami Walker and her now husband Mark, were just married a month ago. Their life was going good as newlyweds, until they came home from their honeymoon and Cami started have bad days. Some days she could function okay and then the next she could not even get out of bed she was in so much pain. She went to a specialist and they diagnosed her with multiple sclerosis. Multiple sclerosis is often known as MS, and is cause your body not to function 100% all the time. Mbali, their next door neighbor, g ...more
Angela Holland
May 31, 2016 Angela Holland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to the audio verson of this book instead of reading it. I thought the narrator did a good job although I am not sure if it was the author herself or someone else - either way she was good. That is my problem with audio books is that if I don't like the narrator then I can't get through the book. The concept of the 29 gifts in 29 days is a very nice concept. You can read more about this concept on Cami's website: 29gifts.org as well as hear other's stories. This book tells Cami's story ...more
Michele
Nov 02, 2010 Michele rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any adult
Recommended to Michele by: me
I really enjoyed the principle of this book. (she writes simply. with a sense of humor as well as with honesty. be aware of some language.) Most of us find ourselves thinking of the things we are without or the things we wish were different. This is about being aware of others, focusing outwardly. I have done something like this a few different times in my life and I'm excited to take part of this "movement" of giving at this time. I'm on day two today and hope to continue on this quest. I belie ...more
Jay
Dec 20, 2013 Jay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
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 surpris ...more
Melody
Feb 20, 2013 Melody rated it did not like it
Shelves: heard
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
...more
Sarah
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 ...more
Erica Hudson
Aug 26, 2016 Erica Hudson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found the book inspiring and thought-provoking. I have found some of the reviews quite judgemental (about the gifts and whether they were big or meaningful enough and the lifestyle of the author). These reviewers have missed the point somewhat in my view. It's about the process, the intent and what the gift represents to the giver and the receiver. The gift in terms of the monetary value is kind of irrelevant (except where it is relevant in terms of process, intent, what the gift represents!). ...more
Jennifer Lewis
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.
Paige
Jun 26, 2010 Paige rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If this book encourages people to be just a little more thoughtful and giving, then it serves its purpose well. I am doing my second round of the 29 Gifts Challenge now and I don't know if amazing things are happening or I am just noticing them more - but either way, it is nothing but positive. My only critique - I personally wouldn't count "sending out good vibes" or "gifts to oneself" as anything much, really. But to each their own! ;)
Lisa
Jan 10, 2016 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was leant to me during a very challenging time in my life. I think when anyone is struggling we tend to embrace the negative during that time. This book was a constant reminder that we need to find something everyday to pull us through our trying times. I read this with an open mind and I am excit to start my 29 days and continue with the process from this day forward. To give openly without expecting anything in return can't not be a good lifestyle change for anyone.
Erin
Oct 09, 2015 Erin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Melanie Wiscount
This is definitely a "feel good" book. You understand very quickly how the art of giving comes back to you tenfold. If you are feeling down about things going on in your life, this is the book for you. It inspires you to create your own action plan of giving.

Believe me! It works!
Siobhan
Oct 22, 2014 Siobhan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book. It shows how the simple act of giving (with no strings attached) can transform people's lives...especially the one's doing the giving....in unexpected ways. What a great challenge....one that can alter one's own heart and mind.
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“Gratitude keeps your heart open. When you give with an open heart, you get the profound gift of humility.” 7 likes
“It’s just not possible to have positive interactions with people if your mind is stuck in a negative place.” 1 likes
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