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In a Heartbeat: Sharing the Power of Cheerful Giving

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  1,092 Ratings  ·  221 Reviews
For the first time, the remarkable couple depicted in The Blind Side tells their own deeply inspiring story

First came the bestselling book, then the Oscar-nominated movie—the story of Michael Oher and the family who adopted him has become one of the most talked-about true stories of our time. But until now, Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy have never told this astonishing tale in
Paperback, 288 pages
Published February 1st 2011 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published January 1st 2010)
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Apr 25, 2011 Suzanne rated it liked it
In this book, the Touys are basically retelling the story of the movie, The Blind Side, giving the reader more details about their motivation behind adopting Michael Oher and what motivates their continuous generosity to others. While their message is inspirational, especially the chapter on Sean Touy's childhood, I was a bit put off by the air of privilege with which the story was told. Did we really need to know that Michael used Sean's 745 BMW to pass the road test when getting his license? I ...more
Judy Stasiak
Jul 10, 2014 Judy Stasiak rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After looking at some reviews online, I was sure that I was going to dislike this book. "The Blind Side" is one of my favorite movies so I decided to read it anyway. I was very interested in the story of how a family with such complete opposite lifestyles could just decide to welcome into their lives a young man who they did not know much about (and what they did know was sort was seedy upbringing). I ended up really liking this book, and loving the messages that they were trying to convey.

Leigh Anne Tuohy, played by Sandra Bullock in the movie The Blind Spot, writes of her life and that of her family. A major theme is the goodness of giving - of yourself, your time and your money. Superficially it is quite inspiring. After some reflection though, an unattractive aura of "Aren't we just the greatest family ever?" starts coming through. Not only does it weaken the message, but causes me to question just how truthful the account is.

The best reason for listening to this - and almost
Nov 08, 2011 Audry rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
So far, this feels like a 'Aren't we great!' type of book. Lots of horn tooting and pretending. The book talks about how poor they were, and I read they started with Sean having an eighteen thousand a year job, and she was working, also. Eighteen thousand a year? That's a lot of money! We started on less than eleven thousand a year. And she says they had a thousand dollar nest egg. But, then says it was borrowed from parents. That's not a nest egg. It's a debt! And the other parents gave them th ...more
Feb 18, 2011 Bonnie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book written from the perspective of the Tuohy family, made famous for adopting Michael Oher and his story in the book and movie "The Blind Side". This book is much more the story of their families, how they grew up without much and learned the power of giving from an early age, from generous people in their own lives and how their parents gave of what they had. Many of us look at their story of "wealthy white family adopts homeless black kid" and think "Oh, I could never d ...more
As I listened to this book (very well read), I kept going back and forth between thinking it was excessive chest-thumping or just their way of trying to be inspirational. I have concluded that it is a good dose of both. I also think it was their way of fighting back against some of the unfair criticism/disbelief of the altruism of their adopting of Michael Oher. One thing I appreciated was the refuting of the film portrayal of Oher as stupid. (You don't make it in the NFL as a lineman by being s ...more
Marti Dahlquist
Nov 14, 2013 Marti Dahlquist rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the movie. What they did for Michael seems wonderful. I couldn't finish the book though and I almost never ditch a book even if it is bad. This was just page after page after page of name dropping and bragging and going on and on about all of the good things they've done. It doesn't negate the fact that they've done a lot of good things. They have. It was just too much bragging for me. Leigh Anne's take charge attitude is not nearly as cute or endearing as everyone in the book seems to ...more
Aug 25, 2014 William rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you wonder why I give most books I read 5 stars, maybe it's because I choose good books to begin with! I don't have time to waste on crappy books.

After a book was written about them, and a movie was made about them, it was time for this family to tell their own story! One of the neatest things about the book is their honesty about their family life. No super saints here, just an ordinary family with all the ups, downs, stresses of any family. I mean, what is "normal" anyway?

But yes, God used

Jan 03, 2013 Kristi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really loved this book and the whole concept of cheerful giving. I am motivated and inspired by people who serve God through simple actions. What I loved best was that they make it seem pretty darn simple that anyone on this planet can cheerfully give, be it a free smile, ten dollars or a million dollars. They live this principle daily and have passed it on to their own children and surround themselves by others who cheerfully give in big and little ways. It just seems like the right way to li ...more
Caitlyn Sahlberg
Apr 10, 2016 Caitlyn Sahlberg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Azzia Walker
I read most of this book, had to stop. Loved their service and cheerful giving. But the way they parented their bio kids was awful! Beating toddlers to keep them from playing with "fancy adult things" in clear reach of them . . . . no kids allowed in the marital bed, even as babies! One year olds expected to sleep by themselves, in their own rooms, with no comfort from the parents during the whole night. That's all child abuse.
Jan 08, 2014 Rachel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It started out good and made me want to be a better giver. Then towards the end it became all about the money. And flaunting that money.
Aug 29, 2010 Tanya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-books
This is one of those books I cannot stop thinking about because it has changed my way of interacting with the world. After reading the Blind Side and then seeing the movie, I felt compelled to learn the story of the Tuohy family as told from their viewpoint.

(p 21) "One of our deepest beliefs is beautifully captured in the Second Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, or 2 Corinthians. The seventh verse of the ninth chapter of 2 Corinthians reads: 'Each one must give as he has decided in his hear,
Elizabeth Van Tassel
What I liked about In a Heartbeat was how it encouraged me to look at my own life and how I could better invest my time and talents right in my own neighborhood. It encouraged me, along with the movie, to live more for a larger purpose and I enjoyed hearing their story of resilience. I love to see any parents building up their kids, whether adopted or being mentored and cared for like in this book, too. As someone on the hunt for stories to encourage me to be more resilient, the Tuohy family mak ...more
Nov 06, 2016 Brenda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Tuohy's write their own story and share their lives growing up, as young marrieds struggling to make money, and how Michael Oher came into and made a huge impact in their lives. After having seen the movie a few times and reading the Blindside book, I enjoyed hearing the story from their perspective. The Tuohy's believe in the "popcorn" theory of helping, there are many needs and you help the ones that "pop" up in front of you. They state that if every church took responsibility for one chil ...more
Mar 04, 2011 Rachael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book has been on my To Be Read (TBR) pile for so, so long. There were over 100 holds placed in front of me for it at my library! I placed the hold almost a year ago!!! I finally got the notice that it was available for pick up a little over a week ago and to say I was excited is an understatement. I loved the movie The Blind Side but the book that inspired the movie was written by a close friend of the Tuohy's. This was written by Sean and Leigh Anne and I wanted to read their perspective o ...more
Jan 24, 2014 Bookgal rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Hated this book! I rarely say that, but there just is no nice way to put it.
Started out in the introduction when Mrs. Tuohy says to look around, notice the people you probably don't pay much attention to, a waitress or clerk, and says that you are judging them and thinking yourself better than they are - and parenthetically, "(If you say you don't, you are lying.)" This demonstrate Mrs. Tuohy's extreme bullying, arrogance, and hypocrisy; she seems to think all of us are as arrogant, hypocritical
Jul 09, 2010 Nancy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On October 1, 1962, James Meredith became the first person of African descent to attend University of Mississippi, affectionately referred to as "Ole Miss." In Fall, 2006, Collins Tuohy, rich white 110 lb. athlete started college at Ole Miss with her brother, Michael Oher, rich black 300 lb. 6'4" athlete. That same semester, the two further crossed racial lines by having Michael and his teammates lunch at the Kappa Delta sorority.

"The Blind Side" is a delightful book about NFL Ravens right tack
Nov 13, 2010 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved the movie The Blind Side! I can honestly say that it has been my favorite movie that I have seen this year. So, when I saw this book I just knew that I had to read it. In A Heartbeat is a very straightforward biography that shares all of the factors that played a part in the Tuohys response to reach out to Michael Oher. It was very interesting to learn about the childhoods of Leigh Anne and Sean and to see how things that happened during their own childhoods shaped who they are today and ...more
Alisha Marie
Aug 13, 2010 Alisha Marie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I first heard of the Tuohy's story from the film The Blind Side. I immediately fell in love with the story and with film. Being the reader that I am, as soon as I finished watching the film, I sought a copy of the book by Michael Lewis. I read it in about two days, but didn't fall in love with it the way I did the movie. I was just more interested in the family as a whole and as someone who finds football kind of a bore, the parts that dealt entirely with football, more often than not, made my e ...more
Sarah K
a very inspiring and encouraging story! of course i had seen the blind side but i was interested in more of the back story, and this book provides it. (i didn't read the blind side book.) this book has encouraged me to look to see where i can give to those around me as needs come up (the popcorn theory). i also loved all the KD references. as a kappa delta i'm so proud! :)

that being said, i had mixed feelings about a couple aspects of the book. 1) there were so many references to the tuohy's wea
Apr 16, 2015 Shannan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
If I had written this review in the middle of the book, I would have given it 15 stars! I honestly thought the title of this book was, "The Art of cheerful Giving". Did you see the movie The blind Side or read the book? Well this is the story of the family who adopted Michael Oher in their own words. Leanne and Sean tell us in their own words how they developed their philosophies of giving and I appreciated every last word. I really struggle in being a cheerful giver. My heart really wants to, b ...more
May 03, 2012 Raven rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you loved the movie The Blind Side, you will adore this book written by the parents that took Michael into their home and helped him achieve his potential. What examples they are! What I really enjoyed about hearing it from their perspective is that they explain how cheerful giving has always been a part of their family culture. They started from scratch and worked their way up to their financial status and now feel that God has given them much to see what they will do with it, "Where much is ...more
Holly (2 Kids and Tired)
Oh. My. Goodness. I loved the film The Blind Side, but I really loved In a Heartbeat. Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy share their story, in their words. The chapters alternate between Sean's voice and Leigh Anne's voice, as well as several chapters they write together. All three Tuohy children: Collins, Michael and S.J., as well as Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw each write something as well.

Sean and Leigh Anne share a strong faith in God and a strong belief in making a difference. I love Sean's Popcorn
Feb 11, 2011 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Title: IN A HEARTBEAT: Sharing the Power of Cheerful Giving
Authors: Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy
Publisher: Henry Holt
August 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8050-9338-4
Genre: Nonfiction

You’ve often heard the saying, “Its better to give than to receive.” But how many of us absolutely believe that with no question asked? The Tuohy’s in IN A HEARTBEAT shows us how by an innocent gesture, a seed was planted that enabled them to give to a homeless boy a home and a family.

IN A HEARTBEAT teaches the readers some valuabl
Jul 12, 2010 Virginia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From the couple made famous by the incredibly popular movie The Blind Side comes a behind-the-scenes story that is sure to satisfy and inspire readers everywhere. In their own words, Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy tell the story of how they came to adopt Michael Oher. But this book is so much more than the story portrayed in the movie. In In a Heartbeat we get to know the heart of a very special family in a way that not only entertains us, but inspires us to immitate a lifestyle of true giving.

Oct 01, 2010 Janna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Like many people I was touched and moved to tears by the movie "The Blindside" about the Tuohy family and Michael Oher and how they came to be a family. And if you haven't seen the movie yet, you really need to take the time, it is so good. Amazingly, this book is fantastic as well. A movie can only cover so much and as accurate as it was (there are a few licenses taken but the family agrees that it is pretty on the mark) this book delves much deeper into the lives of this incredible family. We ...more
Nov 20, 2010 Pat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a really good book, not because its all sweetness and giving to charities, etc, etc, but because its about a real family who believes in the "Popcorn Theory of giving" . . .which is "You can't help everyone, but you can try to help the hot ones who pop right up in front of your face." Its about a Christian family who does not preach, but walks their talk instead. Its an inspiration, a catalyst, a kick in the butt to the rest of us who waste our time trying to find something "worthy" to g ...more
I enjoyed reading this book, for the most part. The writing style is engaging and humerous. I picked it up because I really was curious about the Tuohy's philosophy of giving and was definitely inspired by how much it permeated their entire life. The amount of love they have for children and for improving the lives of children and youth is amazing.

But I'll confess, Leigh Anne would drive me insane in 2 seconds flat. Granted, hers is a personality that gets things done. She also comes across as a
Leah Good
Mar 08, 2014 Leah Good rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars.

After watching and enjoying the movie The Blind Side a few years ago (despite the too-revealing clothing worn by the lead actress), I was curious when my grandmother passed this book along to me. In a Heartbeat is about a family who pulled themselves up by the tbootstraps and willing loved someone when most people would have been unwilling or afraid. They're also imperfect...but aren't we all.

Some of the stuff in the book made me uncomfortable. If implied and bleeped out cusses are goi
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Leigh Anne Roberts Tuohy (née Roberts) is an American interior designer. She is best known for being featured in Michael Lewis's 2006 book, The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game, and its 2009 feature film adaptation The Blind Side. In the film, Tuohy was portrayed by actress Sandra Bullock, who won the Academy Award for Best Actress for the performance.
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