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Saturday, December 1, 2018

Audible Book Review: 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life by Cami Gilbert

This is very well done and inspiring. It was a nice listen for Thanksgiving week!
29 Gifts
How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life
By: Cami Walker
Narrated by: Tavia Gilbert
29 Gifts audiobook cover art
Length: 6 hrs and 27 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 11-20-09
Language: English
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Genre: Inspirational, Memoir, Multiple Sclerosis
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0

Publisher's Summary
At age 35, 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.
©2009 Brightside Communications, Inc. (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

This memoir/inspirational work started out rather difficult to read (listen to). Cami, the author, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and at age 35 she was struggling with fatigue, weakness, consistent pain and severe depression. This impacted her life as well as tired out her caregivers, her husband and mother.

Cami met with an African healing woman for massage and mental therapy. This friend (she was more than a healer) shared the unique prescription of spending 29 days in a row giving gifts to others. Cami’s friend explained that the gifts did not have to be big or expensive but did have to be given with meaning and intent. The purpose was to focus on giving but it had a surprising effect on opening Cami to receiving gifts too. Cami was so impressed with the changes in her life that she established a blog to share the story and prescription with others.

Cami does a good job sharing her 29 Gift experience with honesty and charm. The change in her attitude was a relief and pleasure to listen to. I can appreciate the difficulties for the caregivers as I experienced some of the meanspirited elements when my husband was on medication recovering from his heart valve operation. (You would think the patient would show more sorrow for bad behaviors and gratitude for the care, but they don't seem to recognize that.) The end of this audio includes short descriptions from others who shared on the blog/webpage. Since I am a strong Christ follower, I wasn't totally comfortable with some the occult 'dabblings' the author shares.

I like to think I have a pretty giving nature to begin with. I am not sure I will do the 29 day exercise, but this has made me more mindful to give unexpected gifts to friends and strangers. I love the idea of unexpected kindnesses! I would certainly recommend this to anyone who is suffering with stress and depression as I do think it would help turn the focus to more positive ground.

Audio Notes: Tavia Gilbert did a fine job with the narration. She captured the distress in the beginning and the relief as the journey progressed. I didn't realize that I had just listened to a fiction title by Tavia (Zoe's Tale) until I started to include my audio notes here. The works are totally different but she did well on both of them. I am glad that I picked this up at a bargain price and I enjoyed the listen.

Source: June 2017 Audible Daily Deal $1.95. This qualifies for 2018TBR and Audiobook Challenge.

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