If you enjoy stories about giving that pluck at your heart strings, you might like the book "I Like Giving" by Brad Formsma (published by WaterBrook Press). But if you want a book about giving that has more breadth and depth to it than just that, this is not the book for you.
"I Like Giving" is full of short stories about people giving to others in various ways ... and that's about it. Although published by a Christian publisher, you won't find any biblical teaching or direction about giving in this book. No theology of giving, not even a coherent philosophy about giving. The closest thing to that would be the idea that "giving makes you feel great, so make it a lifestyle!" There is one sentence that hints at scripture, "I heard it said that a person with a good heart cares for windows and orphans," but that's about as "Christian" as this book gets.
I suspect the purpose of printing this book was to build broader awareness of the ilikegiving.com website created by the author. In a 200-page book, it wasn't until I was 152-pages into reading this paperback before I discovered something that might be a stated motivation for writing this book ...
"A simple story can be refreshing and empowering. Stories connect people, and they give people permission to try new things. I call it the power of story. Telling giving stories can center people on what matters most and bring them back to a healthy balance in life. The cultural current often pulls us in the direction of self-focused living and empty materialism. If we do nothing, we just drift along with it. Giving stories can help us avoid that drift and move us toward doing things for others instead," Formsma writes.
So "I Like Giving" is more like the "rah-rah" of a cheerleader for giving, somewhat fun with some warm-hearted motivation, but little else. That's a shame, when the concept of giving has far more significance to it than something it encourages without providing any real understanding of the purpose and value of generosity. Instead, we get a one sentence paragraph by the author that simply states, "Remember, giving is for you --- it gives you life."
There is almost a subtle selfish tone running through the book, as the writer routinely points out to his readers how good giving makes you feel. Additionally, the author encourages his readers to share their stories about giving, something the Bible discourages (Mt. 6:1-4).
One of the best books I've read in the last year was a book on the topic of giving; "I Like Giving" is on the opposite end of value for books of that subject nature. I really do like giving, I just don't find much to recommend about "I Like Giving."
I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
I Like Giving is easy to read. It is not overly hard or complex, and it is pretty forward in that the title will either draw people in or push them away (if they have an aversion to giving or reading stories about others who give).
Unlike many books about giving that focus in great detail (and in some cases in an overbearing and sanctimonious manner) about stewardship, generosity and Biblical principles, the author of this book takes a different approach - he focuses on stories. The stories remind the readers that we can give more things than money, and that when you give any aspect of your life in pure motives to help another, you will likely enjoy the experience.
While some of the stories are very motivating, others just seem to be there to fill the space or to make sure there is more than one story per topic. There were a few stories that did not seem to be the best match for the point that was being made, but overall they were on point.
Unfortunately, while some authors go too far to make their point without practical application, the author of I Like Giving does not go into enough depth on his points and instead relies mostly on examples which may or may not resonate with the reader.
It is a good book, but it is not a great book.
I received this book from Waterbrook Multnomah as part of the Blogging for Books Program in exchange for a fair and honest review.
I received I Like Giving from Blogging for Books in ebook form.
This book is filled with lots of stories about people who went above and beyond in their giving and really made me think about ways I could give more. It's more than just giving financially and the stories share how the giver was blessed as much, if not more, than the one who received.
I really enjoyed reading this book.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
I Like Giving: The Transforming Power of a Generous Life by Brad Formsma is all about the joy experienced by those who give freely. When I agreed to review this book I was a little skeptical that I might be "guilt-tripped" into giving. Quite the opposite, the book is all about the personal satisfaction, even bliss, that can come from giving without expecting to receive in return. Giving in secret, giving to friends, giving to an ex-spouse (really!), giving to strangers, giving money, giving time, giving smiles - there are so many ways to give. Giving is good for the soul, which we all know in theory, but the book contains story after story of personal testimonials from people whose lives were transformed by giving to someone else, in big or small ways.
This book just might change the way you think about giving.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for my honest review.
Brad Formsma is the creator of ilikegiving.com, a website viewed in more than 165 countries, which inspires people to live generously through its short films as well as a platform for all to share their experiences in giving. Brad and his wife, Laura, have three children and live in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Of course we all know that "it's better to give than to receive" and perhaps if you just knew that simple saying and lived by it - you would have no need for a book like this. And yet it possible that the reason why people don't know how wonderful "giving" can be is that they've just never truly done it. Sure, we all give birthday presents and gifts from time to time - but often times we do it with the unwritten understanding that those same people will one day remember our birthday as well.
But if we were truly people who "liked" giving_ then wouldn't we live as givers and never expect anything in return? Of course this also means that we don't get upset or hurt when we don't get anything in return either.
In other words, we become people who give_. purely for the joy of giving. There seems to be this notion that you have to be rich to be generous. We say things like, "If I made a little more money, I would love to help other people."
But if we truly felt that way_ wouldn't we help people now? The bottom line is we either love our money and ourselves_ or we love others and we want to help them.
Formsma's book is a wonderful collection of inspiring stories that is sure to give practical advice about being a generous and helpful person. It's not a long book either, the chapters are smoothly broken down and easily digestible.
While the book is sold as a Christian based, book and several times Brad alludes to his faith and the teachings of Christ, it never hits you over the head with an over extended use of Bible verses.
Thank you to Waterbook Multnomah for this preview copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.