BOOK REVIEW: Dr. Linda Harper’s “Give”


Give: A Guide to Discovering the Joy of Everyday Giving
Linda R. Harper, Ph.D.

Review by Taryn Fryer

I wanted to read Give in order to learn how to give more authentically.  In many ways the book was what I expected in terms of learning to give according to your values and to give freely in every sense of the word.  Had that been all there was, I would have been satisfied with the book and then put it down and promptly forgotten about it. 

This book rose above my expectations for two main reasons.  The first of these was the importance of giving to oneself.   I think many people, myself included, tend to put self-nurturing last on their ever increasing to-do lists.  What Ms Harper does beautifully is to challenge this notion that “spoiling” ourselves is somehow wanton.  She reminds, or in some cases teaches, us that only when we are kind to ourselves, when we allow ourselves time to replenish and heal and even maybe have a little pampering are we in any way able to give to others.  And the better we treat ourselves, the better we will be equipped to give to others.  I found this to be a very powerful message and one that I have already started to incorporate into my daily habits.

The book also looks at various types of inauthentic giving and that’s where it started to get uncomfortable. I certainly recognized some of the not-so-pleasant aspects of my personality in one of the types, and it was not entirely pleasant reading! Whilst I identified a lot more with one of the types, there were ideas and suggestions that resonated with me in each of the chapters.  By saying this was an uncomfortable read, by no means am I implying any criticism of the book. When I read these types of books, I want to be made uncomfortable, to be provoked, to have my actions challenged (albeit gently, which is exactly how Ms Harper does it) as it is these feelings that can provide the impetus for lasting change.

 On the strength of this book, I will definitely read more by Ms Harper . . . On an Amazon style review, I would give this 4 stars.


Blue Star Books is proud to announce the release of ‘Eat: A Guide to Discovering Your Natural Relationship with Food’ by Dr. Linda R. Harper, Ph.D.

Eat: A Guide to Discovering Your Natural Relationship with FoodImage

Publisher:  Blue Star Books
ISBN-13:  EBK: 9781938568237
Price: $7.99
Publication Date:  February 1, 2013
Shelving Category:  Self-Help / Diet & Nutrition

For over one hundred years, our culture has promoted dieting—with the goal of losing weight—as the acceptable way to eat. With this aim of weight loss, a diet determines your eating choices and in turn creates a thought system that prevents you from trusting your natural ability to make the right choices about eating. Our inner wisdom, or best self, quietly speaks to us through intuition, gut feelings, physical cravings and thoughts about the present moment, whereas beliefs focused on specific outcomes, such as weight loss-focused dieting, push their way to the forefront of our minds and block our ability to enjoy the present. The purpose of this book is to remove the barriers preventing you from accessing and trusting your own best self in choosing and creating each eating experience.

Eat provides the tools you need to remove the thoughts that are obstructing your inner wisdom and replace those thoughts with ones that will guide you back to everyday eating choices that stem from your best self. Linda R. Harper’s simple five-step guide will help you access your best self and discover your natural and healthy relationship with food, leaving the rules of dieting behind.

Linda R. Harper, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice for 29 years with her husband in Evergreen Park, Illinois.  She has Ph.D. and M.A. degrees from Kent State University and a B.A. degree from Northwestern University. Specializing in eating and dieting-related challenges, her doctoral dissertation explored society’s influence on dieters’ perceptions of their bodies and the resulting impact on their self-esteem. She has presented papers on the psychology of eating-related problems at the Midwest Psychological Asso­ciation conference and has given talks in schools, health food stores, bookstores, clinics, and hospitals on the problems of dieting. She has led workshops at the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals (IAEDP) national symposium, The National Association of Fat Acceptance (NAAFA) conference, and the Annual Women’s Wellness Workshops in Chicago. She has also lectured at academic and medical institutions and public libraries throughout the Chicago area, as well as the American University in Paris. Dr. Harper has conducted numerous radio and television interviews, and feature stories about her first book, The Tao of Eating, have appeared in Fitness, Women’s Sports and Fitness, National Health, Women’s World, and various newspapers across the country. Harper is also the author of The Tao of Eating: Feeding Your Soul through Everyday Experiences with Food, Give to Your Heart’s Content…Without Giving Yourself Away, and Give: A Guide to Discovering the Joy of Everyday Giving. 

Comparative Titles ( 

Tribole, Evelyn. Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works. St. Martin’s Griffin, 2012. #4,771 in Amazon Books. 978-1250004048

Albers, Susan. 50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food. New Harbinger Publications, 2009. #7,108 in Amazon Books. 978-1572246768

Chozen Bays, Jan. Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food. Shambhala, 2009. #9,962 in Amazon Books. 978-1590305317

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