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

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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.

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NEW RELEASE: Self-Help Title from Dr. Linda R. Harper – “Give: A Guide to Discovering the Joy in Everyday Giving”

What is the key to giving that energizes and fulfills us, rather than exhausts and
depletes us?
asks Dr. Linda Harper, Ph.D. in her latest work,
‘Give: A Guide to Discovering the Joy of Everyday Giving.’

     Daily life continually asks us to make choices about how to give—whether it is our attention, time, energy, talents, love, or even money—to others and to ourselves. Often, we juggle our attempts to meet our own needs and the demands of others. So the decisions we make about what, when, and how much to give, strongly impact the quality of our everyday lives. These choices can cause us stress, turmoil, guilt, exhaustion, and depletion—or they can bring us immeasurable joy, peace of mind, and fulfillment.
     Linda R. Harper’s simple five-step guide will help you rediscover the joy in everyday giving using one question: What are my heart’s true desires at this very moment? ‘Give’ is not about giving more or giving less. It is about giving from your deepest self and trusting the natural wisdom of your heart’s desires. As you become the giver you were meant to be, you will deepen the meaning of your life through soulful, ordinary acts of giving—both to yourself and to others.

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Available at Amazon, Nook, Kobo, Sony, iTunes,
Google Books, Gardners Books, and OmniLit!

MEET THE AUTHOR

     Dr. Linda Harper, Ph.D., has been a clinical psychologist for 29 years in private practice with her husband in Evergreen Park, Illinois. She is also the author of ‘The Tao of Eating: Feeding Your Soul through Everyday Experiences with Food’ (Innisfree Press,1998), ‘Eat: A Guide to Discovering Your Natural Relationship with Food’ (Blue Star Books, 2012), and ‘Give to Your Heart’s Content…Without Giving Yourself Away’ (Innisfree Press, 2002, and InnerOcean Publishing, 2004).   
     Dr. Harper is an international speaker and has given the keynote address at a variety of national conferences and volunteer recognition events across the United States and in Canada, Bali, Egypt and Paris, France. She gives workshops and lectures to a variety of non-profit institutions including hospitals, the Mayo Clinic, hospices, libraries, volunteer associations, animal shelters and humane societies, mother’s groups, churches, caregiver support groups and wellness centers. Dr. Harper has participated in many radio and television interviews, with her ideas and articles appearing in various magazines and newspapers throughout the country. She is also the founder of “Blessed Bonds,” (www.blessedbonds.com) an eight-year-old program belonging to Animals Deserving of Proper Treatment (A.D.O.P.T.) pet shelter  in Naperville, Illinois.