25 October 2012

Review: One Good Deed by Erin McHugh

On the eve of a fifty-something birthday, Erin McHugh realized that she had gotten away from her habit of volunteering, being an activist, and organizing events, and she was beginning to feel the hole in her life. Her solution was to try to do one little thing each day that could make a difference. From that idea, came her blog, and from her blog, came her new book, One Good Deed: 365 Days of Trying to Be Just a Little Bit Better.

Let me be honest from the start. I wanted to read One Good Deed because I like Erin. I don't actually know her, but I've been a Twitter friend (@ErinHere) for a few years, and I always like what she has to say. At the same time, I was a bit hesitant. I don't mesh well with books that are meant to be inspiring.

I'm so happy that my fears were for naught. First, Erin's style is not preachy. In fact, as I read each daily entry in One Good Deed, I felt as if we were sitting across a booth from each other, sipping coffee (or eating ice cream!) and having a quick catch-up. Erin writes in a light, airy, conversational style that made it easy for me to keep reading and made me curious to see what the next day would bring.

Second, Erin's good deeds are really just little things we all can and probably should be doing every day. And, now that I think about it, most of us are already doing at least one good deed every single day. What Erin has done is to make us conscious of them so that we can act in a more mindful way.

Here are some of the good deeds I remember:
  • Say thank you.
  • Give up a seat on the bus.
  • Be a good tipper.
  • Help that last customer even though you've already clocked out.
  • Listen to a friend, even when you're tired.
  • Hold the elevator.
  • Give directions to a stranger.
  • Take a bug outside instead of killing it.
I was also thankful that Erin recorded the days (there were just a couple) that she stayed home, watched TV, and, well, didn't really do a good deed at all. I'm happy to know she's human.

Read Erin McHugh's One Good Deed for yourself and give a copy to a friend. And even though it's only October, I'm recommending it as a great Christmas gift or as a Thanksgiving or New Year's Eve host/hostess gift. Little acts add up, and what better time to be reminded of this than now, as we head into the holiday season.

Buy One Good Deed at an Indie or at a bookstore near you. This link leads to an affiliate program.
Published by Abrams / Abrams Image, 2012
ISBN-13: 9781419704178

Source: Review (see review policy)
Rating: B
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)


bermudaonion 10/25/12, 6:09 AM  

Just think if everyone decided to do one good thing a day! This sounds inspiring.

rhapsodyinbooks 10/25/12, 6:18 AM  

You wrote: "I don't mesh well with books that are meant to be inspiring." This is me, totally! They either make me feel stressed because I am NOT like that, or scornful because I think NO one is like that, or irritated because there are so MANY of these books! But it's good to hear this one is better than usual!!!

Daryl 10/25/12, 9:25 AM  

i think that we all actually do good deeds daily .. maybe not to the extend the author did but personally i always hold the door for the next person or the elevator if i see someone coming ... i say good morning, i say god bless you when someone sneezes ... ad the best good deed .. i smile at strangers ..

Zibilee 10/25/12, 9:56 AM  

Just think what a different place the world would be if we all did one good thing daily. I know I try to be loving and kind to each person I come across, but if I am mindfully aware of it, I can do even more than that. Fantastic review today. I am like Jill, in that I don't really like inspirational books, but this one sounds pretty good!

Barbara 10/25/12, 10:39 AM  

My mother made me aware of this kind of good deed when I was a teenager - the sullen kind. She got me to smile when I'm walking down the street, and taught me to be kind to other people. Now I tell people I always smile because it makes everyone wonder what you're up to. :D

Erin McHugh 10/25/12, 11:05 AM  

Hi, guys!

Erin, the author here. Thanks for all the great comments, and as I tell people when I'm touring with the book, I'm not really nicer than anyone else, so believe me, sometimes there's some foot-dragging!

Hope you all enjoy the book, and thanks to Miss Beth Fish!


Beth Hoffman 10/25/12, 1:03 PM  

Can you imagine how different the world would be if everyone practiced the simple premise of kindness? This sounds like a terrific book to give to young adults and teens, too.

Joanna 10/25/12, 1:22 PM  

I try to live that way, with kindness, but it doesn't work every single day! This book really does sound like a great Christmas present, perfect!

Sandy Nawrot 10/25/12, 1:55 PM  

I try to live this way (TRY, but sometimes fail) but it is nice to have a gentle reminder. I had to laugh at the "save the bug" hint. My badass trainer Andre is a bug-saver. Always cracks me up when I see him running through the gym with a spider cupped in his hand, on his way out to a bush outside.

Jackie Crawford,  10/25/12, 2:46 PM  

Great review! My kids, husband and I like to read the same books; it's like our very own little book club. We just finished reading a great book called "The Gilded Butterfly" by Sergei Selivanov. You can check out the book and get it right off the website, http://thegildedbutterflypage.com/index.html. I'll have to suggest this one to my family. Thanks for the post and the suggestion!

Melanie 10/25/12, 8:25 PM  

This sounds like a lovely book. I picked up a piece of trash today and it made me feel better. It's definitely the little things.

Nise' 10/26/12, 12:16 PM  

I did a good deed last night when a bug flew in my face and landed on my shoulder, instead of crushing it for scaring me, I went outside and flicked it off. ;o)

(Diane) bookchickdi 10/27/12, 3:51 PM  

I so enjoyed your review! I bought four copies of this book to give as gifts and I know I will buy even more before Christmas. I met Erin at the store she works at and we had such a wonderful conversation. She makes everyone feel like a friend.

Julie P. 10/28/12, 8:13 PM  

What a great idea to change your life in little ways that make a difference.

Jenners 11/1/12, 4:14 PM  

This sounds like a book that would make the world a much better place if everyone would read it and put it into action. Who can't do one little good deed each day? What a wonderful review! Thanks.

Carole 11/5/12, 2:05 PM  

Hi there, the November edition of Books You Loved is now live. Here is the link Books You Loved November Edition Please do pop by and link in a post about a book you loved. Maybe this one? Cheers

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