Books · Religious · Reviews

One Thousand Gifts–My Thoughts

I am a little baffled by One Thousand Gifts.  Baffled that everyone seems to love the book, baffled at the reviews, and baffled that I do not seem to be enjoying the book like I expected.

I have seen some major comment craziness over this book which causes me a little apprehension in sharing my thoughts because I don’t particularly want to be stoned or have virtual banana peels throw my way. The truth is; however, I did not love it. I had to force myself to keep reading which having a review copy demanded.

Sure, I was touched by the sadness author Ann VosKamp has had to deal with and I wished it was not so for her. Plus, I think giving thanks to God is important; however, I found myself weighed down by her constant, poetical voice. It was hard to follow and taxing to read. Sometimes, I wanted her to say what she meant straight out and not make me search for the intended meaning nor be forced to reread sentences because of the unconventional wording. I personally feel that her prose works for short blog posts but not an entire book, and I wondered if the entire message of the book could be condensed into one or more blog posts that would have been just as encouraging. 

As I was reading, there were sentences and sections that made me pause and want to line it up with truth. I wondered if in her manner, there were liberties taken. Just three of the parts that made me wonder were as follows:

  • “If clinging to His goodness is the highest form of prayer, then seeing His goodness with a pen, with the shutter, with a word of thanks, these really are the most sacred acts conceivable.” (pg. 61) So, writing down or taking pictures of what you are thankful for is a sacred act and actually “the most sacred act conceivable”?
  • “Here is the only place I can love Him.” (pg. 70) She can only love God when she writes her list?
  • “…discover how to make love to God.” (pg. 201) When you use certain words and phrases, you think certain things (sex, not necessarily intimacy). 

Perhaps these questions I had were because I was not enjoying the poetry in it all. I do understand that a new voice, a break from ordinary is refreshing and her fan base is solid. Based on bloggers I read and Tweets I am following the majority are devouring One Thousand Gifts.

I did not enjoy One Thousand Gifts, but I do like Ann VosKamp. I read her blog, Holy Experience, at times and sometimes, I link up. From my readings, I believe she loves God with all her heart and desires to serve Him; so none of that is in question here. Plus, despite the fact that the reading was laborious to me, I did close the book desiring to keep writing my list of thanks and wanting to see God’s hand in all of my life, which was the purpose and goal of the book to be sure. Thanks to Ann, I have a list going that started long before her book and because of her blog.

Have you read One Thousand Gifts? Ever have a book baffle you?

One Thousand Gifts was given to me by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.