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4.1 out of 5 stars
53
4.1 out of 5 stars
A Year of Doing Good: One Woman, One New Year's Resolution, 365 Good Deeds
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on 29 June 2017
I thought it was an interesting idea, and I liked the honesty with which the author describes her mixed feelings about doing good. Like other reviewers I was surprised that she counted the most basic politeness, like opening doors for people, or normal acts of friendship like a phone call, as good deeds. Her description of the Jam Jar Army was interesting ; an enterprise that took huge amounts of her time and money to get going, but eventually took flight and did lots of good.
I was also interested in her own attitude to money. She complains that her husband won't 'let her' spend any money, then suddenly their phone is cut off because they can't pay the bill. Yet she doesn't feel responsible, or consider what is going wrong with their budgeting! As it's nothing to do with her, like filling the car with petrol (a man's job - not my fault if I break down in a snowstorm).
I didn't enjoy the book much, but I admired the honesty about her life and thoughts.
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on 3 July 2013
I read about this book a while a go, then entered a competition to try to win a copy, finally I got my book! It is a true inspiration, written with humour and honesty. It is not pious or in your face, it's about everyday human life. The day I started reading it I began writing down any good deeds I had done that day, it's not easy it often requires effort, but at other times you can surprise yourself with the ease of doing something good for others. Having now finished, I intend to hunt out a jam jar and start filling it, either with a coin a day or what I can afford. I urge you to read this book and improve your life and the life of others. A Brilliant book Judith!
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on 26 January 2013
Really well written book that captures perfectly the inner battle normal people have with themselves whilst trying to live a good life. Would recommend this book to all.
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on 15 September 2013
Some mildly amusing comments, but few and far between. I wonder how this ever got into print? The author should stick to blogging.
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on 5 January 2013
Just finished reading A Year of Doing Good and was bereft turning the last page. Judith O'Reilly's writing feels like I'm having coffee and a gossip with a friend. Delightful, funny, inspiring - I want to move to the country and become a manic fund-raiser. I love Judith's style of writing and cannot understand why her novel is hidden in a drawer - I'm sure it would be a best-seller. So far, I've bought 3 extra copies of the book as 'my good deed' to give to friends who I know will love it as much as me and will be more eloquent with their reiews! I don't want to part with my copy but am sure it will find it's way to the desk of my colleagues at school - a Catholic school.
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on 13 December 2013
Good deeds! For me, the author had a title and had to dream or scratch up a 'good deed' every day to warrant it. These were acts that I see as part of everyday life. Watching someone's child for them or going into the post office so a disabled lady doesn't have to queue - am I going to pat myself on the back or write about it, please? That's living.
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on 20 February 2013
I bought this for myself over Christmas as a treat and absolutely loved it. I have always enjoyed Judith's writing, and having seen her speaking at a conference I can 'hear' her voice when reading the words which makes it even more of a treat. There's something gloriously funny and matter-of-fact about her writing. I loved it. It's changed my outlook on life. Buy it!
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on 6 January 2013
To say this book has touched me would be an understatement; I could not put the book down I cannot remember a time when I have read a book so quickly and did not want it to stop.

There are so many strong people in this book with the power of love and determination over what can sometimes seem an impossible task, humbling and inspiring without preaching. The writing is funny, sad, uplifting; you travel on a journey with the author that leaves you wanting more and needing to do more.

You have to read this book, this book has the power to change not just your life your family & friends life but that of total strangers, go on try it you may just be surprised the effect it will have on you. I thought Judith O'Reilly's book Wife up North was brilliant this is something wonderful.
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on 5 January 2013
had seen the extracts in S Times over New Year and really enjoyed Wife in the North blog and book; Very funny, laugh out loud in some places, and also made me think. Generosity and kindness towards others cost nothing, and make everyone feel better was the message I retained. Enjoyable, empathetic and entertaining, will buy next book.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 6 August 2013
I love Judith O'Reilly's writing, both from her blog and her previous book; 'Wife in the North'. She has a way of writing that makes you feel as if you really know her. If I had to choose a word to describe the way she writes, it would be candid.

In this book, O'Reilly decides to do at least one good deed a day for a year in the hope that it might just make her a better person. Because of this the book is in diary form. Some days merely have the deed in brief. Other days she meditates on what she is doing and why. Interspersed with her own experiences are snippets about research into doing good, the science, the philosophy, the morality of it, and discussions with everyone from professors to priests.

What I like about this book, is what I like about the last one. Sometimes you read and you laugh. Sometimes you read and you cry. Sometimes you find yourself nodding in agreement. You really do get emotionally involved. This is not a sanctimonious book. It is not a handbook on how to do good and become Mother Teresa. It is one woman's faltering, all too human journey through a year of trying to make a difference, and quite often wondering if it is worth the effort. I have, in recent years, upped the amount of this kind of work in my own life, volunteering for various things, giving more, thinking more, participating more. Like O'Reilly, sometimes I find it very uplifting and rewarding. Other times it makes me despair. I love the fact that O'Reilly captures both sides of the coin so accurately.
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