Critical Reviews

Review: “Small Things Count,” by Jackie O’Donnell

July 12, 2010 San Jose Book Examiner Reese Marino

San Jose Book Examiner rates this:  5.0 out of 5 stars

Local author (and former high school teacher) Jackie O’Donnell has been writing most of her life. In her book Small Things Count, she shares some wonderful ways to make life better for everyone.

Aimed at anyone who wants to make a difference in the world, whether in their own home or in their community at large, Small Things Count gives concrete suggestions on how to “do specific little things in everyday life” that make the world a better place.  In fact, the entire premise of the book radiates from a quote by Mother Teresa of Calcutta: “do small things with great love“.  Although her writing is from a Catholic/Christian viewpoint, the philosophy is universal.  Therefore, this book can speak to people of other faiths, and appeal to agnostics and atheists as well.

Her simple and practical ideas are insightful, and are entirely within the reach of even those who have the busiest of schedules. The chapters are set up neatly, inviting the reader to think about the concept (“We reflect God’s Image”), and then following it up with examples of how to better exemplify that idea (becoming aware of attitudes towards elders, other people different from you, and concrete ways to show your new perspective, etc).

Included is a wonderful appendix section (Appendix A, specifically), full of useful information, covering everything from how to “shop” for causes that you might be interested in, to listings of various hotline phone numbers.  She also manages to cover how to write letters to your local representatives in government, and ways to live your life more environmentally-friendly.  Parents will undoubtedly love the listing of age-appropriate books for kids, including descriptions of what social issues can be tied to the corresponding children’s title.

Mrs. O’Donnell still lives in her hometown of San Jose with her husband, Frank. On August 20th, she will be speaking at an event held at St. Lucy’s Parish, details are available in the “Photos & Events” section of the Small Things Count website. For more information about her book and her upcoming speaking events, see the links below:

Small Things Count website

Jackie O’Donnell’s website

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Review: “Small Things Count,” by Jackie O’Donnell

5.0 out of 5 stars AAMBC Book Reviews, March 5, 2012
(African Americans On the Move Book Club)
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The book captivates the very essence of living a victorious life in Christ. Generally people do not live an effective life that that honors God and allow them to shine their light in everyday life situations and circumstances. Living a simple everyday life helps increase opportunities that are presented in life, maximizes chances to be over comers and also position oneself for greatness. This practical read is a yearly journal that should be revisited often. I especially enjoyed the chapter on peace and the afterword.

GRETCHEN J TORBERT
AAMBC Reviewer