Friday, April 17, 2015

Go Ahead & Like It by Jacqueline Suskin (Review)

Go Ahead & Like It
by Jacqueline Suskin
Available April 28, 2015
Random House
72 pages



About the Book
An artistic, smart self-help book that prompts and inspires readers to write lists of things they like--a simple yet profound way to collect and remember the good in daily life.

This scrapbook-style art book is an invitation to write lists of things you like: small things that bring delight, intriguing things that excite, and meaningful things that make every day special. It's a how-to guide, writing prompt, model for self-discovery, and beautiful inspiration for daily gratitude, with poet Jacqueline Suskin's personal lists intertwined with photographs, illustrations, and instruction. It's a self-help book for people who might not be drawn to standard self-help, and it's creative thinking for people who might not identify themselves as creative thinkers (What does it mean to "like" something in today's digital age, anyways?). Above all, it presents a simple, dependable method to notice the good that's all around us--even in a traffic jam or waiting in line--so we can inhabit our world more fully and smile more in the process.

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My Thoughts
To be totally honest, I had a hard time telling what this book was all about from the description. However, I thought it sounded interesting. I love making lists, and I love the idea of recording things I'm grateful for, special memories, or whatever random thoughts strike. What's not to like, right?

Well, Go Ahead & Like It is part instruction on how to make a "list of likes" and part a sampling of the author's lists. It seems the author was going for a "Post Secret" type feel, with photographs, unique layouts, and handwritten text. Unfortunately, it didn't strike the right chord with me. The lists included things like "I like: lake swimming, naps, the banjo, and storms." I think I might have felt differently if I was previously familiar with this author and her work.

It wasn't a total loss, though. I think this might be a fun idea to try with our Compassion kids. Sharing "like lists" would be a simple, easy way to get to know one another better, and the simplicity would help us cross language, cultural, and age barriers a bit easier.

This wasn't a good fit for me, but others may enjoy it.  [2 stars]

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my fair and honest review.

About the Author
Jacqueline Suskin is best known through her work with Poem Store, a public performance project in which she composes custom verses on a manual typewriter in exchange for donations. She and her typewriter have been featured on the front page of the Los Angeles Times, in the New York Times, at SFMoMA, and at Los Angeles Contemporary, bringing poetry to the general public in an intimate, immediate, and accessible way.

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