Go Ahead and Like It

Go Ahead and Like It is a hard book to review. It’s kind of like reviewing someone’s personal diary or scrapbook.
Jacqueline Suskin

Do you like finding notes and random ephemera in books or just around? (Side note: I do.) If you do, you’ll like this book.

This book is like stumbling on a little stash of someone’s scribblings: collected lists she uses to remind herself that life is really good.

Suskin shares her motivation right in the introduction:

Making these lists is a celebration, a way to name and note the simplicities of life by calling them sacred.

Now, I’m not sure about that “calling them sacred” part, but I do like the concept of celebrating and noting the simplicities of life.

Books about practicing mindfulness or gratitude or everywhere now. And each is a good reminder in its own way: life is precious. Life is to be enjoyed. Some things are boring, or hard, yes, but there is always something to delight in.

Rather than approaching this as a “what am I grateful for” type exercise, Suskin simply asks herself, “What do I like?”

She describes some of the reasons when and why she has enjoyed this practice (tedious situations, spells of melancholy) and ways it has drawn her closer to friends (getting to know a new friend, as an icebreaker at a party).

She concludes her introduction this way:

Take it as a writing prompt, a model for self-discovery, or a form of acute observation. However one goes about listing likes, it is an interesting pursuit and an outlet that provides many possibilities…

If you have this book on your coffee table, it could inspire some interesting conversations. Discussion so easily drifts toward what we don’t like or what’s wrong with the world. It might make a nice change just to talk about some things we like.

Like I said: it’s a hard book to review.

Will I read it again? Probably not.

But I hope some of the philosophy has rubbed off on me. (Side note: there is at least one profanity on one of the included lists, if that’s something you try to avoid.)

Here’s a random list of likes I started (without thinking about it much):

  • Blooming lilacs
  • New baby smell
  • Tiny pig-tails on toddlers
  • Rainboots
  • Hymns in four part harmony
  • Big words
  • Sleeping in
  • Holding hands
  • Grand pianos
  • Perfectly sweet tea

So, what would be on your list?

To find out more about Jacqueline Suskin, you can visit her website: Poem Store. For more information (or to order a copy) visit Penguin Random House.

Dover Books
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I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for this review. Opinions are my own. See Disclosure page for more about this.
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Comments

  1. The quote about finding your passsion reminds me of the essay I read this week that described bucket lists as innately selfish. (ouch!) I always enjoy your blog posts.