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Book Review: Go Ahead & Like It by Jacqueline Suskin

by Ivy B

Do you ever have a hard time looking at the positive side of life?  I know it’s easy to get into a rut and go through the day-to-day without giving much thought to the things you like or enjoy about your day.  When I get aggravated, I find it hard to let it go and re-think the things that aren’t aggravating or frustrating.  I was really looking forward to reading Go Ahead & Like It by Jacqueline Suskin, which I had received from Blogging for Books in exchange for my review.

This book was meant to inspire you to write lists or things you like as a way to find the good in daily life, and to collect those memories.

Ivy’s Book Review
I’m still plagued with the inability to sit down and write lists about things I liked at any given moment of the day.  While the book was a nice idea, I misunderstood the premise, taking “prompts” to mean that I might be provided spaces within the book to try practicing a “like” list at that moment.  I don’t always have pieces of paper handy everywhere I read a book for me to be prompted to write a list.
Some of the topics were rather inspiring, but I found a few of them to be rather odd and impractical.  For instance, one topic covered writing a “like” list in the midst of heavy stand-still traffic.  While I rarely face those instances, I took it to mean that I should write a list in one of my more stressful events of the day.  Let me tell you, I couldn’t find it in myself to write lists while my toddler was throwing a random tantrum over things that we had no control over.   Don’t get me wrong … it’s a great idea that would likely alleviate some stress and allow me to re-think my attitude, but sometimes it’s impractical.   
That’s, generally, how I felt about the book for myself.  Impractical.  I don’t find it easy to break away from our day-to-day to write lists of things I like in the moment.  As the book proclaims to be in the self-help genre, it didn’t offer helpful ways to retrain your brain to allow yourself to take the minute or two to break away to write your lists.  I felt guilty thinking about wanting to give myself 5 minutes to write like lists when I had so many other things that needed to be done during the day.  We all know that cleaning house and cooking isn’t the easiest of tasks when you also have to ensure that your toddler is well-cared for at the same time.  Plus, I have plenty of guilt that I’m not spending time with my toddler when I’m busy cleaning house.
A self-help book might have considered that while also trying to inspire one to write such lists.  How, as the author, can I help this person to take that minute away, not just to help them learn to “like” things in the midst of a stressful or displeasing situation?  And, it would have been wonderful to have used some empty space in the pages to allow the reader to utilize the prompts in the event paper or sticky-notes weren’t available at the time of reading.
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