It is fairly evident that I am a lover of lists, so I was extremely excited to get my hands on a copy of Go Ahead & Like It, a new book from poet Jacqueline Suskin. It was billed as a scrapbook-style art book all about writing lists in a world saturated by social media likes. SIGN ME UP.
At first scan-through, though, I will be honest: I was terribly disappointed. While the book is beautifully designed, it seemed not to fit into either "gift book" or "coffee table book" category, awkwardly floating around in some sort of "other" category. As I flipped through a few pages I was put off by the idea that this was simply a collection of the author's own personal lists. The photos throughout were a little distracting to me as well—were they shaky shots from the 1970s? Dark, heavily processed photos from today? Busy, I set it aside for a few days, and finally picked it up last night before bed to read more thoroughly. I am happy to report that it definitely grew on me when reading from beginning to end.
If you only scan, it's easy to miss the actually quite straightforward organization of the sections. Suskin clearly outlines the instances where focusing on list-making can tweak perspective, serve as a bridge between acquaintances or strangers, and offer opportunities to dig deeper into personal memories. These are worthy goals for anyone, and especially those memory-keepers who blog, journal, or scrapbook. I was far more inspired by these approaches than I was by her actual lists, but by the time I finished (a quick read, 30 minutes at most) I was excited to revisit my own list-making practice. I didn't come to love the photos throughout, but I did have some ideas about incorporating my own photography into some list projects, so a point for effectiveness all the same.
One disclaimer: this seems overall like a very family-friendly book, but there is one abrupt instance of profanity in an included list, for what it's worth. I always wish Goodreads would allow half stars, because this was solidly a 3.5/5 star read for me. I'm definitely missing my (mostly) regular lists for Lists With Friends 2014, so I might work on a few new ones in the coming weeks with this new "like it" twist!