List Your Self

Listmaking as the Way to Self-Discovery

Written by: Ilene Segalove and Paul Bob Velick

Published By: Andrews McMeel Publishing

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            When I was entering the self-help stage of my life, a friend suggested a book tome as a way of getting to know myself.  Sounds corny, right?  But I was interested in self-discovery and so I picked up a copy of List Your Self: Listmaking as the Way to Self-Discovery.  I figured, if nothing else, the book would keep me occupied. 

            The book comes complete with an introduction by authors Ilene Segalove and Paul Bob Velick in an effort to explain the self-discovery aspect of the listing process and a how to section to explain how to use the book.  Actually, this isn’t a reader as much as a workbook.  Despite the fact that it is a hardcover book, you are encouraged to write in it – say it isn’t so! 

            The book contains numerous sections which are broken down into segments.  For example, the section entitled Yourself is broken down into subsections entitled Preferences, Heroic Feats, Fears, Loves, Regrets, Laughs and Tears.  Each subsection will provide numerous lists to create.  For example, “List all the qualities you love about being human” or “List activities you’d do if you weren’t so afraid.”  Each page has numerous lines so you can create as large a list as you need to answer the questions.

            I began this book with some enthusiasm and then grew rather bored with it.  After all, over three hundred pages of list making is a lot to ask for without growing bored.  Every once in a while, I’ll pull the book back out and finish a list I haven’t gotten to yet…there are quite a few of those.  I’ll also get a chuckle about some of the lists I’ve completed in the past.  I suppose that’s the self-discovery part.  I was at a different stage of my life when I completed some of those lists and things have changed quite a bit since then.

            Either way, I can’t honestly recommend this book to anyone.  In my opinion, this book does not offer up an exciting way to discover one’s self.  It is, in fact, a rather boring and tedious way to do so.  Many will grow bored with the technique and never complete it…never achieve the height of self-discovery that the book professes to bring about.  In my opinion, List Your Self: Listmaking as the Way to Self-Discovery is one self-help guide that you can do without.


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