Three Books for Friday: Lists for Life

I’ve been revisiting books on my bookshelf… I got a new book last week, Listful Living by Paula Rizzo. It promises to be a list-making journey to a Less Stressed You. (Review is below.)

I’m a sucker for list books, however niche or weird that seems. I even have a copy of The Checklist Manifesto, which is all about the use of checklists in medicine as a way to establish safe working practice. If you can make a checklist of a process, then why not? (which reminds me, I need to make a housework checklist so that we can all as a family keep the house clean every week!)

Lists and list making is a very easy way to record life, loving and the things that make us feel better. Long-term readers will know that I love making lists for life. They just settle me, and let me get on with life. Here, for Friday, are three books that all have lists for life as their focus.

My latest book, as I said, is Listful Living: A list-making Journey to a Less-Stressed You by Paula Rizzo. Paula is a film producer and very busy woman living in USA. She lives her life by lists (as set out in her rather more wordy book, Listful Thinking) and Listful Living is a collection of thoughts, ideas and lists to compile for yourself.

It’s not a massive book, at 7inches by 5 and small enough to slip in a bag or pocket, with good quality paper used throughout. That sounds weird, focussing on paper quality, unless you’re a notebook and planner addict, in which case you’ll understand why having thin paper that bleeds through is always a disappointment. You could probably use your favourite cartridge pen or good quality gel pen without it showing through. And Paula instructs you to write in the book in pen.

The book has three sections: Your Personal GPS, Your Blue-Sky Intentions (where are you going) and Your Passport to Stress-free living. There’s a fair amount of explanation for each section, and a lot of pages with half talk/half space. It’s a working book, not a pretty book. By the time you’ve worked through it you will have thought about the things you need to do to set your life on a more balanced and restful path, but you won’t be rushing to put this on a shelf or coffee table as a book to keep or flick through again. It’s practical, and that fits in perfectly with Paula’s style. Her website, List Producer, is absolutely productivity driven.

Moorea Seal, who runs both a real shop and a virtual shop online, created the 52 Lists Project and followed it up with a series of beautiful books. I can look at them for ages, because they really are beautifully produced.

Although I have several of her books, I chose the original The 52 Lists Project to look at this week. It’s a little bigger than an average book at 10in by 6in and hardback. With beautiful illustrations, gold-foil lettering on the cover and good quality paper throughout it is almost…. almost… too good to use.

Of course, that’s not the purpose of a good list book, so I’d encourage you to grab a pretty pen (black, archival quality or colourful gel pen, depending on your style) and fill it in. The book is organised by season, starting with Winter although the 52 weeks format means that this really should be the first week of the year. The lists aren’t absolutely related to the season (no ’52 things you like about Easter’ lists) but the illustrations, the photographs, are seasonal.

It’s a beautiful book that, once full, will sit happily on your bookshelf and add to it. There are other titles in the 52 lists series available, some of which I have: 52 Lists for Calm, 52 Lists for Happiness and 52 Lists for Togetherness. Moorea’s website also shows a 52 Lists for Bravery due to be released later this year, so I’m looking forward to that.

But, if you were to ask me which book I think really will help you capture your life, loves, dreams and aspirations, I’d have to go French/Japanese and say Dominique Loreau’s L’art De La Liste. I have the hardback version, and it’s a beautiful book. At 7in by 5in and 290 pages long, it’s not the smallest book around but it is the most inspirational if what you want from a list-making book is the inspiration to order, organise and inspire your future life as well as recording your present loves and loathes.

Be warned: this one’s for reading, not writing in. It’s meaty, with dense text and no pretty pictures or illustrations. That’s not a negative, either. This literally is a book full of ideas of lists to make and keep to run your life efficiently and record your inner thoughts aesthetically.

The book is divided into five sections: lists to simplify, for self-knowledge, for self-care, 1001 pleasures and a final section on the practical use and creation of lists. It covers creating lists of books, films, the sights and sounds we like, the practical lists that organise life like menus, food shopping and housework. The final section also includes a comprehensive discussion on what sort of papers or notebooks you may want to use, including a good look at how to set up an organiser to carry round. It’s no use having a practical list if you can’t get hold of it when you need it.

Og course practical doesn’t have to mean ugly. This book isn’t ugly, despite the lack of illustrations and colour. It’s actually a really attractive cover and…. would you believe… matches my birthday present this year. When a book or magazine matches my organiser, it’s a good day.

Want to Support Me?

How to Hygge the British Way carries no adverts, has no collaborations and is not sponsored by any organisation. If I recommend a book, it’s because I’ve bought it myself, enjoyed it and think you would like it too. If you’d like to support me, and keep my content absolutely independent, then you could either donate some money to me or buy a book. Buying books from the links on my page will also send a little money my way for each one you buy, since I’m an Amazon Affiliate.

As the UK slowly slides out of Lockdown (even just temporarily) I still don’t want to push all my books in every blog post every time, but if you’d like to support me in any way possible, you can find all the information to do that on my If You’d Like to Support Me page.

I would be remiss, however, if I didn’t point out that you can read about, and gain inspiration for, Summer Hygge in my book, How to Hygge Your Summer, available in paperback and ebook version now. It’s full of the little things that I found useful in creating a cool, relaxed and happy summer, with chapters on hygge in the garden, by the beach and under the wide open sky.

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