The List: 100 Ways to Shake Up Your Life
by Gail Belsky

Seal Press, 2008. ISBN 1-58005-256-8.
Reviewed by Jennifer Melville
Posted on 03/03/2009

Nonfiction: Life Lessons

I was bored and in desperate need of a little excitement in my life when The List: 100 Ways to Shake Up Your Life by Gail Belsky came along. I couldn't wait to dive right in.

Belsky encourages women to step out of their comfort zone and discover just how liberating it is to try or learn something completely new. She interviewed 82 women "who've pushed past their fears and beyond their expectations to do all kinds of cool things." Most importantly, Belsky states that she realizes not all of her ideas will capture your fancy. It's not a set-in-stone type of list you are supposed to follow from beginning to end with no variation. I'm glad, because some of these ideas are pretty wild!

Here are the top 5 things from the list I'd like to try: write a novel, learn a foreign language, join a relief effort, run for office, hike Machu Picchu.

The top 5 things I'd rather not do: join an ambulance crew, learn trapeze, dive off a cliff, leave my marriage, skydive.

The most outrageous ideas: Take a lover, have nude pictures taken, kiss a total stranger, make a sex tape, sleep with a younger man

The List: 100 Ways to Shake Up Your Life is a fun, fresh book full of ideas to do just that. I'll keep this one as a permanent part of my library and reread it for ideas when I get bored. Perhaps I'll flip it open and do whatever happens to be on that page. That is a sure way to step out of my comfort zone. Maybe I'll even learn to like it.

Gail Belsky has also edited Over the Hill and Between the Sheets: Sex, Love, and Lust in Middle Age. This is her first solo book. Visit her website.

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