My List, My Rules

14 November 2023

My List, My Rules: The Year A Checklist Changed My Life
by Angie Counios
Published by Your Nickel’s Worth Publishing 
Review by Toby A. Welch  
$29.95 ISBN  9781778690211

Holy smokes – I don’t think I’ve read a memoir more exposed and vulnerable than this one. Usually books in that genre feel a tad curated to me, which takes away from the authenticity you want in a memoir. But not this one. Counios laid it all out there for us and it is magnificent!

The layout of this book is genius. I incorrectly assumed that since Counios was going to do 101 things in 365 days, she would just list them and tell us how she tackled each one. Wrong! The 365 days weren’t a calendar year, they were one birthday to the next. So the book is categorized into months, starting with her birthday month: November. I loved that she laid out the book that way as it flowed perfectly with each month having eight or nine random items from her list. (For those of you who like seeing the list in numerical order, you can find that at the back of the book.)

This is catalogued as a memoir but it could also be considered a self-help or motivational read. While Counios was just sharing her journey with no shred of preachiness, a side perk is that it comes across as an inspirational tale. By the time I was a few pages in, I was moved to start making my own list. I hadn’t even reached page 50 when I vowed to finish my Christmas shopping by November 30th. By the middle of the book, I promised myself that I was going to send someone a card just to make them happy and I was going to get a reflexology treatment. By the time I finished the book, I had a rough draft of my own 101 intentions. I copied some of them from the list Counios had crafted and the rest were my own. (Heck yeah – I’m going to take an online course and pet an alpaca by the end of 2024!) This book is so inspiring!

I just wanted to clarify that this is not a fluffy read. It clocks in at almost three hundred pages with smallish font. Each chapter is dense with Counios delving deep into the realities of her life as she attacks her list. It is an engrossing book that will stay with you long after it is on your READ shelf.

I cannot recommend My List, My Rules with more gusto. In a world with a tad too much doom and gloom, an uplifting book that inspires hope and oozes positivity is a treasure. This is a book I will gift often to people who could use a pick-me-up as well as people who enjoy an authentic memoir. Snag yourself a copy of this fantastic read!


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