Read: The To-Do List by Mike Gayle

The To-Do List by Mike GayleThis is the second time that I read this book.The story is based on reality, but I’m sure it didn’t go quite like this in the author’s life. Still, it’s believable and funny.

Mike, the author, looks at his neighbours and thinks, “I’m close to forty but no-where near a proper adult.” His neighbours seem to be a lot more organised than he and his family are. For one thing, he’s sure they don’t have a smelly milk spill from weeks ago under their fridge, and he’ll bet you their CDs are all nicely alphabetised.

So, Mike makes a list of all the chores he’s been meaning to do and everything else that he has not got round to (such as meeting up with old friends). His list grows and grows, until he has 1277 items. As it’s almost his birthday, he decides to work on the list in the coming year, and finish every single item by the time it’s his birthday next year. He tells all his friends about it, so he can’t back out anymore. Then he puts the list aside, because really, who can ever do that many things in one year?

After a while, he decides to go for it anyway, and we read of some of the more interesting things he needs to do in order to cross off the items on his list. Luckily, we don’t get a full account of all 1277 items. That would be tedious. And this book is far from that. It’s fun and exciting. Will he get all items done?

Since Gayle is an author and works from home, he is very flexible with his time, which definitely helps in getting through the list. Even better, at some point during the year his editor suggests he write about the to-do list in his next book, so the carrying out of the to-dos could be seen as research for his book! Most of us don’t have this luxury, but I doubt that most of us would be able to come up with such a long to-do list. I wonder if I could think of more than 25 to-dos. Oh well, I guess I probably could. But, say, 50? Not likely. And over a thousand? No way! No, I’m not going to try to write them down. I might feel tempted to actually do them.

This is my 15th book of this year (just keeping track!).



About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

11 Responses to Read: The To-Do List by Mike Gayle

  1. BookerTalk says:

    i think if my to do list ever grew to that size I’d be tempted to burn it on the basis it would feel overwhelming and I wouldn’t know where to start, so what would be the point??
    What on earth did he find to do that would get him to so many items?

    • Leeswammes says:

      I’m not sure, BookerTalk. He just had so many chores around the house, friends to meet up with, and administration to sort out, that it quickly started to add up. (For instance, he had several subscriptions to services he didn’t even use any more.)

  2. Now, there’s a challenge! I’m pretty sure I could think of that many things to do. The trick is to divide everything into micro-tasks. So instead of “sow seeds in garden”, it would be “1. sow summer carrots, 2. sow winter carrots, 3. sow Vada peas, 4. sow Kelvedon peas, 5. sow new variety of peas”, etc. Then I could have “1. mend my jeans, 2. mend daughter’s jeans, 3. mend husband’s shirt x 5”, etc. Books: “Read TBR 1, read TBR 2”, etc. Micro-goals are the key. The book sounds great. I’ve read a couple of his chick lit books and he’s always funny. I might have to add this as a TBR number 400-and-something!

    • Leeswammes says:

      Expat, no, no, no! That would be cheating! Every item on the to-do list in the book is an independent item. But I agree, breaking it up in parts makes everything easier and less daunting. Yes, I love his books, too!

  3. This does sounds interesting! Like you, I would be a little nervous to write them down becuase then I would want to do them!

  4. Isi says:

    Sounds really funny this book, because I can sympathize with the character/author. Who doesn’t like to-do lists? haha but 1,000 chores… well that’s a big challenge! I’m curious about the book, to see if he finally do everything!

  5. With a little thought (and without breaking things into micro-steps), I’m pretty sure I could easily come up with at least 500 things for my list. I’d try . . . but I think it would just depress me. 😉

  6. Pingback: Gelezen: De lijst van Yuval Abramovitz | De Boekblogger

I love comments! Let me know what you think.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: