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Count Me In by Emily White

“Happiness and beauty are by-products.” George Bernard Shaw

At eighteen years of age, this quote resonated with Emily White, although she was not certain why. Now, at forty-four, she understands why.

“For me, happiness is and always has been a by-product of connection. I love feeling like there’s a current running between me and the people around me, like I’m on the same wavelength as the places I’m in.”

In her book, Count Me In, Emily White explores the concept of belonging. What’s interesting is that she starts off talking about her place in Toronto, the city she grew up in and knew as well as the inside of her palm. Why?

“I felt physically safer in Toronto – it’s a busy place, with lots of eyes and ears on the ground – but something was missing psychologically. It was as if gravity wasn’t working properly.” 
Count Me In is touted as a book for anyone who feels they could use a little more real-life connection – at home, in their neighbourhoods, and in the wider world.

With a blend of memoir and solid research framed as a “come with me” guide, Emily White looks deeply into her own life and broadly into the contemporary culture to discover paths to feeling more connected.

I did appreciate Emily White’s journey and attempt to connect the dots, although I did lose a bit of interest as I motored through the book mainly due to the fact there was a bit of rambling and redundancy in Emily’s exploration. Her experiences seemed to overlap. Her tone, a bit self involved. Perhaps the topic didn’t speak to me as much as I would have liked. Perhaps, I don’t consider myself a person who could use a real-life connection. 

“Standing up to rejection gives you that: in bonding with others to demand inclusion, you wind up creating it. Not just for yourself, but for all the others who are with you, the ones who were left out, but who suddenly have a way in.”

Regardless, the book has garnered high accolades from some incredible authors including Gretchen Rubin and one of my recent faves Molly Peacock, who's book Alphabetique I truly enjoyed for it's creativity and simplicity. Read a Q&A with Molly Peacock

Buy the book at Amazon

Count Me In: How I Stepped Off the Sidelines, Created Connection, and Built a Fuller, Richer, More Lived-in Life