The book: Make a List is a small book, befitting of its subject matter: humble, everyday lists. However, author Marilyn McEntyre *84 promises that the everyday can hold a lot more than just a series of to-do’s; lists can help us see ourselves more clearly through understanding our deep desires, sadness, and joys. McEntyre uses reflections of her own life, mixed with lots of list-writing prompts, to show how a simple list can shed light on longtime personal goals and even promote spiritual growth.

The author: Marilyn McEntyre is also the author of What’s in a Phrase, which won the Christianity Today 2015 book award in spirituality, Word for Word, and Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies.

Opening lines: I list a lot. And I’m not alone. In the course of many kitchen-table conversations, I’ve discovered that we keep lists for a variety of reasons. People make lists to get organized, to plan the day, to set priorities, to clarify “pros” and “cons” as they make decisions, to explore their feelings, to dispel mental fog, to articulate goals, to identify their deepest hopes and purposes. What I’ve also discovered about lists is that every time I make one, I learn something. … If I stay with it long enough to get beyond the obvious (buy the groceries, check the email, get the oil changed …), something not so obvious occurs, and the list shifts from “list” to something more.

Reviews: “Just one week into living with Make a List, I can already tell that this small book, which both invites me into a new practice and reframes one of my existing habits as a spiritual practice, will be life-giving and edifying.” – Lauren F. Winner, author of Wearing God