Lists of Note

By Shaun Usher

The sequel to the bestselling Letters of Note

Non fiction
121% funded
1103 supporters

Publication date: October 2014

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Letters and Lists Bundle

Special editions of the best-selling Letters of Note and the brilliant sequel Lists of Note. Your loved ones will never be bored with these two on their coffee table. Featuring Letters of Note and Lists of Note.

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The last two years of my life have been entirely filled with researching and getting permissions for my first book, Letters of Note. Those of you who supported that book (and there were many of you – thank you!) will have lived through that journey with me. Despite all the delays, I hope you feel that the finished book is worth it.

The good news is that now I’m ready to tackle my second – Lists of Note.

What is it?
Human beings have been making lists for even longer than they’ve been writing letters. If you think about it, there’s no human activity that can’t be expressed as a list: things to do, buy or store; things to hope for and aspire towards; things we like about ourselves or others; things we want to improve; things that make us laugh or cry; our favourite songs, books, paintings; things we remember from our childhood; things we want to do before we die. That’s what this book is full of – like Letters of Note, it is an anthology of all the different things that make us human.

In it you’ll find:

  • The 19 year-old Isaac Newton’s list of the 57 sins he had already committed
  • Charles Darwin’s list of the pros and cons of getting married
  • Michelangelo's illustrated shopping list from 1518
  • Robert Heinlein’s 1949 list of predictions about the future
  • Advertising guru David Ogilvy’s list of rules for effective writing
  • The 16th century list of the ‘Eight Kindes of Drunkenesse’
  • Galileo's list of parts needed to build his telescope from 1609
  • Walt Disney’s list of 47 possible names for the seven dwarfs
  • Anne Frank's handwritten list of pseudonyms used to protect her family

How will it look?
It will be the same size as Letters of Note, produced to the same high standard, with 125 lists and short introductions and, where necessary, transcripts. We’re planning on a beautiful 350-page book, full of facsimiles and illustrations – a thing of beauty to put next to Letters of Note.

But when, Shaun, honestly?
For next Christmas. Honestly. We have a team in place for permissions. And brilliant designers and editors. We know what we’re doing this time.


Quick select rewards

$45  + shipping
689 pledges


1st edition hardback and the ebook edition
$75  + shipping
160 pledges


Signed 1st edition hardback and the ebook edition
  • Shaun Usher avatar

    Shaun Usher

    I’m Shaun Usher, and I’m best known for my website Letters of Note, now a lovely book funded by Unbound and jointly published by Unbound and Canongate. When I’m not hunting down letters, I’m making lists like this one:

    1. Publish first book
    2. Research second book
    3. Set realistic deadline for permissions
    4. Publish second book

    When I’m not making lists, I live in Wilmslow with my wife Karina, and our two sons.

  • 1. Johnny Cash’s To-Do List

    It seems apt to kick Lists of Note off with the very list that inspired the creation of this site: A lovely, handwritten list from Johnny Cash.

    (Image: Julien's Auctions.)


    1. Not smoke
    2. Kiss June
    3. Not kiss anyone else
    4. Cough
    5. Pee
    6. Eat
    7. Not eat too much
    8. Worry
    9. Go see Mama
    10. Practice Piano

    NOTES: Not write notes

  • Shaun Usher has written 1 private update. You can pledge to get access to them all.

    29th April 2014 Partial contents list for Lists of Note

    Here are some of the lists which we're currently planning to have in the book. If you like these you'll love the rest.


    Kiss June - Johnny Cash

    Termes of a keruer - Wynkyn de Worde

    Attempt at an Inventory - Georges Perec

    Who Killed JFK? - Evelyn Lincoln

    Rules for Box-Office Appeal - Preston Sturges

    Anti-Flirt Club - Alice Reighly

    Boyle’s Wish list - Robert Boyle


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