The Life List: A Novel


By Lori Nelson Spielman

The Life List tells the story of Brett Bohlinger who embarks on a year-long journey of self-discovery after her mother passes away and leaves her an inheritance, with one big stipulation—in order to receive it, Brett must complete the items on the “life list” of goals she made for herself when she was 14. Although she is reluctant and apprehensive in the beginning, Brett takes on this challenge and finds herself surprised to find the life and the self that she’d lost along the way.  For each goal attempted, her mother has left behind a bittersweet letter, offering words of wisdom, warmth and just when Brett needs it, tough love.  As she struggles to complete her abandoned life list, one thing becomes clear: sometimes life’s sweetest gifts can be found in the most unexpected places.

About the Author

A former speech pathologist and guidance counselor, Lori Nelson Spielman, currently works as a homebound teacher for inner-city students.  Her debut novel, The Life List, was inspired by the discovery of her own abandoned life list, written when she was a teen.  Her book has been translated into 16 languages, and Fox 2000 has purchased the film option. She and her husband live in Lansing, MI.

Related Events

What does it take to reach your dreams

What Does It Take to Reach Your Dreams?

Thursday, June 19, 2014, 7:00 pm
Main Library – 111 Library St NE

Kris Mathis, motivational speaker and author of From Success to Significance, will deliver a step-by-step program that will teach you have to achieve any goal or dream you may have. He will share some principles from his books that will help you discover your true purpose, how to take control of your life, and then help you go on to make your goals and dreams a reality. Learn how to keep fighting for your goals and dreams, even when you want to give up; how to believe in yourself and your dreams, even if others don’t; and how to maintain your focus on the goals you want to achieve, even during the tough times.


An Evening with Lori Nelson Spielman

Thursday, June 26, 2014, 7:00 pm
Main Library – 111 Library St NE

Enjoy an evening of chocolates as Lori Nelson Spielman talks about the inspiration for her debut novel, The Life List. As a teacher, Lori is accustomed to giving homework assignments, so each audience member will receive his or her own ‘life list’ to complete. She will answer questions from the audience, freely sharing behind-the-scenes information about her journey to publication. One member of the audience will win a copy of the book, and Lori will happily sign copies after the program.

Beauty School Dropin

Beauty School Drop In

Tuesday, August 12, 2014, 6-7 pm and 7-8 pm
Douglas J. Aveda Institute – 138 Commerce Ave SW

Come to the Douglas J. Aveda Institute for an evening of pampering. Stylists will be offering make-up applications, mini-manicures and hair styling (curling or braiding your hair).  Space is limited and registration is required. Sign up at

If you like this book, you might also enjoy:

The Christmas List by Richard Paul Evans

The List by Siobhan Vivian

P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern

Time of My Life by Allison Winn Scotch

Creating Your Best Life: The Ultimate Life List Guide by Caroline Adams Miller