The Book of Pro-s (review)

The Book of Pro-s
written by Nancy Marshall
reviewed by Cindy Yurth

There are plenty of things to be upset about in today’s world. But, as Nancy Hicks Marshall argues in her latest work, The Book of Pro-s: An Alphabetical Chat about Things We Like (that’s pro-, as in the opposite of anti-), there are still plenty of things to like. In alphabetical order, from “accuracy” to “zumba,” are 118 pages of reminders that life is still worth living in this troubled world.

Marshall, a member of Phoenix Monthly Meeting, said she got the idea for The Book of Pro-s” shortly after the 2016 election. “My friends were all pretty depressed, and so was I,” she explained, “but months later, they still seemed to be focusing on all the negatives. I thought we all needed something to remind us of the positives.”

So, in alphabetical order, Marshall listed a few of her favorite things, and why she likes them. Some are simple and concrete (chicken wire, chimneys) and some are broad concepts (equality, free press). Some are things I had never heard of, like “eyewriter,” “heli-dip,” “Q-ball,” and “Watsu.” And, being an attorney, Marshall includes a lot of legal concepts, like “judicial competence,” “RTS” (“Request to Speak,” for the uninitiated), and “civil liberties.”

While this book is hardly academic, Marshall did a fair amount of research on the things she likes, and she includes plenty of interesting background. In case you want to dig further into any particular entry, there’s a four-page bibliography.

The great thing about The Book of Pro-s is that it’s organized into one-to-six-paragraph entries, so, like a shot of espresso, you can pick it up any time you need a quick injection of positivity – after a hard day at work, after getting some bad news, or after seeing You-Know-Who on TV.

So, I would add one entry to this lovely little book, The Book of Pro-s itself.   ~~~

Cindy Yurth is a member of Durango Monthly Meeting (IMYM).

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