1.3. 36 Books

During the super-downsizing process prior to becoming a full-timer, there was no greater anguish  than slimming down my library: my current reads, my collection of keepers and recommended reads, as well as major books/authors I am embarrassed I’ve never read.

I had decided to allow myself only 36 books.

Then I realized I had ten books of scenic drives and historical areas of he country, and ten more travel guides, directories, operator manuals, and log books, and fifteen more books for my hobbies and pastimes.

Somehow, I must make space in my coach for  books to be read for pleasure.  It will be necessary to carry fewer canned goods, fewer changes of socks, I will be giving up fresh vegetables in order to devote the drawer in the fridge to books.  Life is about choices,  eh?

I decided to allow myself only 36 more books for my personal enjoyment.   Here is my list

Books I couldn’t part with.

The poetry of Merritt Malloy

Off to Sea, Richard Stine

Moxie, Philip Weld

The Yachts and Ships of Jack Hargrave

Books I want to read because the author is a personal friend.

A Page From a Tennessee Journal, Francine Howard

East of Indus, Gurnam Brard

Pastiche, Lucille Belluci

Books recommended by people I respect

Last American Man, Elizabeth Gilbert

The Stones of Summer, Dow Mossman

The Little Book, Selden Edwards

Books I want to read again

Round heeled woman, Jane Juska

Fooling With Words, Bill Moyers

Patron Saint of Liars, Ann Patchett

Inner Work, Robert Johnson

Books or authors I should have read (or finished) by now


The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

The Secret Life of Bees, Sue Monk Kidd

Bel Canto, Ann Patchett

Kill Two Birds and Get Stoned, Kinky Friedman

Paint it Black, Janet Fitch

White Oleander, Janet Fitch

The Gathering, Anne Enright

A Widow for One Year, John Irving

Flush, Carl Hiaasen

The Book of Ruth, Jane Hamilton

Long Lost, Harlan Coben

PrairieErth, William Least Heat Moon

Holmes on the Range, Steve Hockensmith

The Novel, James Michener

Danse Macabre, Stephen King

Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, Tom Robbins

My Sister’s Keeper, Jodi Picoult

Books of Stories

Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim

The Boat Who Wouldn’t Float, Farley Mowat

Creek Walk, Molly Giles

For the Relief of Unbearable urges

Down to a Soundless Sea, Thomas Steinbeck

Tampa Review #35

Tampa Review #36

Black Erotica

Memoir and personal narrative

Hurry Down Sunshine, Michael Greenberg

Revenge, Laura Blumenfeld

Rogue River Journal, John Daniel


Woman In Charge, Carl Bernstein

The Silk Road, Frances Wood

America on Trial, Alan Dershowitz

This is Burning Man, Brian Doherty

So this is the Bookacholic’s Bucket List.  All 51 of them.  I will be giving up any frozen food that is not labeled Ben and Jerry’s.

What is on your Bucket List of Books?  What are you reaching for to curl up with when your first choice is already snoring?

15 Responses to 1.3. 36 Books

  1. Pingback: Welcome | AL's Blog

  2. llamarose says:

    Hey Al, I think this would be the time in life when I’d “invest” in a kindle 🙂


  3. Anne Fox says:

    I did it again, not using this instead of replying as for ordinary e-mail. Great list, the kind that needs the leisure to enjoy and digest. NRN

  4. leanne says:

    Love the last two lines. Your road story is going to be fun to read, you keep up with humor like that. =) Thank you!

  5. Colleen Rae says:

    Al – If you have a chance to pick up the three Stieg Larson books, one at a time as they are thick, do it. I’ve read all three and they are all excellent reading. The translation from Swedish loses none of the suspense and sensitive prose. First book – The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.
    Did my book find a good home? Hope so. It would have liked best to be curled up with a woman, as it essentially appeals to women. Sept 21 isn’t too far off. Bon Voyage!

  6. S’true. Acquiring a Kindle in your odyssey planning would have been a good idea. But then, you probably already had those books in your bucket. Ever read “The Cruel Sea” by Nicholas Monserrat? British naval escort during WWII. I read it as a child, and it stunted my growth.

  7. Lew says:

    As an old back packer – and of the few times I thought I would start on a really long hike – I planned ahead for the stashes I could establish at a friend’s house and sent my personally selected ‘care’ package to them. There are probably some still in existence as I never completed ‘that’ hike.

    A few books here, a few books there. Gives you an excuse and a reason to reconnect with old friends.

    Good bucket list. A lot more challenging than mine would be. But that’s what I would expect from you!

    Lew …

  8. Carol F. says:

    Hi Al, Thanks for your list. Just finished “Water for Elephants” by Sara Gruen. Everyone I know who has read it loved it. Elderly man flashes back on his early adult life in the circus; a heart warning romance story. I know you would enjoy it, Al. Happy travels!

  9. Jeff Kingman says:

    On your books to read list, I recommend The Book of Ruth–much better than Hamilton’s later and more famous Map of the World. Happy reading!

  10. dirk wales says:

    I am impressed with your list, your courage, and your determination to read all the books everyone says you should. Not sure I should offer any suggestions, so my list is a Short List: The Thirteen Clocks by James Thurber; anything by Raymond Chandler,
    Dashiell Hammett, Graham Greene and Summerset Maugham. But, don’t forget:
    West with the Night by Beryl Markham; Trial by Terror by Paul Gallico; Love Scenes by Dirk Wales; For the Time Being by Annie Dillard; Salvation by Valarie Martin…
    just to name a few.
    Happy Travels, you are a Lucky Dog, Dirk

  11. Elaine says:

    An extensive list!
    Two suggestions:
    City of Thieves by David Benioff
    In the Shadow of the Cypress Thomas Steinbeck

  12. Kristine says:

    You might consider leaving your books as you finish with them, kind of like bread crumbs along the road – only in used bookstores en route. You need some Kingsolver – Prodigal Summer or Poisonwood Bible – Julia Alvarez. and poetry – Machado, Rilke – and before you hit NM, Anaya – Heart of Aztlan, Bless Me Ultima – and Arundhati Roy – Field notes on democracy.

    • allevenson says:

      Would that it were so simple. Books that can be read and parted with like a one-night stand. Some are keepers. Some get another visit from time to time. Some need to be passed along to some who will appreciate. I sorted through hundreds of books, audiobooks, DVDs before I left. After letting friends sort through them, I gave them to libraries for their fundraising sales. What remains will be with me for a while then passed on one by one.

  13. Linda Dahle says:

    The one I read was by Michener, The Novel. That and the travel one on Spain were snoOoOoOre.
    Oh wait Michener, they were all that way, 40 pages to discribe a savanah! Oy.
    1001 pages on Alaska, it took longer to read than it took to see the place!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s