Top Ten Tuesday: My Bookish Bucket List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme: my top ten “bookish” bucket list items. Should be fun…

10. Read Tolstoy’s “War and Peace”
I’ve managed to cross off a lot of the other notoriously long – but great! – books but not this one. I read Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina last year and didn’t like it as much as I’d been led to believe I would. That may make me put this off even longer…

9. Found/Launch the perfect book club
I’ve started or helped start two good book clubs in my life, but they both fizzled out eventually. Interest in joining my planned “Jay’s Benevolent Dictatorship Book Club” has been lukewarm so far, though.

8. Finally incorporate “Jay’s Future E-Publishing Company”
Yeah, that’ll never happen.

7. Read the Bible front to back
Of course, I’ve read almost all of it at times, but never cover to cover. An old friend of mine once gave me a foldable, bookmark-ish card that listed what you needed to read each day to be done in exactly a year. I need to dig that out and do it some year.

6. Visit the Lew Wallace Study in Crawfordsville, IN
I mean IN THE DAYTIME (see my old blog post). One of many literary treasures in my part of the country that I have yet to take advantage of.

5. Visit “Washington Irving Country” in New York
I’m talking Tarrytown/Sleepy Hollow and the Hudson River Valley. The land of van Winkle and Crane. Ah…

4. Attend one of the Big Book Conventions in New York
I might as well do this the same trip as #5, huh? I always joke that if I go to New York, though, I’ll just disappear into that city and never return. Several employers have asked me to delay this trip.

3. Have a nice home with a Big Library
I’m talking a dedicated room for my library of course. It would also have maps of the world (from different eras) on the walls, comfortable chairs, and a huge globe in the middle of the room. “Nerd alert!”


2. Go on a road trip that retraces some of Kerouac’s “On the Road” travels
Why not? I will point out that I would be better behaved than he and his crew were, though. Doubt I’d do the Mexico route in my version, either. It may be my favorite part of “On the Road,” but probably a wee bit more dangerous these days.


1. Visit “Poet’s Corner” in Westminster Abbey
This would be my literary Mecca. So many great authors there…

So… What’s on YOUR BBL?


  1. nzumel said,

    March 25, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    We had a big old globe once, in our living room/library (I call it the library because it has the most bookshelves of all the rooms in the house that have bookshelves). Nice globe, old enough to still have the USSR on it. Eventually had to get rid of it, because our house is too small. My poor mom couldn’t find our house the first time she visited after that, because she’d been using the globe in the window as a landmark….


    • Jay said,

      March 26, 2014 at 6:56 am

      Wow! That must’ve been some big globe! I actually have a small globe in my office (well, my cubicle now; we changed to a cube farm environment a little while ago). Many of my “visitors” like it and look at it for much longer than I want them to stay.

      I’d probably better start saving now for my library-sized globe. They are pretty expensive I think… 😦


      • nzumel said,

        March 26, 2014 at 11:41 am

        It was a huge globe. My mother-in-law found it at a flea market or rummage sale or something and gave it to us. Maybe you’ll have luck looking in the same places — and if you don’t care if the globe is a little outdated, like ours was, I’m sure the price goes down 🙂


  2. March 25, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    Interesting! I’ll have to muse on mine…


  3. lynnsbooks said,

    March 25, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    Loving Nos 1,3,4 and 5.
    Good luck with them all.
    Lynn 😀


    • Jay said,

      March 26, 2014 at 6:58 am

      Thanks! I’ll do my best! (it seemed like a lot of people’s TTT lists were more of a “to do” list than a bucket list…)


  4. Dale said,

    March 25, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    Hi Jay! Great topic and great list! I have read War and Peace, but have been putting off Anna Karenina – probably for the same reason you’ve put off War and Peace. I also read the Bible from front to back – once. I started around Easter of 2000 and finished summer of 2001.

    I’ve been to Key West once when I was in fourth grade. I’ve always wanted to go back and see the Hemingway sights. Maybe someday.

    After my one day spent in NYC, I could easily go back and get lost. A great city!



    • Jay said,

      March 26, 2014 at 7:03 am

      Hi Dale,
      Yes, you are one of two people I know in real life who has read W&P. I went to Key West when I was eleven, I think. Too young to have heard of Hemingway, although I think my family did visit his house.

      P.S. I almost out “Ulysses” instead of W&P on my list. The same could be said of that novel, but I am even more terrified of it.


  5. Dee said,

    March 25, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    There’s a pretty wonderful writers’ conference in El Paso every year (though I have never been).
    Visiting the English Cemetery in Rome was a special thing to do – Keats, Shelly …. lots of cats and a benevolent group to care for them ….. and just to think of all the pilgrims to this spot …


    • Jay said,

      March 26, 2014 at 7:07 am

      Hi Dee,
      Reading Hawthorne’s “The Marble Faun” years ago made me want to make a “literary visit” to Rome for some of the reasons you mention. I had a Classics prof in college who always used to say “When you go to Rome…” followed by you must see this or that. Then he would say, “I say when you go – not if – because everyone must go to Rome eventually.” Maybe I should send him the bill for my plane ticket in the future? -)


  6. mattcowan13 said,

    March 25, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    Great list, Jay! I’d like to meet Ramsey Campbell in person someday.


    • Jay said,

      March 26, 2014 at 7:09 am

      Thanks, Matt. Perhaps i should read something by Ramsey Campbell soon. What would be your recommendation?


      • mattcowan13 said,

        March 26, 2014 at 11:26 am

        “Down There”, “Worse Than Bones” and “Just Waiting” are personal favorites as far as short stories go, but I love just about everything he writes. His short story collection Alone With the Horrors is a masterpiece. My favorite of his novels are Incarnate, The Grin of the Dark, Ancient Images and Midnight Sun.


        • Jay said,

          March 27, 2014 at 7:04 am

          Thanks for the recommendations. I’ll probably start with some short stories to see if I like him first before trying a novel.


  7. March 25, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    I think reading the Bible is a good challenge and one day I think I might give it a go. 🙂


    • Jay said,

      March 26, 2014 at 7:12 am

      I’ve heard that Isaac Asimov wrote a good “Guide to the Bible” or some title like that, where he helps explain the historic and geographic or political background of a lot of the stories. I think that would make a good companion read. His “Asimov’s Guide to Shakespeare” helped me work my way through much of the bard’s plays.


  8. caitlinstern said,

    March 25, 2014 at 11:49 pm

    Trying War and Peace is on my list, too. I’d like to find a book club, as well, but I’ve never had luck with that.


    • Jay said,

      March 26, 2014 at 7:13 am

      Hi Caitlin,
      If you have trouble finding a book club, you should definitely try starting your own. Recruiting good people is the key. 🙂


  9. March 26, 2014 at 11:42 am

    Ha! You have me laughing over Jay’s Benevolent Dictatorship Book Club.

    This is a great list. Definitely visit the Hudson Valley. It’s beautiful. I use that area as my quick getaway from the city when I need a break. I hide out in the mountains and unwind. Also, the book conventions can be fun. I once went to a Book Expo party that was a good time.

    In the ways of author homesteads–I once visited Keats’ house in London. It was a fascinating experience and then as I was leaving, I saw a small child peeing in the front garden. Sort of an absurd final note to the whole experience.


    • Jay said,

      March 26, 2014 at 8:20 pm

      Wow, that sure was a weird capper to your Keats visit.

      Last year, I also read a great non-fiction book about the West Point class of 1846 (Stonewall Jackson, McClellan, et al) which also made me want to colored the Hudson River Valley. Of course, Rip van Winkle has long been a personal hero due to “his aversion” to “any form of profitable labor” 🙂


  10. March 26, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    Well, I have visited the Lew Wallace study and it was worth the trip (actually I was in C-ville on bidness). Nice estate, too bad they tore the mansion down. Can’t remember much about The Poet’s Corner at Westminster Abbey but goddamit I punched my ticket there. Just sold a 1937 Cramm Globe Map (made in Indianapolis- 12″circumference) to a dealer in Alabama for $400. Check on eBay to see what yours is worth before you garage sale it.


    • Jay said,

      March 27, 2014 at 7:15 am

      Thanks for the tips regarding globes. I also some day want to have globes of the moon, Mars, and Venus. Maybe hang them from the ceiling in “Jay’s Future Library/Map Room” (“Nerd Alert!”)


  11. Jamie (Jay) said,

    March 26, 2014 at 11:57 pm

    “Read the Bible front to back”- I actually did this one year. Literally started at the beginning, all the way through. The BEA New york Convention is on my list.
    My TTT


    • Jay said,

      March 27, 2014 at 7:06 am

      Thanks for the comment, Jamie. I actually started the bible a couple years (using the card mentioned above), but only got a few weeks in before falling behind and giving up. (I have such perseverance! lol) I’m sure I will do it someday…

      Everyone talks about the BEA. Maybe I should take a week off some year and make that my vacation.


  12. Melissa said,

    March 27, 2014 at 10:11 am

    So many great items on your list! I loved visiting Poet’s Corner. I would love to do a Kerouac road trip too.


    • Jay said,

      March 28, 2014 at 7:52 am

      I’ve yet to leave North America on any travels, but my first expedition will probably over Great Britain and/or Scandinavia.

      I’m saving the Kerouac Road Trip for my next “between jobs vacation” 🙂


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