Thursday, August 28, 2014

Bucket of Books Challenge

I was “challenged” by a good, well-meaning soul to dump a bucket of books over my head for reasons I cannot fathom. I think that was it. I lose track of the fads. This one involved listing ten books that “stuck with me”, which I take to mean (at my age) I am capable of remembering the title of. Contrary to and in spite of my incurably deep-seated superstition about chain letters, I decided this would be a fun exercise (struggle) for my dwindling mental capacities. Here they are, only vaguely in the order I might have read them.

Timothy Hurley's favorite books:
Huckleberry Finn  Twain
The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway  E. Hemingway
The Complete Short Stories of O. Henry  O. Henry
The Complete Works of Edgar Allen Poe
Catcher in the Rye  Salinger
The Trial  Kafka
City  Simak
Animal Farm  Orwell
Lord of the Flies Golding
1984  Orwell
Hawaii  Michener
On the Beach Schute
Schlesinger and Fordtran’s Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease
Edgar Allen Poe: A Critical Biography  Quinn
The Origins of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind  Jaynes
Benjamin Franklin: An American Life  Isaacson
Darwin: The Life of a Tormented Evolutionist  Desmond and Moore
Generations  Strauss and Howe
Shock Doctrine  Klein
Sarum  Rutherford
London  Rutherford
New York  Rutherford
The Great Bridge  McCoullogh
1776  McCoullogh
Up in the Old Hotel  Mitchell
A Meaningful Life  Davis
Motherless Brooklyn  Lethem

Okay, that’s more than ten. What do you want from me? I’m an old man. Even this list will change with my mood and capacity to remember.
Actually, every book, every short story, every magazine article I read creates a new me in my head. And provides me with seemingly unconscious material when I write. I am as grateful to all those writings and writers in my unremembered past as I am to the authors of the books above.

As I said, I do not participate in chain letters (I think it was nuns who put me off them.) so in lieu of a list of names, I’ll invite anyone who reads books to list their favorites. With the exception it would give an old man pleasure to annoy Buzz Malone, author of Silence of Centerville, raiser of Iowa goats and mules, bon vivant with the dare he take time from his busy schedule to list his favorite books.
Thanks for reading.


  1. Okay, I wanna know the story behind "Schlesinger and Fordtran’s Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease" making it on to that list.

    1. It was a gastroenterology textbook I read cover to cover (a gazillion pages) during my specialty fellowship in the mid 1970s. Another textbook I read completely was Harrison's Textbook of Medicine.

  2. Hope your liver is functioning well--I did the challenge and listed over ten favorites on FB but my list could go long just like yours.
    Best wishes always to a funny friend.

  3. Thanks. Liver feels fine, amigo. I'll look for your list on FB.