Laura Carney’s “My Father’s List” Is a Must-Read in Delaware

Laura Carney completed her late father's bucket list, and she shares that journey with readers of her inspiring memoir.

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Laura Carney experienced tragedy and loss at 25, when her father was killed in a car crash. When she and her brother discovered his bucket list years later, she set out on a journey to finish it—a journey that would prove to be equally spiritual and physical.

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Bucket list items ranged from small things like “drive a Corvette,” to “visit Vienna” and “go sailing by myself.” One goal on her father’s bucket list was to write and have a few novels published. He already had a self-published book of essays, so it was up to Carney to add her memoir and complete the item.

“It was never just a vehicle to describe the list,” explains Carney. “It was on the list itself.”

Carney is a writer and magazine copy editor in New York (and even interned with Delaware Today in college). Writing a memoir was in her wheelhouse, but some other bucket list items required her to stay firmly outside of her comfort zone. As we all know, those moments outside of your comfort zone are often where you learn the most about yourself, and that’s what Carney experienced while writing My Father’s List.


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“I learned so much about myself doing the list,” Carney says. “But what stands out is how important it is to trust yourself and think for yourself. My dad used to talk about the Information Age, and how my brother and I were living in it. In an age with a surplus of information, one has to be savvy about what one believes. We’re also living in a time where there’s a surplus of choice. Both of these situations can make people feel lost.”

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My Father’s List: How Living My Dad’s Dreams Set Me Free is the perfect autumn read if you’re looking for heart and inspiration or you’re coping with loss and grief. It’s clear that Carney learned a lot as she completed her father’s bucket list and, thanks to My Father’s List, we can all learn those lessons, too.

University of Delaware Book Reading (Friday, October 27)
To hear Laura Carney read an excerpt from My Father’s List, catch the final reading of her book tour at University of Delaware. The reading starts at 7 p.m. On the same day, Carney will also be completing one more bucket list item that day by planting an apple tree in her father’s honor at Archmere Academy.
Memorial Hall, University of Delaware, Newark

Purchase My Father’s List: How Living My Dad’s Dreams Set Me Free on Amazon.

Related: Get Lost in Literature at Delaware’s New and Used Bookstores

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