Bruce’s Shelfies: The Book of Curious Lists…

imageHello there! Today we’re getting up close and personal with another Shelfy, wherein I share with you some of the more interesting books on my shelf.  Today I have just the thing for the creatives among you and those who just love a good list.  Many years ago (well, maybe 5) I came across this darling little tome on the Book Depository:


In case you can’t read it clearly, it is Curious Lists: A Creative Journal for List-Lovers published by Chronicle Books.  It was one of those books that I enthusiastically engaged with for a few months immediately after its purchase, and then put aside as other time-thieves took over my waking hours.  But the metaphorical chickens have come home to do some metaphorical roosting, because having picked it up again during out recent move, I found it was just perfect to share with you in this Shelfies feature as a little snapshot of Bruce as I was around about 2010.

Essentially, this is a sweet little hardback tome filled with prompts for creating lists.  But these are no ordinary lists, oh no.  These lists are strange, unexpected and sometimes just downright silly.  Let me demonstrate.

Here’s one of my favourite lists in the book: Collections of Things Beginning with the Letter S or O


You can tell it’s one of my favourites due to the vigour with which I’ve approached the filling in of the list.  In fact, I was so enthusiastic about collections of severed limbs, that I’ve listed them twice. Such is the enjoyment that this little book brings.

Here’s another that got my mind whirring: Encumbrances for a Bike Rider


I think it was the little illustration that piqued my imagination, but I found quite a bit of glee in mentally conjuring the image of a bike rider trying to balance a kennel of homeless puppies on his or her handlebars.  Or indeed, a couple of stone gargoyles.

Some of the lists I obviously used to demonstrate how hilarious I am.  Consider evidence A: Quotes Uttered at a Shakespeare Holiday Party


Clearly I laughed like a drain when composing this list, no doubt wiping a granite tear from my eye as I did so.  And here’s another that I quite obviously was itching for someone else to read and enjoy, from around the time I was perched on a teacher’s bookshelf: Heartbreaking Words to Be Said to a Teacher


The above picture also demonstrates that some of the lists had me baffled.  Cuisine Associated with Philadelphia remained sadly blank for the longest time until I happened to catch an episode of Dr Phil a year or two ago, in which the good Ph.D. visited Philadelphia and ate a cheese steak.  Of course I dashed off immediately to fill in my book of lists!

Other suggestions for this list would be gratefully received.  Of course, I could just google the information, but where’s the fun in that?  Apart from Philadelphian cuisine, here are some other lists that I’m stuck on:

Zip Codes in New York

Evergreen Shrubs of Ireland

Weeds that are also not Weeds

Beaches of Southern California

Rural Areas mentioned in Hemingway Stories

Any suggestions received will duly attract a “suggester’s credit” in my little book, of course.  While you’re thinking, here are two more lists that I filled in with only one entry.  Obviously I thought these single items were sufficiently hilarious that I need add no more!



Equally hilarious suggestions will of course be gratefully received.

I’m interested to know if anyone else out there is in possession of this wondrous little list repository and if so, how it illuminates their life.  Or indeed if anyone has something similar, I would love to hear about it.

Until next time,


14 thoughts on “Bruce’s Shelfies: The Book of Curious Lists…

  1. As a follower who lives in the state of NY (the state, not the city), I’d be happy to share my zip code for you to add to your book: 13214 (DeWitt). (Here are a few more: 13066 (Fayetteville), 13104 (Manlius), 13078 (Jamesville), I could go on and on.)


  2. OK, your lists really ARE hilarious! The “Fat Guy” one is classic! lol This actually could serve as a great way to help flesh out characters while writing. So glad you brought it to my (our) attention 😀 Thank you!


  3. Brilliant, especialy fat guy, that made me snigger into my warm pint. For rural places in Hemingway stories, I’d like to put forward the Alps in that gloomy jaunt A Farewell to Arms. If the ocean is rural (well it’s not suburban so it must be!) you can have that as well.


  4. Hi there! I have this same book, too, and I have Googled the hell out of ‘rural areas mentioned in Hemingway stories’ to the point of exhaustion. The list didnt specify whether it wanted actually villages or what! Although I do not have a full list, this is what I’ve been able to come up with, and you are welcome to it!
    1. an indian camp. From the aptly named “Indian Camp” story. Definitely sounds rural. Has to be.
    2. Burguete. Burguete is a town and municipality located in the province and autonomous community of Navarre, northern Spain. Sounds pretty rural to me!
    3. Basque. The Basque Country (Basque: Euskal Herria; French: Pays basque; Spanish: Vasconia or País Vasco) is the name given to the home of the Basque people in the western Pyrenees that spans the border between France and Spain on the Atlantic coast. I declare that rural.
    4.Vorarlberg. Vorarlberg is a mountainous state in western Austria, bordered by Germany, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, and known for its ski resorts and alpine scenery. I have to take into account that these places might now be rural now, but were at the time of Hemingway’s writing. I dunno.
    5. Summit, Illinois. Summit is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 11,054 at the 2010 census. Its a safe bet that it isnt rural anymore, either.
    6. Horton Bay. Horton Bay is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in Charlevoix County in the U.S. state of Michigan.
    7. San Lorenzo. San Lorenzo, also known as San Lorenzo Village is a census-designated place (CDP) located in the San Francisco Bay Area in Alameda County, California, United States. Probably not rural anymore.
    8. Estella, Spain. Estella or Lizarra is a town located in the autonomous community of Navarre, in northern Spain.
    That’s all I got and I’m quitting with that! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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