5 Bucket List Books to Read in Your Lifetime—Including Mine!

If you’ve already read about how to make a bucket list it is now time to find ideas for your own list. You can get inspiration from my bucket list (there’s over 1,000 things on it!), or another great way is through some of the fun bucket list books on the market.

Being an avid bucket lister, I’ve read almost all of them and here are some of my favorites.

5 Bucket List Books to Read in Your Lifetime—Including Mine!

5 Bucket List Books to Read in Your Lifetime—Including Mine!

Bucket List Adventures by Annette White

Bucket List Adventures Book by Annette WhiteOf course I had to start with my bucket list book—shameless plug.

Writing down the things you’d like to see and do before you die can be a fun experience. But simply writing a Bucket List and never actually doing anything on the list is a lesson in futility and frustration with yourself. Why can’t you ever reach your goals?

Don’t beat yourself up – get out there and live life! Author Annette White has made a second career out of writing her bucket list… and then crossing things off of it! One day this owner of a Michelin-recommended restaurant in Northern California decided to live her dream. On her popular blog, bucketlistjourney.net, she has chronicled her adventures on virtually every continent — from walking among wildebeests in Africa to climbing an active volcano in Guatemala to swimming in a lake in Palau surrounded by thousands of jellyfish. In Bucket List Adventures, she takes you along for the ride, and shows you how to live your adventures, too.

Bucket List Adventures is not only a practical travel book – sharing detailed information on lodging, helpful resources, etc. – but also an inspiration for people to step out of their comfort zones. In short, Annette helps readers to create their own Bucket List, and then she gives them the tools and encouragement they need to live that list. An extensive appendix includes information about 50 additional places to consider for your future adventures.

Imagine the sense of accomplishment and excitement when you finally reach your goals, and Bucket List Adventures wants to help you get there.

Annette White Hang gliding in the Eastern Shore of Virginia

1. The Wish List, Barbara by Ann Kipfer

bucket list booksWritten by the same author as 14,000 Things to be Happy About, The Wish List is a catalogue of close to 6,000 unexpected goals, everything from write a love poem to watch the sun set over Machu Picchu. The best

part about this book is the massive amount of aspirations that are listed, you’ll be sure to find quite a few to add to your own life-to-do-list. They even include blank spots for you to incorporate anything they might have missed. The problem is that the goals are not categorized in any way, so make sure you mark everything you are interested in the first time around because you most likely won’t be able to find it again. The Wish List is strictly a “list” book, if you are looking for inspirational anecdotes or educational information, this is not the one for you.

5 Bucket List Ideas from this Book:

  • Live in a Castle with a Moat
  • Be a Train Conductor
  • Adopt a Pet from the Humane Society
  • Play PacMan
  • Attend the Grand Ole Opry

5 Bucket List Books to Read in Your Lifetime—Including Mine!

2. 101 Things To Before You Die by Richard Horne

bucket list booksOne of the most popular of the bucket list books, 101 Things to Do Before You Die features 101 of, what seems like, the most popular bucket list goals, such as, see the space shuttle launch and ride the world’s biggest roller coasters. This is a fun life-to-do List book with journal space to keep track of goals achieved, star stickers so you can reward yourself upon completion and informative factoids about each one. Once completed, it can be kept as somewhat of an autobiography of your adventures. The only negative is, due to the limited amount of goals, you most likely will just use this as a supplement to your own list.

5 Bucket List Ideas from this Book:

  • Catch a Fish with Your Bare Hands,
  • Meet Your Idol
  • Invent Something
  • Crash an A-List Party
  • Experience Weightlessness

5 Bucket List Books to Read in Your Lifetime—Including Mine!

3. The Bucket List: 1000 Adventures Big & Small by Kath Stathers

5 Bucket List Books to Read in Your Lifetime—Including Mine!This fun guide will take you around the world to find the most unique range of ideas.It includes natural wonders, museums, cultural experiences, islands and so much more. From glassblowing in the Czech Republic to swimming with dolphins in New Zealand, there is something for everyone in this book.

There are items that are location specific as well as many things that can be done anywhere in the world.

5 Bucket List Ideas from this Book:

  • Run with a Herd of Reindeer in Lapland
  • Ski Cross Country in the Arctic Circle
  • Canoe Down the Yukon River
  • Watch Puffins Fish for their Supper in Norway
  • Dip your Toes in Every Ocean on the Planet

5 Bucket List Books to Read in Your Lifetime—Including Mine!

4. 2,001 Things to Do Before You Die by Dane Sherwood

bucket list books

2,001 Things to Do Before You Die is a handy check list that is the shorter version of The Wish List (mentioned above). Just like Kipfers book, this is just a list of goals with sporadic inspirational quotes throughout.

Some of the aspirations are redundant (ie: get call waiting & get rid of call waiting) and highly unlikely (like waking up next to Brad Pitt). If I had to choose between the two bucket list books, I would opt for The Wish List instead.

5 Bucket List Ideas from this Book:

  • Make Paper Dolls
  • Build an Igloo
  • Be Silent for a Week
  • Start a Pillow Fight
  • Kiss the Blarney Stone

Annette White Kissing the Blarney Stone

5. 1,000 Places to See Before You Die by Patricia Schultz

1,000 Places to See Before You Die is the Big Daddy of all life lists for travel. If you have ever thought about going there, it is probably listed here. It is a hard core reference book, that has just as much information as inspiration. This is a tightly researched guide, which includes intriguing trivia and photographs. The only issue is trying to decide where to go on your first adventure; Halong Bay, Lizard Island Resort or Manual Antonio National Park?

5 Bucket List Ideas from this Book:

  • Bike Great Ocean Road
  • Balloon in Burgandy
  • Dog Sled in Scandanavia
  • Fish at Li River
  • Hike at Yosemite National Park

Peter & Annette White in Yosemite Valley National Park in the Winter


How to Make a Bucket List: 5 Easy Steps to Create a Great One
Bucket List Meaning: What is it and What’s the Definition?
10 Incredible Ways a Bucket List Can Improve Your Life
12 Bucket List Goals That Can Actually Save You Money
My Bucket List: 1000+ Ideas
The Ultimate Bucket List Resource Guide
250+ Bucket Lists: 10,000 Things to do Before You Die
Life List: 100 Amazing Things to Do Before You Die
Couples Bucket List: 68 Fun Activities & Romantic Things to Do

2018-12-23T12:30:55+00:00August 27th, 2018|Categories: TIPS + RESOURCES|Tags: |


  1. Elle August 30, 2010 at 3:30 pm - Reply

    My mom makes me turn a Christmas list in to her every August 1st.  101 Things To Do Before You Die and This Book Will Change Your Life were both on there. 
    I already own 2001 Things to Do Before You Die, I've had it for a couple of years now.  I wouldn't really recommend the book.  Aside from the goals you listed it included stupid ones like "grow a beard" and random things like that.
    I also own 1000 Places to See Before You Die, I think it's a great book but I would have liked some more information/details on some of the places.  I'm also not much of a foodie so I could have gone without the restaurants listed in the book.

    Nice write up, thanks for sharing.

  2. Simply Paul August 1, 2013 at 11:21 am - Reply

    I was given 101 Things To Do Before You Die in 2009 and really introduced me to bucket lists and the community that’s on the web. It changed my life for and I’d recommend it to anyone just starting out on their bucket list journey.

  3. Athalia August 28, 2018 at 2:03 am - Reply

    I need to buy some new books! And some extra copies for Christmas!

  4. ben lawson August 28, 2018 at 3:55 am - Reply

    wow, these adventure sports are love I really like your post nice work keep it up.

  5. Jay August 31, 2018 at 12:02 am - Reply

    these are great recommendations !! I am going to order your book in time for my trip to Australia in a month !!

  6. Travelouts August 31, 2018 at 3:10 am - Reply

    what a great informative blog. I really like this blog and i’m also going to recommend it to other people

  7. Kelly Mahan August 31, 2018 at 1:09 pm - Reply

    Your own book is amazing, congrats on the achievement! I really liked the ideas from #4, curious to check the whole thing.

  8. Emma Jones September 1, 2018 at 12:34 am - Reply

    These books are must to read. I really thanks you for letting us know about it. i even start reading one book out of all.

  9. Juan Ovalle September 3, 2018 at 1:50 pm - Reply

    Very interesting! Would love to read these!

  10. Sahil Jung September 3, 2018 at 11:13 pm - Reply

    This is really amazing and worth reading your blog. I really liked it and keep sharing more.

  11. Keralatravelpackages September 11, 2018 at 1:35 am - Reply

    Excellent post! Love to read your blog it’s very interesting. Keep sharing

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