BOOK CORNER: Author pays tribute to her dad in  new memoir ‘My Father’s List’

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By Marissa Wells

Contributing Writer

“My Father’s List: How Living My Dad’s Dreams Set Me Free,” by Laura Carney, is a compelling memoir that describes the author’s six-year journey to complete her late father’s bucket list.

“I had no idea how much the experience would free me — from misconceptions and limiting beliefs about myself, from unresolved concerns and fears about my father and from societal pressure to be anything other than myself,” Carney said. “I also had no idea how much my journey would affect other people, who either helped me complete the list or cheered me on.”

In the book, Carney shares stories about the activities she completed like the LA Marathon, planting an apple tree, a river swim and more. She also goes into detail about her dad’s troubles and her own life experiences, including battling depression.

Carney had been wanting to write a book about her father’s passing since she was 25 years old but was too intimated at the time. 

“At age 35, I became an advocate for families who lost loved ones because of distracted drivers,” Carney said. “An established journalist by then at national publications, I used my platform to tell their stories and realized the importance of writing a book about losing someone like that.”

It was important for Carney to create a book that not only testified to her experience with loss and grief, but also the unique circumstance surrounding her father’s death.

“I needed a place to put my alienation and anger about that and a way to transform my emotions into connection and hope,” Carney said. “It hit me that while my situation was unique, my isolation and temporary lack of faith were not, and the reason I’m a writer was so I could put that shared experience into words for others who couldn’t.”

“My Father’s List” is intended for a wide audience that includes “dads, daughters, 20-somethings, 40-somethings, all ages in between,” Carney added.

“I have found that this book isn’t only helping readers with grief, but with finding hope and connection again during what some have called a hopeless and disconnected time…,” she said.

In addition to being an author, Carney is a magazine copy editor, writer and illustrator. For more information about the author and her work, visit

“My Father’s List: How Living My Dad’s Dreams Set Me Free” is available for $17.99 at all bookstores including Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

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