Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Richard David Bach  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1936 in Oak Park, Illinois

-- Richard David Bach on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Bach was born in Oak Park, Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Richard David Bach is an American writer. He is widely known as the author of the hugely popular 1970s best-sellers ''Jonathan Livingston Seagull''. The book contained fewer than 10,000 words, yet it broke all hardcover sales records since ''Gone with the Wind''. It sold more than 1,000,000 copies in 1972 alone. In 1973, the book was turned into a movie, ''Jonathan Livingston Seagull'', produced by Paramount Pictures Corporation. The movie included a soundtrack by Neil Diamond.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Stranger to the Ground
ISBN: 0440206588

Dell Publishing. 1990

A man alone in the sky has a chance to touch the stars. But as Richard Bach, flying a lone jet across Europe, reaches for the eternal, he must also confront the fear and danger that shadow the unknown.

ISBN: 044020657X

Dell. 1990

Finding Ourselves is Like Flying An Ancient Biplane Coast To Coast: There Are Storms Ahead, But Oonce We've Started, It's Too Late To turn Back.

To discover that time is not a straight line aimed toward infinity, Richard Bach undertook a magnificent journey. Biplane is the story of that solo flight into the American skies -- a flight that became a personal quest to discover everything that lies beyond the ordinary.

Nothing by Chance
ISBN: 0440206561

Dell. 1990

The author describes his adventures during the summer of 1966, when he emulated the gypsy pilots of the 1920s and barnstormed across America

Jonathan Livingston Seagull
ISBN: 0380012863

Avon. 1973

Because he spends so much time perfecting his flying form instead of concentrating on getting food, a seagull is ostracized by the rest of the flock. Reissue.

A Gift of Wings
ISBN: 0440204321

Dell. 1989

From the bestselling author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, comes an inspiring collection of short stories of being a pilot.

With perfect insight, Richard Bach captures the true esssence of flying and the magic of being in the air. Philosophical and adventurous, each story will grab you and make you want to soar. Once again Richard Bach has written a masterpiece to help you touch that part of your home that is the sky.

A gift for pilots, aviation afficionados, and anyone that loves to fly, this book captures the magic of life in all its limitless horizons.

There's No Such Place as Far Away
ISBN: 0385319274

Delta. 1998

When she was about to turn five, a little girl named Rae Hansen invited Richard Bach to her birthday party. Though deserts, storms, mountains, and a thousand miles separated them, Rae was confident that her friend would appear. There's No Such Place As Far Away chronicles the exhilarating spiritual journey that delivered Rae's anxiously awaited guest to her side on that special day--and tells of the powerful and enduring gift that would keep him forever close to her heart.

Written with the same elegant simplicity that made Jonathan Livingston Seagull a bestselling phenomenon, There's No Such Place As Far Away has touched the hearts of thousands of readers since its first publication in 1979. Richard Bach's inspiring, now-classic tale is a profound reminder that miles cannot truly separate us from friends...that those we love are always with us--every moment of the infinite celebration we call life.

Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah
ISBN: 0385285019

Delacorte Press. 1977

In the cloud-washed airspace between the cornfields of Illinois and blue infinity, a man puts his faith in the propeller of his biplane. For disillusioned writer and itinerant barnstormer Richard Bach, belief is as real as a full tank of gas and sparks firing in the cylinders...until he meets Donald Shimoda--former mechanic and self-described messiah who can make wrenches fly and Richard's imagination soar....

In Illusions, the unforgettable follow-up to his phenomenal bestseller Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Richard Bach takes to the air to discover the ageless truths that give our souls wings: that people don't need airplanes to soar...that even the darkest clouds have meaning once we lift ourselves above them... and that messiahs can be found in the unlikeliest places--like hay fields, one-traffic-light midwestern towns, and most of all, deep within ourselves.

The Bridge Across Forever: A Lovestory
ISBN: 0440108268

Dell. 1989

If you've ever felt alone in a world of strangers, missing someone you've never met, you'll find a message from your love in The Bridge Across Forever.

One: A Novel
ISBN: 044020562X

Dell. 1989

I gave my life to become the person I am right now. Was it worth it?

Would we change if we knew what waits beyond space and time?

“With One, the ninth novel from the ever spiritual and imaginative author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, [Richard] Bach continues his quest for a deeper understanding of human nature. . . . Although the elements of a great science fiction novel are present, the plot is secondary to the novel's theme of humanity's ability to control destiny”The Boston Herald

“If you have ever tried to judge a book by its cover . . . One lives up to this question [in the headline] . . . and more . . . Bach gives the reader much to ponder, so much so in some chapters that the thoughtful may be tempted to read no more than a page at a sitting. Not because it's cumbersome reading, but because the ideas are worth savoring.”USA Today

One is a provocative book . . . it gives beautiful, hope-filled answers.”Indianapolis News

“Uplifting . . . Each of the inspirational set pieces preaches the same message: of the power of each individual to choose the ways of peace, brotherhood and love, to live with a reverence for nature and at harmony with the universe. Back again displays an inventive imagination and inspirational zeal.”Publishers Weekly

One presents a number of provocative speculations: What would it be like to meet yourself when you were older or younger? How would your life turn out if you had made different choices, split up with your spouse, been born in a different time and place? . . . With love and hope as their guides and ‘what matters most’ as their destination, the Bachs touch down in different times and places, where they commune with some of their alternative selves.”The New York Times Book Review

“This is a strange and though-provoking fantasy from the man who gave us Jonathan Livingston Seagull and Illusions, one that is imaginative, playful, and, in places, startling in concept.”The Anniston Star

“Instead of soaring and diving through space, passengers on this flight must be prepared to cruise slowly, making several stops to look at their motivation and lifestyles as the Bachs look at their own.”Detroit Free Press

Running from Safety: An Adventure of the Spirit
ISBN: 0385315287

Delta. 1995

A half-mile up, suspended by nylon wings and the promise of good lift, life hanges on a pledge. Richard Bach made that pledge, fifty years before, to return to the frightened child he used to be and teach him everything he had learned from living. His promise went unfulfilled until one day, hovering between earth and sky, Richard encounters Dickie Bach, age nine--irrepressible challenger of every notion Richard embraces....

In this exhilarating adventure, Richard and Dickie probe the timeless questions both need answered if either is to be whole: Why does growing spiritually mean never growing up? Can we peacefully coexist with the consequences of our choices? Why is it that only by running from safety can we make our wildest dreams take flight?

Out of My Mind: The Discovery of Saunders-Vixen
ISBN: 0385334907

Delta. 2000

The author of eleven books, including such classic bestsellers as Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Illusions, and One, Richard Bach has earned a permanent place in the hearts of readers around the world. His visionary works have shown millions of readers the amazing possibilities of imagination, mind and spirit.

An enthralling flight into the realm of possibility, Out of My Mind shows what happens when Richard Bach sets out to solve the design problems troubling his Piper Cub. He is taken on an unforgettable journey back to 1923 and the creative heyday of a British airplane manufacturer, Saunders-Vixen Aircraft Company, where problems are solved for confused aviators. There, Bach meets Derek Hawthorne, his guide through Saunders-Vixen, and a mysterious young aircraft designer named Laura Bristol who will provide the astonishing answers to his unspoken questions. This profoundly resonant tale reminds us of a powerful truth: although our dreams may lie beyond the limits of time, space, and belief, they are never beyond reach.

Air Ferrets Aloft (Ferret Chronicles)
ISBN: 0743227530

Scribner. 2002

The story of Stormy Ferret traces her turbulent mission from Seattle to Salinas flying her FDC-4 SkyFreighter through the roughest flight in the history of airway Victor 23, during which she survives by sheer determination, through the intervention of ferret angels, and with the assistance of a soulmate. By the author of Illusions. 150,000 first printing.

Rescue Ferrets at Sea (Ferret Chronicles, No. 1)
ISBN: 0743227506

Scribner. 2002

Follows the tale of Bethany Ferret, a kit from humble beginnings who joined the Ferret Rescue Service and rose to command the rescue boat Resolute before embarking on adventures to rescue animals aboard distressed human ships.

Writer Ferrets: Chasing the Muse (Ferret Chronicles)
ISBN: 0743227549

Scribner. 2002

Presents a tale of a married ferret couple, both aspiring writers, who, in their quest to write the great ferret novel, learn how important it is to be loved by one another, as well as achieving the ultimate success by satisfying one's inner circle.

Rancher Ferrets on the Range (Ferret Chronicles)
ISBN: 0743227557

Scribner. 2003

The ground thudded and trembled, the echoes again, as Cheyenne Jasmine Ferret cut a half-circle to stop, breathing hard, by Montgomery and his trusted mount Boffin. It was a familiar sight to all who lived beneath Montana's Sweetroot Mountains, these two ranchkits riding through the morning light, ever together, completely unalike. Montgomery has the deep stillness of the outdoors in his soul Cheyenne Jasmine is less quiet within. He understands the thoughts of animals and the endless colors of a single mountain daisy. She watches movie after movie, drawn indoors by emotion and light. Kithood ends one morning when Cheyenne Jasmine climbs aboard the train out of Little Paw, destination Hollywood. Montgomery stays put, unwilling to leave the country and his future with animals. They do not realize they are in love until the moment she departs. In time, Cheyenne becomes Jasmine Ferret, the Jasmine Ferret, international film star, darling of the tabloids Montgomery a sheep-whisperer, a rancher, and some suspect philosopher ferret. Years pass before they meet again, long after each has found the rewards of their separate callings. Yet the highest reward, they discover, waits for them both together, and it's one that they will share for the rest of their lives. Rancher Ferrets on the Range is a tale about sacrifice and longing, fulfillment and success, and a love that waits patiently, sure in the knowledge it will find a way home.

The Last War: Detective Ferrets and the Case of the Golden Deed (Ferret Chronicles)
ISBN: 0743227565

Scribner. 2003

In this nail-biting volume of the Ferret Chronicles, detective Shamrock Ferret fights to solve the mystery of a ferret civilization in a parallel dimension—a deeply felt, passionate call for peace.

Can one animal save the world? So asks Richard Bach, bestselling author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull and The Ferret Chronicles. This moving fable about the almost-end of a civilization and the profound issues it raises—that of war and peace, life and death, revenge and forgiveness, guilt and innocence—is a timely tale of timeless themes sure to resonate with anyone concerned about the present state of the world.

Curious Lives: Adventures from the Ferret Chronicles
ISBN: 1571744576

Hampton Roads Publishing. 2005

Dear Reader:

Richard Bach is kind and gentle and stubborn as rocks about his writing. His books are visions of why we're here and where we're going, ideas that change lives, and he hides them behind titles so modest that nobody can tell what they're about:

Jonathan Livingston Seagull.



These are not life-changing titles.

"If a reader is meant to find my books," he insists, "she'll find them wherever they're hidden."

Back-to-back, Richard's books have been on the New York Times bestseller list for more than four years. His last story was told in five separate volumes, a delicious entertainment about lives of action and adventure, but free of evil or menace, crime or wickedness, or war. The best books, some say, that he's ever written, but guess his title:

The Ferret Chronicles.

We could have told him how many copies those books would sell, and we would have been right. They went invisible in bookstores readers walked past―we're not into ferrets just now.

The Books That Nobody Read, and we knew why. It should have been one volume, not five. Ferrets tell his stories about living, but they're the actors, not the subject. Why did he call them ferret books?

Here they are, last chance, one volume. Richard budged on the title, but not much. Finally he said that we could put a note to readers on the back cover, if that would make us feel better.

We're a small publisher.

We love this book.

Truth must be told.

Hampton Roads Publishing Company

Flying: The Aviation Trilogy (Scribner Classics)
ISBN: 0743247477

Scribner. 2003

Here for the first time in a single volume are three of Richard Bach's most compelling works about flight.
From his edgy days as a USAF Alert pilot above Europe in an armed F84-F Thunderstreak during the Cold War to a meander across America in a 1929 biplane, Bach explores the extreme edges of the air, his airplane, and himself in glorious writing about how it feels to climb into a machine, leave the earth, and fly.
Only a handful of writers have translated their experiences in the cockpit into books that have mesmerized generations.

Messiah's Handbook: Reminders for the Advanced Soul
ISBN: 1571744215

Hampton Roads Publishing. 2004

In Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah, Richard Bach met Donald Shimoda, a fellow pilot with the keys to the universe who barnstormed the Midwest in a Travel Air biplane. Part of Shimoda’s secret was a small book, bound in what looked like suede: Messiah’s Handbook, Reminders for the Advanced Soul. “Open it,” he said, “and whatever you need to know is there. ”Lost for decades and rediscovered, here it is in print at last—reminders for those who have outgrown cynicism and doubt.

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