Friday, July 29, 2011

10 Books for a Desert Island

I found this prompt for 10 books you'd want with you on a desert island online and thought I'd try it. Now that I've tried it, it's a lot harder than I thought--or maybe I just made it that way.
1. Book of Mormon: isn't the reason self-explanatory?
2. Tale of Two Cities: probably my all-time favorite, or at least my favorite-the-longest. Is it the story? it must be because I don't really care for the style of writing. I think I like the story of redemption.
3. The Thirteenth Tale: I like the rhythm of this book. The language is lyrical and the story swamps me. I can't quite figure it out with one reading. But it's like listening to someone speak a language you don't understand in a soothing voice. I just want to keep listening.
4. People of the Book: I love the structure of this book: each chapter a story of a person/family who had possession of the book, through centuries, all tied together by the book curator discovering their traces in the wine stains and clothing threads left among the pages. I like the style of this writer as well. I could read this again and still find ideas I'd missed. Besides, the book makes me think about things that last, things that matter.
5. Eat Cake: I figure I'll be hungry, so a book with cake recipes and about cake and how cakes save her life and her family sounds like a pretty good choice. The main character never lets trouble get her down. On a desert island (why couldn't it be a dessert island???), that would be a good thing to remember.
6. To Kill a Mockingbird: I've probably read it more times than any other book besides scripture, and I always am happy to read it again.
7. Picnic, Lightning: Poetry makes me pay attention to the little things in the world around me. I really like Billy Collins' poetry, too.
8. Peace Like a River. Slow paced but compelling. I think I would get more out of additional readings.
9. Crossing to Safety. Stegner isn't my favorite, but my only reading of this title still leaves me thoughtful. It, too, could bear re-reading.
10. Hmmm.  I don't know how long I would be on this desert island. I think I would like at least one book I haven't read before--and it should be either something funny and/or something non-fiction: Maybe something by Mary Roach or Bill Bryson, both fun and funny non-fiction writers. I'd take recommendations.


  1. I just chose Crossing to Safety for my book club in July. I love his writing style and subtle wit. Reading it was like drinking cool water on a hot day. But the end! There's a lot to digest there. Peace like a River is on my list.

  2. I love the 13th tale! Also, I'd have anything my Sarah Dunant or Meg Wolitzer on the island.