Top Ten Books I’d Want On A Desert Island

“The First looked like a woman who could stand upright under any doom.”

Stephen Donaldson

Because BBC iPlayer Download is not working properly. Nor, in fact, is the rest of the Internet (hence my frequent hiatuses recently).

  1. The Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien. I know I put this on the top of EVERY LIST EVER, but, come on, it’s 1000+ pages long (I’m taking the one-volume version) and it’s such a big story. I’m assuming I’m going to be on this Desert Island for a while.
  2. Our Mutual Friend – Charles Dickens. For similar reasons: it’s long, it’s got a large cast of varied and awesome characters, and it’s really sweet and sentimental and lovely.
  3. The Waste Land – T.S. Eliot. You could read this three hundred times and still not get it. Reading it is like doing the crossword: an absorbing but ultimately pointless task that gives you hours of fun (or, alternatively, throwing things at innocent palm trees).
  4. House of Leaves – Mark Z. Danielewski. See The Waste Land, above.
  5. Robot Dreams – Isaac Asimov. Twenty stories in one: an efficient and thought-provoking use of book space.
  6. Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell. Again, it packs a huge amount of story into a comparatively small volume, plus it’s awesome.
  7. The Historian – Elizabeth Kostova. VAMPIRES and LIBRARIES and LOTS OF PAGES.
  8. Going Postal – Terry Pratchett. Well, I’ve got to have one Discworld novel, haven’t I? What else am I going to read when I’m depressed about not seeing any people ever again?
  9. The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant – Stephen Donaldson. Because Covenant is always in “a worse place and a blacker danger” (yes, there IS a Tolkien quote for every occasion) than anything you might face on a desert island. Possibly the answer to the question posed in #8, above.
  10. I’m going to be That Person and say Wilderness Survival for Dummies for my last space. Let’s be practical here. Books are of very little use if you’re not alive to read them.

(The theme for this list was suggested by The Broke and the Bookish’s meme Top Ten Tuesday.)


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