On a Desert Island …

So what if you had been Robinson Crusoe and was stranded on that island – or any island (not the one from Lost though) – which books would you bring? If you should choose a small number of books and those were the only books you had to read for maybe the rest of your life or at least for a very, very long time.

You have food enough and enough to drink, there’s a comfy chair as well as a comfy beach chair, but your only company is your books. So which books would you choose? Don’t choose lightly – this is your only chance.

I really wanted to limit myself to 5 titles but when I first got started, I couldn’t limit myself to just 5. I figure, I’m a fast reader – I need more than 5 books to sustain myself on on this beautiful island. So there – my list of 10 books to bring on a desert island.

  1. John Irving: The World According to Garp. This is my favorite, favorite book. I love this book. Even though I’ve already read it a lot of times, I still want to read it again. And again.
  2. Leo Tolstoy: War and Peace. Well, one thing this has going for it, is it’s length. I’ve already read it once and I will really much like to read it again. And since there’s so much going on in it, I will most likely need to read it several times.
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings.  I’ve only read it once but I loved it and I loved the movies. So definitely want to spend some time reading this.
  4. Georges Perec: Life – A User’s Manual. I don’t think many know about this book and it’s a shame. It’s a weird book – all about the people living in the same apartment building. It’s amazing and I loved it.
  5. Marcel Proust: Remembrance of Things Past. I’ve read Swann’s Way 1 and liked it. I think if I was stranded on a island for a long time, I would get the whole thing read.
  6. Joyce Carol Oates: Blonde. Joyce Carol Oates is one of my favorite authors and this was the first book I read by her. And I loved it. I really want to re-read it and a desert island is perfect place to spend reading about the life of Marilyn Monroe.
  7. James Joyce: Ulysses. Oh yeah, I’m serious. I want to read this. I have never read it but what better thing to do on an island than to try and tackle Joyce? And on that note …
  8. James Joyce: Finnegan’s Wake.  Yeah, I’m still serious. I want to read Joyce!
  9. Haruki Murakami: Kafka on the Shore. Another spot taken by one of my favorite authors. I loved this novel and so far, it’s my favorite book by Murakami.
  10. Susanna Clarke: Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. I read this once, loved it. I really want to read it again – great book with awesome footnotes.

The easy, the good – and the downright scary. 3 new books.

Well, despite having more than enough books on my shelves I haven’t read yet, I’ve just acquired three more.

Yesterday, I was looking for some books for my daughter in the best book store in town (got 4 for her – we read them all when she got home yesterday) and I bought Inkheart by Cornelia Funke for myself. I love the idea of the book about a person being able to read characters from books alive – it kind of sounds like a ya version of Thursday Next so even though it has gotten some mixed reviews, I’ll give it a go.

Then today in the mail, I got two classics. I’ve been wanting to read Orlando by Virginia Woolf for ages – or at least since 1992 when the movie (with Tilda Swinton) came out and I first heard of the novel. Looking forward to this one!

And also in the package was Ulysses by James Joyce. 1195 pages long (not counting the introduction and a short history of the text). I got an Annotated Student Edition (wasn’t what I ordered but an annotated version of this book is probably not the worst thing in the world). I did sign up for the Jousting with Joyce challenge at Fizzy Thoughts so I had to get the book – and now I have to read it as well! Should be interesting!