A blog about books. Oh, and some other stuff too.

TTT: Books That I Want With Me on a Desert Island

I’m going to be very self-indulgent with this week’s topic. I know that most people will likely post something about a survival manual, how-to guides to making friends with your local volleyball, or perhaps the Mike Holmes “Do It Right” guide to tree houses… but my list is going to be completely about those books that I will want to read over and over again. C’mon, in between laying out rocks in SOS patterns on the beach and dreaming of Island Yodas who will inexplicably teach me to shoot a bow and arrow with precision (are you watching Arrow? You really should..) a woman’s gotta have some great reads. Consider yourself warned that some pretty blatant cheating ahem bending of the rules lies ahead.

The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling

Nothing like immersing yourself at Hogwarts to make the time pass quickly. There’s seven books here, and they only get longer with each book. Also – Fred! George! Neville! I’m pretty sure I’ll be a professional fan-fiction writer by the time the rescue party shows up.

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

If there’s any book that can bring you to tears at the same time as it leaves you with a deep sigh of contentment, it’s Green’s TFIOS. The title is taken from Shakespeare, but the story is both modern and timeless, mixing present-day situations with those age-old questions about the meaning of life and love. It makes me laugh out loud, and want to weep. It also has one of the thoughtful lines in the ending that I’ve ever read (and I’m modifying it slightly to avoid spoilers): “You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, … but you do have some say in who hurts you. ”

Game of Thrones series  by George R.R. Martin

Those of you who have been reading my posts for a while know that I’ve never actually made it through the Game of Thrones series. Perhaps all it will take is the realization that winter will never come on my desert island before I can slog through these weighty tomes. Or, y’know… not. Still, I’m willing to give it a try, especially with my friend @EvilAndie’s gleeful cries of “moobs” and “dragons!” echoing in my ears.

The Diving Bell & The Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby

Written by Bauby after he awoke from a coma with locked-in syndrome, that the book exists at all is a triumph of determination. According to Wikipedia, the entire book was written by Bauby blinking his left eyelid to select each letter of each word – it took ten months (four hours a day). The book took about 200,000 blinks to write and an average word took approximately two minutes. He chronicles his emotions, fears and hopes for the future; sadly, he died two days after its initial publication. I’m going to need hope on that island and this book has it in spades.

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton

My mother was horrified that my favourite book was about a construction worker and his steam shovel, Mary Anne, and refused to buy it for me, necessitating repeated visits to the library where she worked to take it out – again, and again, and again. First published in 1939, it promotes the values of teamwork, friendship and the benefits of thinking about others before yourself. It’s my favourite book from my childhood, and a reminder to me to think outside of the box.

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

When I first read this book in high school, I was prepared to hate it. I had heard it was it was long and boring, and the best evidence in the world that Dickens was paid by the word. I opened the book with reluctance…. and fell in love. I adore this book. I love the language, the romance, the tragedy … I love it all. The speeches are masterful, and the storytelling superb. I read it every year, and have lost more copies giving it away to friends than I can count. I couldn’t live without it.

Anne of Green Gables, Anne of the Island, Anne’s House of Dreams and Rilla of Ingleside  by LM Montgomery

Oh, bother, I should probably just put down the whole series, but really, it’s these four that I would HAVE to have with me. It’s ANNE, for heaven’s sake. How could I not include her? Classic, and a touch of childhood once again.

Lamb, The Story of Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore

Why this? Because he’s damn funny and punny and witty and everything else. He’s also completely irreverent and would cheer me up to no end when the umpteenth plane in as many weeks had flown by me and I was still stuck on the damn island.

Star Wars Origami/The Big Book of Origami by Various Authors

This is also a cheat, because I’d need loads and loads of origami paper to practice with and to make shapes. I’ll have lots of time on my hands, people, and I know that I’m going to have to do something to keep myself going. Since Words With Friends and Draw Something is out of the question, I’m back to the ol’ hand-eye coordination stuff.

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Libba Bray was just in Toronto for an event, and it reminded me that this is one of my favourite books by her. It’s a great twist book, and something to keep me going. I considered Lord of the Flies, but figured that would freak me out too much – this, however, would be perfect.

So that’s my list – I would probably want to throw the Bible and other religious books on this list, just to keep me inspired, but I’m going to consider them not as ‘books’, but rather emotional survival sets. What’s on your list? Comment below, and leave a link with your own list!


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All that is asked is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don’t have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It’s a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

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22 Responses »

  1. When I saw this post … I was going to add “Lamb” by Moore. One of the great reads! As a Catholic I LOVED it! I read it once a year and it always makes me laugh. I have read a few of Moore’s other books, but none are as engaging or as clever as Lamb. I even wrote to Moore to share my thoughts on his book. He politely replied … (or got a underling to reply on his behalf). You have inspired me. I might even blog about it!!!


  2. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is a really interesting choice and one I haven’t seen on any other list but I like the idea of an inspirational book – great to be reminded of other people’s struggles.
    Here’s my list:
    http://annabelsmith.tumblr.com/post/33157799448/top-10-tuesday-desert-island-books but I wrote that only a month ago so I made another list for today:


  3. Im currently reading A Song of Ice and Fire series and it is awesome! I found out theres 2 more on its way, and I’m hoping I can finish it before those two are published.


  4. This would be the perfect time to read The Game of Thrones. I’m fixing to tackle Lamb. I need some DANG SMART HILARITY.

    TFioS made my list.


  5. lol when you run out of paper for your origami youll be making them out of leaves! lol cute list. great picks Check out our TTT ~ Katie @ Inkk


  6. Great list! I would definitely take Harry Potter and TFiOS with me as well. I wouldn’t have thought of Anne of Green Gables but now that I see it here it would be a perfect collection for reading on a desert island


  7. Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, The fault in our stars, great picks! 🙂



  8. I didn’t even think of Lamb! I loved that book, it’s hilarious. A deserted island would definitely be a good time to try Game of Thrones, and I have Harry Potter on my list as well – I couldn’t image not having that series with me =P


    • I know… I’m such a series junkies. The only downside to having Game of Thrones is that it’s not done yet. I would hate to get really into the series and then not be able to finish it because I’m on a stupid island!!


  9. Even though I’ve only read the first one, I think Anne would be perfect for being stranded on a desert island. It would definitely help take your mind off of things!

    ~Allison @ Good Books and Good Wine


  10. Great list! Harry Potter is a must. Anne of Green Gables is an awesome choice as well.


  11. Beauty Queens is on my list too. I’m hoping to see her at an author event in December. I can’t wait! I bet she will be a funny speaker.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂


  12. I love that you included an origami book! I love origami. I should take a picture of my desk as work as I have a whole shelf of things I’ve folded from my one-a-day calendar. I’m still trying to decide if my 2013 calendar should be origami or krigami though.


    • I love it too – I’m not terribly good at it, but I find it very soothing to attempt! I’m fascinated by knitting (I moderate a book group where everyone knits) but am spectacularly bad at it…. At least my hand-eye allows me the chance of success w: origami!


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