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Desert Island Book

March 21, 2010

I saw this question on Twitter and then another friend asked me recently, so it got me thinking: If you were stranded on a desert island and only had one book with you, which would you choose?  I think I’ve thought about this a little too much, but I came up with some parameters for my selection:

  • The book should be fairly long – I feel this is obvious.  No one is going to choose Green Eggs and Ham as their one book for the island.
  • The book should be thought-provoking – I mean, I’m sitting around doing nothing but reading this book, so at least it should give me something to ponder.
  • I should LOVE this book – Again, obvious.  I’m not going to choose a book that I’m not head over heels for because I’ll be sick of it too soon.
  • The book should offer multiple story lines/meanings/interpretations – This goes hand-in-hand with the thought-provoking idea. I want a book that offers something to think about, ideas to examine and alternative meanings or interpretations.
  • The book should be well-written – Bad writing annoys me here in civilization, so I think it may push me over the edge if I were stranded on a desert island.

Using these guidelines, I’ve come up with two possible selections for my desert island choice.  They both fulfill the above criteria and I think they would keep me thinking and entertained while I’m not constructing my bamboo hut and sipping coconut juice:

  • The Wind Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami – The ways to interpret a man sitting in a dry well listening to a “wind-up bird” are endless.  Plus, Wind Up Bird tops the scales at more than 600 pages.  This one will keep me thinking and interpreting for a good long time.
  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood – I dig books on religion, so this novel – set in America in the future where religious zealots have taken over the country – would keep me fired up for some time.  It is well-written with surprising twists and turns and the flashbacks and foreshadowing are great for some time-consuming contemplating.

What are your desert island picks?

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 21, 2010 8:49 pm

    Great question!!! I think it would have to be Pride & Prejudice for me. The Road is another one I would consider … but I think that would be awfully bleak if you’re alone on a desert island.

  2. March 23, 2010 10:39 am

    Well it would only be appropriate to read a book that takes place in a desert setting. That’s why I’m going with Dune. It’s got everything a stranded desert dork needs: political positioning, blue eyes, spice, war, prophecy, the weirding way, Shai-Hulud (sandworms) and different languages. Here’s the icing on the desert cake: at one point, our hero is left for dead in, get this, the desert!
    I am the Kwisatz Haderach!

  3. March 26, 2010 4:34 pm

    What a good question. I need to meditate on this one.

  4. Erin permalink
    August 7, 2011 11:00 am

    Lolita, Ulysses

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