Our topic this week is “desert island reads”. For the record, I would much rather be stranded on a dessert island than a desert island. But if I didn’t have a choice… here’s a sampling of what I’d want with me.
The Cloister Walk by Kathleen Norris
This is one of my favorite books, although I don’t recommend it very often. Kathleen Norris is a poet and a theologian, and she writes very densely. But this book, Norris’s musings as she spends a liturgical year living with Benedictine monks and nuns, is totally cathartic for me. Every time I read it, I come away a better person. Plus, it would help me come to terms with the slow march of time.
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
You either love it or hate it or didn’t finish it. I happen to love it. Rand is criticized for her clunky dialogue, wooden characters, and unflinchingly rigid philosophy, but to me, this book is a story I can immerse myself in, full of characters I love to read about. And while listening to the audiobook (all 52 hours of it), I realized that a lot of her writing actually is quite beautiful.
The Complete Works of Jane Austen
I discovered Jane Austen in college, and she immediately became one of my favorite authors. I love to curl up with any of her books–or curl up on the couch and watch any of the movies. Hmm, is there a couch on my island? I’m going to need a DVD player and a flat-screen TV, too.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Is there a person on earth who doesn’t get sucked into Dahl’s fantastic world? I guess I could take “Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator,” too, because it would really resonate with my maroonedness. Which reminds me…
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Talk about a desert island book–this book is about shipwrecks. I’d heard a description of it and thought, “Hmm, a guy in a boat with a tiger… must be some metaphysical mumbojumbo.” But nope. It’s a guy in a boat with a tiger. File under “Things I thought I’d hate because they sound really artsy but I actually really liked,” with “Lost in Translation.”
Animals In Translation by Temple Grandin
I mean, I’m sure there’s going to be tons of friendly wildlife on my island, and I’m going to want to be reminded of the psychology behind their behavior so I can manipulate them into sharing their food with me.
Animal Vegetable Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver
I love this book–it totally changed the way I looked at food. It will come in very handy for those moments when I’m sitting there wishing I had a bacon double cheeseburger from a fast food place. I can just read the sections about the effect super-cheap unhealthy food is having on society and go back to smugly eating crickets and mealworms.
The Little House On the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
By observing the behavior and activities of Pa, Ma, Laura, Mary, Grace, Carrie, and Almanzo for that one book, I will survive as skillfully as a hardened pioneer! When other shipwreck castaways wash ashore, I will follow them around and say, “Pshaw! Tenderfeet!”
Oh, and I’m going to need a computer (I’m a Mac) and an internet connection and probably an iPod, as well as an Audible.com account, okay? Because I like listening to audiobooks when I work, and I’m sure I’ll have my hands busy, making shelters and spearing fish and weaving little outfits for my island critter friends.
Also, Winston’s going to require at least a yurt, preferably an air-conditioned prefab structure, and plenty of all-natural dog food plus dog multivitamins. And LOTS of poop bags.
(To learn more about any of the above books, check out my desert-island reads list at Amazon.com.)
PS – Did you enter my contest yet? Why not? Enter, enter! Make me feel loved!