The Next Best Book Club discussion

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TNBBC's Lists > Desert Island Books

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The Book Whisperer (aka Boof) OK, you're stranded on a dessert island for 5 years and you are only allowed to take 5 books with you that you will have to read over and over. They don't necessarily have to be your favourtie ever, just books that you know would keep you good company for 5 years. What do you take?

I think I'd go for:

1) The Magus - John Fowles (so many twists that take me by surprise whenever I read it)

2) The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexander Dumas (huge, meaty great swashbuckling book)

3) Life of Pi - Yann Martel (I will never, ever get bored of that tiger; I love him!)

4) Shopaholic - Sophie Kinsella (can I cheat and take the whole series?)

5) Gone with the Wind (I've never read it, but it's long, new to me and supposed to be fantastic)


The Book Whisperer (aka Boof) sorry, I put this in the wrong section by mistake and now I can't shift it! :-(


message 3: by Emma (last edited Jul 18, 2008 03:40PM) (new)

Emma  Blue (litlover) | 2389 comments Think you meant to put this in another topic.


1. Stargirl (never gets old).
2. Love Stargirl (ditto).
3. The Gemma Doyle Trilogy (ahem need you ask)?
4. Eight Cousins.
5. War and Peace (I've never read it but it's very long).


message 4: by ScottK (new)

ScottK | 535 comments I think I would only need one, named of course How to Survive on a Deserted Island for 5 Years


message 5: by Bluedaizy (new)

Bluedaizy | 135 comments The complete works of William Shakespeare.

The complete works of Stephen King.

The complete works of Jonathan Kellerman.

The complete works of Agatha Christie.

The complete works of Dick Francis.

Am I cheating?? They can put all those books into one book, can't they? Actually, I think one or two of Mr. Francis work would really be all you needed, because they really are the same book over and over again. But I just love the guy anyway.


message 6: by Christine (new)

Christine (airportsox) | 37 comments I love this question...

1. High Fidelity - Hornby
2. the Inspector Lynley series - George (if you make me pick one book, it would either by A Great Deliverance or With No One As Witness... I'd have to do an eeny-meeny to pick one of the two...)
3. Jane Eyre - Bronte
4. Anna Karenina - Tolstoy (I've never read it, but this would be a good opportunity.)
5. To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee

Just my opinion, but if you love a series or an author, you should answer both ways
(with the series and with just one book
OR
with the complete works of the author and with just one book from that author)... just my opinion. Somtimes life does force us to choose...


message 7: by Ann from S.C. (new)

Ann from S.C. | 1395 comments If i can't get the complete works.... then I would have to say...

GONE WITH THE WIND
PILLARS OF THE EARTH
WORLD WITHOUT END
WAR AND PEACE (I have never read it...)
ANNA KARENA (dito)


message 8: by Lorena (new)

Lorena (lorenalilian) I think I would go with great huge books, so they would last me for a while something I haven't read before so I don't get bored too ... hmmm ...

Crime and Punishmenet (I actually read this in HS but its been a long time)

War and Peace

Anna Karenina

Gone with the Wind (Sandra's fav, but I have never read it)

Illussions: the adventures of a reluctant Mesiah (OK, this is my favorite book, but I love reading it, and its uplifting, constructive, possitive, so it would help me in this desserted island)


message 9: by JT (new)

JT (jtishere) This is so hard!

1. The Harry Potter Series

2.Agatha Christie's Complete Works (Murder on the Orient Express if I could only have one :(

3. War and Peace

4. East of Eden

5. The complete Dickens (Great Expectations if I could only have one)


message 10: by Emma (new)

Emma  Blue (litlover) | 2389 comments Oh yes! Let me replace Stargirl for the Harry Potter series, so I can finally finish it with the long time slot!


message 11: by Ann from S.C. (new)

Ann from S.C. | 1395 comments I would also have to bring my BIBLE. Duhhhh....


message 12: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne | 25 comments I'm with you on that one Ann. Funny the ones that slip our minds!! Now the translation hmmmmm. NIV or one with a side-by-side comparison.

Count of Monte Cristo (currently reading, and I think it would be a good one to re-read as well)
A collection of short stories - maybe Dropped Threads.
Breakfast of Champions and
I think maybe some sort of flora and fauna book about the island (if possible, nice to know which mushrooms to eat lol!)



message 13: by Beth (new)

Beth (goofyteacher) | 63 comments This is a very good question that takes a lot of thought, so here goes:

1. The Harry Potter Series (since everyone else put it as one entry)
2. The Bible (would be interesting to read it all the way through)
3. The Complete works of Edgar Allen Poe (I actually own this book, it is one big book)
4. The Great Gatsby (my all time favorite book)
5. The Complete works of William Shakespeare

My husband thinks we're all crazy for not wanting some survival guide...he is not a reader



message 14: by Lori, Super Mod (last edited Jul 20, 2008 07:07PM) (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10108 comments Mod
So I havent really made a list yet, (sooo much harder than I thought it would be) but I know The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne would be coming with me. That book is about surviving on an island, and it covers EVERYTHING....



message 15: by Beth (new)

Beth (goofyteacher) | 63 comments Good thinking Lori, couple survival and pleasure reading!


message 16: by [deleted user] (last edited Jul 21, 2008 06:07AM) (new)

I almost didn't respond to this just because the thought of having only five books makes me very anxious. I have to take that many books if I am just travelling for a week....not that I could possibly read them all, just because I like to have them with me. So I think if I were faced with being stranded on a desert island for 5 years I might have an embolism just trying to decide. Anyway, I guess I would pick very long books that I haven't read, like Lorena:

War and Peace
Crime and Punishment
Anna Karenina
Tin Drum
Les Miserables

And if I could cheat, I would bring the original of each book as well as the English version.

I guess that would keep me busy for awhile. But c'mon, in this day and age, couldn't we just take a Kindle? :)


message 17: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10108 comments Mod
Jeremy, where would you charge it tho? And there is no internet connection on a deserted island.. haa haa... Good thought tho!!

So along with my Mysterious Island, I think I would bring a new Saramago novel, The Road by McCormac...Hmmmm... still thinking of the other two.


message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

I guess I didn't think that out!

Now if I could be stranded on a deserted island that had a Borders...wait, maybe that doesn't make sense either.


message 19: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10108 comments Mod
Haa haa haa...
Well, Perhaps we will be lucky enough to end up on the island with a writer. Then they can just regale us with all thier new storys as they create them!!

Beth, maybe you could just bring your hubby with you when we land on the deserted island. His know how and survival guide can help save us all!! :) And we can still greedily take our favorite reads with us!


The Book Whisperer (aka Boof) LOL, Jeremy......a desert island with a borders would really be heaven. Imagine - all those books and nobody to bother you while you read them. Bliss. Also, I must admit I am exactly the same when it comes to book packing for holidays - even if I only go for a week I have to take at least 5 or 6 (and that doesn't include the 2 or 3 that I know I'll buy at the airport) with me so cos I need to be able to have choice. The one book I don't take with me will be the one I want to read.


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

Hahaha. I'm usually pretty happy with what I take because I've often planned out in advance what my next 2 or 3 books will be.

Ironically, I packed last minute for a recent trip and didn't pack a single book which may be the first time I ever did that. I found out that there is a new (for me anyway) program at the airport bookstores where you can sell the book back and get 50% of the value. If not for me forgetting, I might never have read The Husband by Dean Koontz which I did like. In fact, I liked it enough that I decided not to sell it back so I could share it with others.


message 22: by Emma (new)

Emma  Blue (litlover) | 2389 comments I have a better idea, we ALL become stranded on a desert island, bring all the Lost Lit books and a video camera, and have our very own Lost show! I'm with Jeremy. I just need a sushi bar, starbucks and a Chapters and I'm set.


message 23: by Lorena (new)

Lorena (lorenalilian) Sorry people but I am pretty kin of my bed and toothpaste/deodorant ... other than that I'm good.


message 24: by Chloe (new)

Chloe (countessofblooms) | 1128 comments Oof... only five, eh? Let's see then:

1) Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres- a story that I've read again and again and continue to get something new from with such lush characters that I could pretend I wasn't alone.

2) The Complete Works of William Shakespeare- because with something like 36 different plays with some of the best writing in the English language I could last for far longer than just five years.

3) The Iliad & The Odyssey by Homer- because I've been meaning to reread them for over 15 years and just haven't made time for them yet.

4) Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams- because at the very least it will remind me never to forget my towel and a little escapism can't hurt.

5) Island by Aldous Huxley- because completely out of reach from other societies, Huxley created a beautiful utopia. The setting would just be too perfect to not reread.


message 25: by Jenna (new)

Jenna | 224 comments Hmmm...only 5?

1. Harry Potter series (I'm counting it as one!)
2. Gone with the Wind - all time favorite movie and have yet to read the book.
3.Complete Works of Shakespeare - that will certainly keep me busy.
4. Shantaram - one of the best books ever!
5. To Kill a Mockingbird - could read this over and over again.




message 26: by Val (new)

Val Nichols | 159 comments Wow, this is a hard one! I like Ken's idea, though, of including some sort of "how-to" book, so maybe I could find something at Home Depot....

1. Harry Potter Series

2. The Complete Jane Austin

3. 13-1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear (if I could get a Walter Moers box set, I'd be happier)

4. Collapse (since this deals with how past civilizations have fallen apart mostly because of what they did wrong with their environment, this will give me insight on what NOT to do with my new desert home)

5. Okay, okay....the Bible

I would worry about being stranded with a writer, because what if you hated what that person wrote? It would be horrid to be trapped with someone and having to continually say, "No, really, I liked it" convincingly.


message 27: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10108 comments Mod
Ken, that was funny. If the book hasnt been written yet, perhaps there is still time to draw up an outline.. hee hee




message 28: by Emma (last edited Jul 23, 2008 09:59AM) (new)

Emma  Blue (litlover) | 2389 comments Ooo, I have to change my list now:

1. Harry Potter
2. Complete Works of Jane Austen
3. War and Peace
4. The Gemma Doyle Trilogy
5. Both Stargirl books


message 29: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia (pandoraphoebesmom) | 1826 comments 1. The complete Outlander series (although I'd have to wait to be stranded until after the 7th book comes out next year...I couldn't wait another 5 years to read it)

2. The complete works of Jane Austen (no excuses not to read them at that point)

3. The complete collection of Stephanie Plum (Janet Evanovich) books...I've only read the first so far and really liked it...there are so many to catch up on it would be nice to have a long stretch of time to read them.

4. A survival guide of some sort.

5. 1001 uses for pineapple or some sort of tropical cookbook I could use with a campfire.


message 30: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10108 comments Mod
Cynthia, I love the tropical cookbook idea... would you be the resident chef on the island then?


message 31: by Emma (new)

Emma  Blue (litlover) | 2389 comments Pinapple....yum!


message 32: by Sherry (new)

Sherry Cynthia,I think you're on to something there with a recipe book.I can imagine it now.
1001 Things to do With Coconut or Making Do With Less and Loving it.I would have to draw on all my memories of Gilligan's Island.Didn't they have "phones" made from coconut?I loved that show as a kid.My list would be,

1-The Boy Scouts Guide to Outdoor Survival(if there isn't such a book there should be,gotta keep it simple)

2-The Complete Works of Shakespeare(ought to keep me busy)

3-The Complete Works of Austen(if being stranded on a island with her books doesn't get me reading them nothing will)

4-Les` Miserables(sp)That should keep me busy

5-Something from Thich Nhat Hahn to keep me mellow and chilled out.


message 33: by Beth (new)

Beth (goofyteacher) | 63 comments Cynthia, There was an episode of Good Eats on the food network where Alton Brown gave a guide to tropical cooking, just in case you are trapped on an island. It was hysterical, all the fancy and common foods he made out of pinapple and coconuts!


message 34: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia (pandoraphoebesmom) | 1826 comments That's exactly what I was thinking...I wouldn't really know what wild mushrooms go with beached whale or the proper cook time for a wild boar...lol.


message 35: by Val (new)

Val Nichols | 159 comments And Cynthia, if you don't know all the proper island cooking etiquette, no one will come to your shee-shees!

Wait...aren't we all alone on these islands? Throw caution to the wind and drink red wine with fish!


message 36: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (mcd724) | 117 comments 1. The Pillars of the Earth
2. The Complete Jane Austen
3. Harry Potter series
4. Collected works of Kurt Vonnegut
5. Anne of Green Gables Series...

Kind of cheating, but all are books that I never get tired of...


message 37: by Beth (new)

Beth (goofyteacher) | 63 comments Michelle, Anne of Green Gables great idea...I would love to reread them!


message 38: by Lorena (new)

Lorena (lorenalilian) Val - Cynthia, what worries me is not so much how to cook a boar or a big fish, how to catch the darn things would be my main problem, not to mention I don't think I could kill anything to eat it ... maybe I would just be on a fruit diet and loose weight and look beautiful for when I get rescued. ;o)


message 39: by [deleted user] (new)

Yikes, a fruit diet? I like fruit, but I can imagine some issues if I ate it all of the time. If I could take a movie it would be Cast Away.


message 40: by Kathy McC (new)

Kathy McC
Five books for a deserted island--

1. The Bible
2. Gone With The Wind
3. Pillars of the Earth (may be the only way I'd have time to read it)
4. Pride and Prejudice
5. War & Peace (see book #3)


message 41: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10108 comments Mod
Lorena.. I like that.. the all fruit- stay super skinny-and look great diet... although, wouldnt the fruit run straight through you after awhile??? heehee


message 42: by Lorena (new)

Lorena (lorenalilian) Lori, there is people who live stricktly on fruits and raw vegetables, and if you keep a good balance on the vitamins and minerals you consume you are indeed very healthy ... I bet you fruits,sea-weed and roots in an island for a month and anyone would look like a million bucks! Plus think of all the vitamin D from the morning sun, the salt from the sea ... good for the skin too!


message 43: by Emma (new)

Emma  Blue (litlover) | 2389 comments Do you think you could cook up some sushi? Thats what I would want, a sushi cook book and all the supplies!


message 44: by Lorena (new)

Lorena (lorenalilian) Emma I guess we could grill some fish in the rocks, with coconut water for seasoning and a bit of sea salt?


message 45: by Emma (new)

Emma  Blue (litlover) | 2389 comments Aww, I'll take it. I love fish. (I'm veggie, but half, I don't eat land animals like chicken and cow, but I eat fish, I couldn't live without sushi)!


message 46: by Sherry (new)

Sherry Lorena,I'd want to be deserted with you so you could do the cooking.I bet you're a kick-ass cook.Of coarse Lori would have to be there for her super powers and Emma just for fun.


message 47: by Sherry (new)

Sherry And as I 'm sure Emma would be bringing those books she's raving about I'll get a chance to read them.


message 48: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10108 comments Mod
oh no,,, book whoring on the island? wheres Scott? He'll be sure to bring 5 copies of the Tomb.. to share the love :)


message 49: by Lorena (new)

Lorena (lorenalilian) We need to take Logan for survival or maybe Jeremy he sounds like he knows a thing or two about wilderness ... LOL
I love to cook, I do NOT under any circumstances wash the dishes though ;o)


message 50: by Lorena (new)

Lorena (lorenalilian) Oh ... I can't believe I forgot about Scott ... he has been living in an island he has the insiders scoop! And Charity for jokes and Kirsty! man this sounds less and less like a "tragedy" and more like a party!


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