Historical Fictionistas discussion

Fun & Games > 3 books to take on a deserted island...

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message 1: by Jill (new)

Jill | -19 comments I am always looking to expand my library. What better way than to get everyone's 3 desert island books? I know it will be torture to narrow it down but give it a shot...

message 2: by Becky, Moddess (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 3414 comments Mod
Wow... This is bad! I don't know if I would be able to narrow it down to only three books. I'd go down with the ship deciding which ones I could part with! *shudder*

Do series count as one?? ;)

I'm going to stick with HF though, since that's a little easier. I don't know if it will really help expand your library though! LOL

1) Roots by Alex Haley
2) Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
3) The Green Mile by Stephen King

message 3: by jb (new)

jb Byrkit (jbbyrkit) Does my nook count as one? LOL
The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson and Sea Turtles A Complete Guide to Their Biology, Behavior, and Conservation by James R. Spotila and Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral by Kris Radish

message 4: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) | 2227 comments Mine would be:

Outlander- because it's long and has a right mix of romance and smuttiness

The Feast of Roses- it's exotic and I love the descriptions in this book

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal- not exactly HF, but this one will provide me with a good laugh in a stressful situation

message 5: by Lori (new)

Lori Baldi | -47 comments Winds of War
War And Remembrance -- both by Herman Wouk
In Pale Battalions -- by Robert Goddard
Wow, when I have to narrow it down it looks as if I really do like to read about war. Somehow these 3 were the ones that moved me the most and I always could read over again. Constantly recommend them to others too. It is hard to keep it at 3 though.

message 6: by Becky, Moddess (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 3414 comments Mod
Jackie, I was totally contemplating Lamb, but I decided against because there were some draggy parts. Although I guess I could just skip them. O_o

message 7: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) | 2227 comments Yeah my decision was between Lamb and A Dirty Job, but Lamb can qualify as HF so I just went with it. lol.

message 8: by Maude (new)

Maude | 752 comments The Valley of Decision, by Marcia Davenport (A great book which starts in 1873 and ends in 1941 I think)
Three by Tey, by Josephine Tey (Miss Pym Disposes, The Franchise Affair and Brat Farrar)I love Josephine Tey.
And If I Perish, Frontline US Army Nurses in World War II. A nice LONG book which will keep me interested and good enough to reread.

message 9: by Candiss (new)

Candiss (tantara) If we aren't sticking just with historical fiction:

1. The Great Book of Amber - Roger Zelazny. I find this endlessly re-readable, thinky, funny, escapist, and engrossing, with great and fantastical world-building.
2. A Country Year: Living the Questions - Sue Hubbell. Her writing soothes me and would help keep me connected to the larger world outside my little theoretical island. It brings back vivid memories of growing up in the Ozarks (in a good way). Having this book along would be like having the voice of an old friend with me.
3. Tao Te Ching: A New English Version - Laozi/Lao Tzu. For me, this little volume is a bottomless source of strength.

If we are sticking to historical fiction only:

1. The Mists of Avalon
2. The Thorn Birds
3. Les Misérables

message 10: by Nikki (new)

Nikki (vegancleopatra) | 133 comments Oh gosh, this is so difficult. I think I would have a panic attack if I actually had to choose three to take with me forever! lol But here are the ones I grudgingly choose:

1--Gone With the Wind
2--The Bronze Horseman
3--Outlander (almost chose another but I think a lifetime of Jamie would be a good choice...lol.)

message 12: by Aimee (new)

Aimee (akbaum) 1. Pride and Prejudice
2. Outlander

If I am going to be on an island I am bringing Mr. Darcy and Jamie Fraser with me.

3.Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris. I love to laugh and I always enjoy his books. I think this is the one I found to be the funniest.

message 13: by Jill (last edited Nov 23, 2010 09:32AM) (new)

Jill | -19 comments Valerie wrote: "Jane Austen Leather Bound Collection: Seven Novels
Jane Eyre
The Mists of Avalon"

Valerie...you found the loop hole! 7 books in one edition. :) Sharp thinking!
I have a copy of Mists of Avalon but haven't started it yet. Seeing you pick it as an all time fave makes me want to get that baby cracked open.

message 14: by Amy (new)

Amy | 62 comments Anne wrote: "1. Pride and Prejudice
2. Outlander

If I am going to be on an island I am bringing Mr. Darcy and Jamie Fraser with me.

3.Me Talk Pretty One Day by David ..."

I'm either going to have to be stranded with Anne or I'm gonna take her books when she's not looking. I agree with those three books...almost to the letter.

message 15: by Valerie (last edited Nov 23, 2010 11:35AM) (new)

Valerie | 319 comments Jill wrote: "Valerie...you found the loop hole! 7 books in one edition. :) Sharp thinking!
I have a copy of Mists of Avalon but haven't started it yet. Seeing you pick it as an all time fave makes me want to get that baby cracked open..."

Jill, that edition is my favorite! The cover is leather and just feels good to have it your hands!! LOL Mists of Avalon - Totally LOVE that book! It's a long read, but it is definitely a good story!! Hope you crack it open before too long!! ;)

message 16: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (kristicoleman) | 116 comments This is such a hard question! My choices change every day...I think if I have to choose they would be:

Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman by Jon Krakauer
The Teahouse Fire by Ellis Avery
Agnes and the Hitman by Jennifer Crusie

Although, I'm reading Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff and it may bump out one of those books...it's really good! And then there would be the wish to have a survival book with me...

message 17: by Becky, Moddess (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 3414 comments Mod
Kristi wrote: "And then there would be the wish to have a survival book with me... "

LOL! "Don't eat THAT! A Survivor's Guide to Being Shipwrecked on a Deserted Island"

message 18: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (kristicoleman) | 116 comments lol...EXACTLY what I would want with me Becky!!

message 19: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly The Valley of Horses by Jean M. Auel
A Wild Yearning by Penelope Williamson
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Mine too change every day but these are the ones I'd want with me today.

message 20: by LemonLinda (new)

LemonLinda (lwilliamson0423) | 675 comments I have struggled with this and it is too hard. Would I want old comfortable favorites or would I want really thick books that a really good GR rating? I think the latter because I would want to lose myself in new books - maybe the thickest and best rated ones on my TBR list.

message 21: by Djrmel (new)

Djrmel This is hard! I went from "I have no idea" to way more than 3 books (HF or not) in about five seconds. If I must choose....

East of Eden
The Count of Monte Cristo
On Writing

(If only HF is allowed, I'll have no regrets slipping The Once and Future King into slot #3.)

message 22: by Kristine (new)

Kristine (kristinekae) | 257 comments The Dangerous Book for Boys...hey, if I'm stranded I want to know how to fix things and this is one I've read with my boys...

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
strong women and hope!

message 23: by Terri (last edited Nov 23, 2010 08:48PM) (new)

Terri A Camp-Fire Yarn; Complete Works, 1885-1900 & A Fantasy of Man; Complete Works, 1901-1922
Permaculture: A Designers' Manual
The Journals of Captain James Cook on his Voyages of Discovery: Edited from the Original Manuscripts: Four Volumes and a Portfolio (Extra Series

I slipped in the permaculture book because it is enormous (575 pages may not seem huge, but it has big proportions) and because I'll need some help with my vegetable patch if I am going to grow myself some food to eat on this desert island. :-)
Captain James Cook (who discovered Australia), discovered many desert islands..ran from quite a few natives..so I thought I'd get into the theme of things.
Maybe learn how one goes about trading baubles and coconuts with the natives in exchange for food and hot native men. :-)
The Complete Works of Lawson? Because I love his work.

message 24: by Dawn (new)

Dawn (breakofdawn) I've been thinking about this, trying to limit to HF... But I can't. I just haven't read enough HF! So here are my three from various genres.

1) The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (Omnibus): The Fellowship of the Ring, the Two Towers, The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien: Admittedly, I'm not a huge LoTR fan.. But I think I could become one given enough time! I mostly chose this because it's an omnibus and super long. Some good old fantasy to pass the time.

2) SAS Survival Handbook: How to Survive in the Wild, in Any Climate, on Land or at Sea by John "Lofty" Wiseman: I think you can guess why I chose this...

3) Calculus by James Stewart: Yes, a math book, chosen for two reasons. First, I love math. Second, it's like 1,000 pages long with lots of math problems to work on. Good mind exercise, it would keep me busy! I'm a dork :)

And yeah.. I think that should just about do it!

message 25: by Tasha (new)

Tasha Dawn, I love your reasoning for those 3 books!! I'm still thinking about it but I can say that I'd probably bring:

Harry Potter Boxed Set: I know that is 7 books, but it is a boxed set so I hope that is "allowed" :) Although I've read these already, they are a great read and will keep me busy and my mind occupied...

The Bronze Horseman: I'd bring this one because I keep wanting to read it and haven't yet gotten around to it. So if I'm stranded, I'd have no excuse! Although I'd probably regret not bringing the series.

I'm leaving the thrid book open for now...not sure which one but it would have to be a chunkster of a book!!

message 26: by jb (new)

jb Byrkit (jbbyrkit) Wow....you all are so practical and thoughtful in your book choosing. I just chose my favorites and didn't care about survival books or the length.

message 27: by Dawn (new)

Dawn (breakofdawn) I'm going to be there a while... I need lots to read and do! :)

message 28: by Becky, Moddess (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 3414 comments Mod
I kept my last answer to HF only... However, if we weren't limited to single books, but rather STORIES - I'd take the Dark Tower series and related books (which is a freaking LOT - because almost all of King's books tie into the Dark Tower universe in some way.) ;)

I'd also take the Harry Potter series and Lord of the Rings.

message 29: by Dawn (new)

Dawn (breakofdawn) Hey hey now, if we're not limited to single books then I'm changing mine completely! Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, Robin Hobb's Farseer/Liveship/Tawny Man series, and George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series (assuming it was complete when I became stranded).


message 30: by Becky, Moddess (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 3414 comments Mod

message 31: by Moon (new)

Moon | -48 comments The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
The Scarlet Pimpernel, Baroness Emmuska Orczy
The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien

message 32: by Becky, Moddess (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 3414 comments Mod
Moony wrote: "The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
The Scarlet Pimpernel, Baroness Emmuska Orczy
The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien"

Ooh, good choices, Moony!

message 33: by Priya (new)

Priya Parmar (priyaparmar) | 22 comments such good choices!

i would have to say:

anna karenina
brideshead revisted
wuthering heights

message 34: by M.G. (new)

M.G. Scarsbrook (mgscarsbrook) | 11 comments A lot of Victorian-era novels have inspired my writing, so I would say:

The Woman In White by Wilkie Collins (a master at suspense)

Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson (although Treasure Island might be more fitting!)

Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maughham (most people seem to overlook this writer and particularly this novel, but trust me it's a masterpiece!)

message 35: by Luckngrace (last edited Dec 03, 2010 08:56AM) (new)

Luckngrace | 302 comments Most important would be the King James Bible for comfort, inspiration and discipline.

Second would be a little red book I used in college that tells how to write and is terrific with those questions we all have about sentence structure. I figure I would finally have time to write that book I always wanted to write, so I'd take a bunch of paper and pencils along too. I could also use the paper to write what I could from memory of books and music I remember to reread later. I once had a dream where I was kidnapped by aliens and taught them music by singing old songs. Yes, I am weird.

Third would be the Foxfire set I've always meant to read that might also help with survival skills.

I just remembered the name of the college handbook and could only add it to the end so here it is, belongs to 2nd book description.Harbrace College Handbook

message 36: by Megan (new)

Megan 1. The Bronze Horseman
2. A Thousand Splendid Suns
3. Tuesdays With Morrie

message 37: by Max F (new)

Max F | 6 comments A Confederacy of Dunces
Goodnight Moon

message 38: by Christina (new)

Christina 1.The bible
3.The 8

message 39: by [deleted user] (new)

1. Pillars of the Earth
2. Dragonfly in Amber

3. Texas

maybe I keep changing my mind but these are nice thick books

message 40: by David (new)

David | 12 comments Christina wrote: "1.The bible
3.The 8"

I loved Sarum. It is one of my all time favorite reads. Rutherford is, IMO, a modern-day Michener.

message 41: by [deleted user] (new)

David wrote: "Christina wrote: "1.The bible
3.The 8"

I loved Sarum. It is one of my all time favorite reads. Rutherford is, IMO, a modern-day Michener."

I loved Sarum too. I like all of his books.

message 42: by Alice (new)

Alice (alicelouise) | 3 comments 1. The complete works of Shakespeare. It's an omnibus of plays and sonnets and nice and long.

2. The complete works of Edgar Allen Poe. Another nice thick omnibus.

3. The Holy Bible a devotional and/or study edition.

These are books you can reread and find something new everytime.

message 43: by Liza (new)

Liza Perrat (httpwwwgoodreadscomlizaperrat) 1. Gone with the Wind
2. The Far Pavilions
3. Clan of the Cave Bear

message 45: by Alicja (last edited May 26, 2013 07:18AM) (new)

Alicja (darkwingduckie7) | 172 comments This is hard but I'll stick with historical fiction-ish categories. since I'd probably have another 3 sci fi books that I couldn't part with either.

1. The Persian Boy by Mary Renault (since some others have included the entire series then the whole Alexander the Great trilogy starting with Fire from Heaven and ending with Funeral Games)
2. The Difference Engine by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling
3. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon

message 46: by Daisy (last edited Jun 04, 2013 03:02PM) (new)

Daisy | 39 comments Yes, this is a difficult one but I'd go with....
1) The Borgia Bride by Jeanne Kalogridis
2) The Catcher In The Rye by J.D Salinger
3) The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling

message 47: by Taylor (new)

Taylor 1) Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling
2) The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Kay Penman
3) The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M Auel

message 48: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen Garlock (kathykg) 1. Harpo Speaks by Harpo Marx
2. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
3. Shogun by James Clavell

message 49: by Sandra (new)

Sandra O'Briant (sandraramosobriant_) | 44 comments This is so hard;

1.A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

2. Harry Potter Series

3. The Name of the Rose

message 50: by C.P. (new)

C.P. Lesley (cplesley) | 654 comments Well, for a deserted island, they would need to be books that could stand a lot of re-reading. ;) So ...

1. The Scarlet Pimpernel
2. Peter Pan (the original)
3. Gaudy Night

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