My Five Desert Island Books

27/09/2015 Lists, Reading 12

My Five Desert Island BooksEveryone is familiar with the classic question – ‘If you were stranded on a desert island, what (x amount of things) would you want with you?” Now aside from the obvious survival/getting back to civilisation equipment which is commonly regarded as cheating (eg. a boat, food etc.), personally I would want books. After all, once you’d finished exploring the desert island (and hopefully not been eaten by any wild animals), it would probably get boring pretty fast, and without electricity you’re not exactly going to be watching The X Factor and perusing Youtube for hilarious talking dog videos.

The more difficult question would be, which five books would you want with you and why? Here’s mine, and I’d love to know yours in the comments!

1. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

There are literally so many reasons why I would want this book with me on a desert island! Firstly, the Harry Potter books are some of the only books I’ve ever read over and over again without getting bored, and Order of the Phoenix is without a doubt my favourite. Also, as the longest book in the series it would keep me busy for longer (killing more desert island boredom!), and is also a huge reminder of my childhood, and therefore home.

2. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

LOTR is not only one of my favourite books, but also an immense, several thousand page fantasy epic, hence why it would hopefully be on that desert island with me. As a huge fantasy fan I would have to have at least one fantasy book/series with me, so why not the one that kick-started my love of the genre, and the one that would probably take me an inordinate amount of time to re-read? I’m killing time, remember!

3. Starter For Ten by David Nicholls

I’d wager seen as I was stuck on an island alone I’d be feeling pretty miserable, therefore a funny book seems like a pretty essential desert island read. Therefore I’d hope I had the only book that has ever made me laugh out loud, Starter for Ten, there to cheer me up.

4. Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

Tess of the D’Urbervilles is a pretty rare book for me, in that I found it really hard work to read, yet still really enjoyed it. I’d want to have at least one classic with me, and preferably one that would keep me busy and my mind engaged so I didn’t spend too long thinking about how likely I was to starve to death, and I feel like Tess would do the trick (even if it’s not exactly uplifting).

5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Despite my mixed feelings about this series (I loved the first book, liked the second book, but hated the third), I feel like a story of someone surviving against the odds in life or death circumstances would be pretty encouraging if I was stranded. Plus Katniss is one tough cookie, so maybe I’d be able to pick up some survival tips from her!

So what would your five desert island books be? This is of course excluding any books entitled ‘How To Survive on A Desert Island’!

12 Responses to “My Five Desert Island Books”

  1. Elizabeth the Evil Overlord

    I would bring Gone With the Wind, one of the few books I’ve read more than twice, as well as Harriet the Spy, a childhood favorite that makes me laugh out loud. I’d also bring one of those “Uncle John” bathroom readers because they have so many jokes and interesting little stories. Probably some kind of a literary anthology so I have a variety of genres depending on mood. That’s all I can think of off the top of my head.

    • Laura

      A literary anthology seems like a really good idea! You’d probably be less likely to get bored if you had some variety. Gone with the Wind is a book I’ve been meaning to read for ages, so I’ll definitely have to give it a go sometime.

    • Laura

      The Harry Potter books are the only books I’ve ever reread multiple times, so generally I’m not a massive re-reader either. Only having five books would be kind of a nightmare (you know, aside from the other problems involved with being stranded on an island!)!

  2. Silvara

    This may fall under the ‘cheating catagory’ but one of my 5 would have to be Sign of the Beaver. I remember reading it as a kid and there were a ton of neat things the Indians did in the book that would come in handy to know on a desert island. Using very little that wouldn’t be easy to find in the wild somewhere.

    For pleasure reading, I’d most likely go with Tara K. Harper’s Wolfwalker and Shadowleader. And Mercedes Lackey’s Magic’s Pawn, Magic’s Promise, Magic’s Price trilogy.

    I honestly love too many books to narrow them down to 5. But those 5 are ones I’ve read over and over again (and had to replace multiple times because the books kept falling apart from being read so much!)

    • Laura

      If it’s fictional, then it isn’t cheating, so Sign of the Beaver would probably be a very good choice! I’ll be sure to read it before potentially getting stranded on an island.
      It really is so hard to narrow it down to just five books. I switched and changed my list so many times before publishing it, and even now I’m still thinking I would possibly change it again in hindsight.

  3. Jolien @ The Fictional Reader

    I love this post! I think I’d have to take Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings as well. Somehow, those two series can make every bad moment into a better one. I’ve never heard of Starter for Ten before, but I’m definitely looking that up now!

    • Laura

      Those two books really can brighten a bad moment, and Starter for Ten is definitely like that too (it’s hilarious in my opinion!). I really would recommend it!

  4. Natalie @ Flowers in my Books

    This a really great post and you’ve picked some great books!

    I’d probably choose Fangirl because it’s one book that I can re-read over and over and not get bored and find new things to love about it each time I read the damn book so it’d pretty much be an essential. I’d probably bring Queen of Shadows because I haven’t read it yet and I NEED to read it. Throne of Glass is also one of those series that makes me feel like a complete asshole and like I can take on the world which would probably serve me well on a desert island. I’ll bring To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before so I can have some cute romance and Peter K to keep me going on all the bored, lonely nights. I’ll bring the Shatter Me box set (totally counts as one book) because I want to know what all the fuss is about and they’d keep me going for a long time. Lastly, Beauty Queens by Libba Bray would have to be on the list. I hear it’s all about survival on a mysterious island so it could possibly offer some good tips.

    • Laura

      I loved Fangirl too! It was a great story and I just really related to Cath. I would definitely recommend you take Queen of Shadows, because I just finished it, and it was amazing! I’ve read so many bad reviews about it, but personally I really liked it.
      A cute romance sounds like a good idea for a bit of variety (and I really need to read To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before – I keep seeing it everywhere!) and I guess if you brought a box set (totally counts as one book!) then it would keep you busy for quite a while. I was trying to think of a book set on a desert island too so I could get tips too, but all I could think of was The Island of Doctor Moreau, and that’s really creepy so I don’t think it would make me feel any better! Your choice sounds better.

  5. Lillian

    My desert 5 are:

    “Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass & other stories”, by Lewis Carrol
    “The Complete Tales and Poetry of Edgar Allan Poe”
    “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare.”
    “Full Dark, No Stars”, by Stephen King
    “Waiting for Normal”, by Leslie Connor

    • Laura

      These are some great choices! And taking the complete works of an author is pretty clever. I mean, the complete works of Shakespeare would take forever to read!

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