Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Desert Island Books

It strikes me that Desert Island Books would be a great name for a press. The tagline could be "books you'd want to be stranded with." Or it would even be a great name for a bookstore. Same tagline. I'll take the bookstore. It will have a cafe too and I'll serve appropriately named coffee drinks and pastries. What fun! Before I go spinning too far away on my little fantasy, I have my ten books I'd want with me on a desert island list to post. Danielle posted her list a few days ago and I've been pondering ever since. It is much harder than you'd think it would be. While a quick rescue would be hoped for, I am not planning on it so I need to have books that I could spend time with. Here they are:

  1. The Complete Works of Shakespeare. Not only is it great literature but if I'm on the island a long time I can produce the plays for the entertainment of the local fauna.
  2. The Essays of Michel de Montaigne. Hours and hours of enjoyment.
  3. The Common Reader by Virginia Woolf. Reading a great mind talking about books and reading is the next best thing to actually reading the books myself.
  4. The Dream of a Common Language by Adrienne Rich. She's my favorite poet.
  5. Is there a Complete Jane Austen? Or do I have to hold a Persuasion vs Pride and Prejudice smack down?
  6. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. Because Pip is so infuriating and Mr. Wemmick is so lovable.
  7. Surfacing by Margaret Atwood. This was hard. I need something by Atwood and it seems since I've already read this book twice and liked it more after each reading that it would be a safe bet.
  8. The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne. I will need something simple to make me laugh from time to time.
  9. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein. It's a novel in three volumes. A Wonderful story and I won't mind reading all the long songs and the Elvish might start to make sense.
  10. In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust. Another novel in multiple volumes. I've only read the first one but I enjoyed it. On the island I will have plenty of time to read it while I am stuck inside my leafy hut during monsoon season.
In the fickle nature of reading, my list next month would probably look different, but if I were going to take a trip today during which I might be lost at sea, these are the books I would be sure to pack. And you? What books will you have sealed in ziploc bags in your suitcase?