Jump to content

Desert Island Game (ten books version)


Recommended Posts

You're going to be stranded on an island---alone---for the rest of your life. No chance of rescue.

FORTUNATELY, you will have a nice collection of appropriate fieldbooks for local flora and fauna, and there are plenty of wilderness survival-oriented handbooks already down there. (Don't worry about how to build snares/traps, tie knots, skin an animal, build a shelter, make a fire from scratch, weave a basket, make cordage, etc.---it's mostly covered. Alas, The Complete Manual of Shipbuilding for Dummies is NOT ever going to be available.:P)

You have ONE big case which will hold ten additional books. This collection is what's going to keep you relaxed, sane, spiritually comfy, entertained, philosophical, etc. for YEARS.  What ten books would you take? 

If you're hung up on numbers: Figure maybe each book tops out at 600 pages or so if encyclopedia-sized, and maybe 900 for a standard hardcover.  (No fair getting creative and coming up with a one-volume complete super-encyclopedia that combines 25 volumes and weighs 700 pounds!)


  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok, I will give it a go.  My problem will be that when I see what books the other potential castaways would take, I will want to change my mind. But, alas, it will be too late. 

So, in no particular order:

1)  Les Miserables (Victor Hugo)

2)  Helter Skelter (Vincent Bugliosi)

3)  Alive (Piers Paul Read)

(I can't tell you how many times I've read those three.)

(This is hard!)

4)  Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)

5)  Emma (Jane Austen)

6)  The Godfather (Mario Puzo)

7)  Oliver Twist (Charles Dickens)

8)  Bridget Jones' Diary (Helen Fielding)

9)  Pillars of the Earth ( Ken Follett)

10) God is Not Great (Christopher Hitchens)


Well, that's not a very highbrow list. I was going to add some Shakespeare (to up my cred) but my university courses ruined him for me. It may not be apparent from my list but I was an English major and have been a voracious reader my whole life. I'd hope that if I really had to do this I would take some time to try to remember the thousands of books I've loved. But, I think the above ten would keep me fairly happy.

  • Upvote 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok, I'll play...

1. Antonia White Frost in May

2. Mailer The executioner's song

3. Jessica Mitford Daughters and rebels

4. Bill Bryson A walk in the woods

5. Tim Reiterman Raven

6. Mendelsohn The lost

7. Dwyer and Flynn 102 minutes

8. Frances Fitzgerald Cities on a hill

9. McDermott Perfect soldiers

10. Brendan Behan Borstal boy

I tend to prefer non-fiction, obviously. Looking forward to what others like!

  • Upvote 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Robinson Crusoe. I believe there are instructions in it on making a raft. 

Okay, I'll have to actually think about it? 

10. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn 

9. Mary Poppins 

8. Something by John Irving, I can't decide what though.

7. I really like series of books. Can I just bring the Song of Ice and Fire series, including all accompanying material and the ones that haven't been written yet? 

6. If I get ASOIAF, why not Harry Potter? 

5. Les Miserables. Maybe I can find one that has both English and French. It's really long and I've never read the whole thing so why not on this island?

4. His Dark Materials series

3. War and Peace

2. The Collected Works of Hemmingway

1. I used to have a book with everything Shakespeare it. Maybe that. Or the Dark Tower Series. I haven't read that yet. 


  • Upvote 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

The Complete Works of Shkespeare

The Complete Works of Plato

The Complete Works of Jane Austen

(I am not cheating.  I own all three.)  The Shakespeare and Plato are on very fine paper and don't take up much more space than a college textbook (which both were). The Austen is not much thicker than my copy of  

Cervantes' Don Quixote, which I am also bringing.

Then there are two favorite escape books each in one volume:

The Merlin Trilogy, by Mary Stewart  

The King Must Die and The Bull from the Sea by Mary Renault 

and, you know what, I will bring Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind.  I love long yarns, and it was my favorite book in ninth grade...

And I'll want some shorter works, so I will bring my collected stories of Julio Cortazar (one volume) and the Colette book of three  3 short novels including Gigi.

That is nine.  Maybe I will bring a Bible.  It has great stories.  That's 10.

As much reading matter that will entertain and keep me busy without making me too depressed as I could fit.


  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Only ten? For the rest of my life? That's tough!

1- Petronio Satyricon

2- Dostoevskij The Karamazov brothers

3- G. G. Marquez Chronicle of a death foretold

4- Boccaccio Decameron

5-Calvino, all the novels in a book (I have it)

6- Greek tragedies by Eschilo, Sofocle and Euripide with commentary and the original greek text (one book, I have it)

7- Roy Lewis The evolution man

8- Terry Pratchett, anything really, a collection of novels would be great

9- Guareschi Don Camillo

10- Italo Svevo La coscienza di Zeno

Let's hope to end up in the same desert island so we can put together all our books and make a library :) 

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

In no particular order

1. Watership Down- Richard Adams
2. Less than Zero-Bret Easton Ellis
3. The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry-Various
4. To Kill a Mocking Bird-Harper Lee
5. Lord of The Flies- William Golding
6. The Complete Works of Edgar Alan Poe
7. A Separate Piece- John Knowles
8. Jurassic Park- Michael Crichton 
9. The Hobbit-JRR Tolkien 
10. Different Seasons- Stephen King


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.