Desert Island Reading List
If you suddenly found yourself marooned on a desert island for an extended period of time, what do you wish you had on hand? What foods would you like? Which creature comforts would you need (sunscreen, a toothbrush, and chapstick are at the top of my list)? And most importantly, what would you read? What is your Desert Island Reading List?
The idea of a desert island reading list helps you identify which books are so important to you that you’d be willing to read them and only them forever. What do you need to help you stay sane? What is going to make you laugh when you need it the most? And what will bring you comfort and joy? My nine books below fulfill all of the criteria in very different ways.
Desert Island Reading List
- The Power Of One. This book blew my mind and made such an impact on my heart when I read it. I even have a chicken named Grandpa Chook after a “character” in The Power of One. While I’m sitting in the shade under a palm tree trying not to give up, this book is the one that will give me the promise of a better tomorrow.
- A Star Called Henry. I read this book for an Irish History class I took at Washington State University when I was (maybe) 19. I’ve moved a billion times since then. With all the winnowing down of my books over the years, this one gets packed each and every time. It is the story of a teen growing up during the War of Independence in Ireland. It’s fictional, super (good) weird in parts, but I just adore it.
- Pillars of the Earth. So long. So weighty. So good. TWSS. Ken Follett took the subject of a town constructing a church and turned it into one of the most engaging stories I have ever read.
- The Bible. Yeah yeah, I know. But if I am looking for comfort, stories, and something that will help me feel connected, this book has it all for me. I’m just going to gloss over the whole “begats” sections of Genesis. I might be on an island by myself but I wholeheartedly do not give two craps who was the father of whom. Zzzzzz.
- Me Talk Pretty One Day. Anything by David Sedaris will never fail to make me laugh so hard that I worry about the state of my mascara. I have no idea how I initially picked this book up, but I know that I never want to put it down.
- The Poisonwood Bible. My aunt used to be a school librarian and always has the most amazing book recommendations. I grabbed this one off an end table at her house during a Thanksgiving visit and only put it down to eat dinner. And then dessert. Because, priorities. My own tattered copy is well-worn and loved.
- Jane Eyre. A classic that I never get tired of reading. I discover something new with each reading and still find myself surprised and touched by this book.
- Crashed. This is the first in the Junior Bender series. So clever, so engaging, and the writing is whip-smart.
- Matilda. I read this book so many times as a kid and each time I found something amazing and magical about it. I loved it so much that if my (now) toddler son had been a girl, we would have named him Matilda. The curious joy that Roald Dahl brings to readers is a gift to this world.
While all of the links above will take you to Amazon to purchase the book (and I would get a teeny tiny percentage), I strongly encourage everyone to look to their public library first. The library is the best (!) and even if you have to wait a bit, it is usually well worth it. You can also do inter-library loans, ebooks, and audiobooks all for the low, low cost of free ninety-nine. We are hardcore library lovers in the Cook House.
Alright, friends, your turn! What is your Desert Island Reading List? What books will you take with you if you only could read nine for the rest of days?
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