5 Books


If you were stranded on a deserted island what five books would you want to have with you. Knowing that you could be there for years or potentially the rest of your life. What would you want to read and why?

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien.

This book was published in 1937.  The image of Middle Earth, the fantasy land that was created by Tolkien in which the Hobbit is set, has always been my psychological sanctuary when times were hard. High school and university saw me visiting quite often. I had a very strong mental image in my head so I did not want to see the movie, sorry movies. I was afraid it would change how I saw my Middle Earth. I did see the movies recently and I was certainly not disappointed at all!

The Art of War by Sun Tzu.

Believed to have been penned in the fifth century BC. This book was written by a brilliant strategist on how to fight a war. In its simplest terms, that’s what it was created for. But over the more than 2000 years, it has come to be recognized as a treatise of incredible insights that can be used throughout life, not just war. This is a book that truly makes you think, makes you wonder… What if?

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare by William Shakespeare

He was active, it is believed, from the late 1500s to the early 1600s.  Comedy, tragedy, love stories. This consummate storyteller could keep me entertained for years. Each time I reread one of his plays I find something more that I had missed in the previous readings. And he’s got a lot works…

The Rubyat by Omar Khyam

A Persian poet from 1100 A.D. what’s not to love?  My mother read this book to me when I was a child. She would read for a few moments and then we would talk. These are moments I cherish in my memory and why this book is so important to me. It is also a beautiful love story that breaches time.

A Thesaurus

Did you hear the one about the young dinosaur who wanted to grow up to be a thesaurus? OK that’s a very old one but it makes me laugh! I love words and I love to know other words for the same meaning. I can spend hours wandering through a book like this and that is the point. Besides if I can’t think of a word, this is the go-to place!

The whole concept of being lost on a deserted island is not all negative. I’ve spent many lovely vacations in faraway places with no electricity, flush toilets or waiters. And I loved it. But I was much younger and more tolerant. I now like running water, I like room service and I like swimming in water that I know I’m not sharing with a whole lot of scary creatures! I have great memories of lighting a fire on my own, (yes, I have done the two sticks and it worked, thank you very much!). I have slept beneath the stars and for the record it is not silent! These are wonderful memories and I’m so glad that I actually did them. But I am more mature these days and I take great solace in my creature comforts. I would like to think that I could still light my own fire . . . But I don’t want to.


In the back of my mind is a little place:  a deserted island and a bookshelf with five books on it. Books in which I can lose myself and bask in my own solitude.

What five books would you want with you on a deserted island?

29 thoughts on “5 Books

  1. John Hric

    Are desert islands safe from trolls and orcs ? As much as I love books I fear I would be all over the island exploring nature. Maybe I would have one book because of that travel light philosophy. However at the moment I have no clue what it might be.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Jennie

    I love your choices! I would have to pick “Charlotte’s Web”, “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane”, “The Poet’s Dog”, “The Story of Doctor Dolittle”, and “Little House on the Prairie.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. joylennick

    I love your choices, Sadly I have read none of them. From seven to twelve. because of WW11, there were too many separations from my parents (Air Force and Munitions) so I joined the library and blindly read anything with words on.The Bros.Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen and Jane Eyre were favourites then. Fast-forward To Kill a Mocking Bird. Shakesapeare’s Hamlet;,a wonderful book/author, whose names temporarily escape me..(age thing!) .Chocolate., Joanne Harris, and a huge eclectic mix. I also love the Thesaurus. Words ARE magic! x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Murphy’s Law

    I am a huge reader of mysteries-espionage, but oddly I wouldn’t choose many of them to read if I was on a deserted island,

    My five choices are: To Kill A Mockingbird, Street Lawyer, Water For Elephants, The Secret Life of Bees, The Burning Shore.

    And if I couldn’t have these, I would be happy to read labels on anything I had and make words out of words!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dale

    There is only so much exploring one can do on a deserted island, and I know I would o much of that. But what five books? I am going to have to ponder this. I am not a re-reader (even though there are books in my shelf that I will forever keep). So, to keep myself entertained, I shall bring my complete works of Shakespeare, The Treasured Writings of Kahlil Gibran, The World of the Short Story, The complete works of T.S. Eliot and The Complete Novels of Jane Austin (even though I’ve read a few 😉 ) As you can see, I need some variety…

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Mark Lanesbury

    Haha, because I have no immune system I AM on a lonely deserted island…locked in my unit. The last time I went outside was to take my garbage downstairs at 11pm while the rest of the building slept 😂 But on this or any other tropical island I just want to be able to read my mind. On a 60 minutes program here last week was a story on how many (400 or 500 around the world I think she said) people have bumped their heads or had an accident and suddenly started to speak a completely different language. They had never been exposed to the language or culture but spoke this language perfectly, not a slang or someone obviously ‘trying’ to speak it. They even have a machine to measure the brains processes in these people and they are different from others because of these accidents. If that is already tucked into our brains database somewhere…what else is in there? Life, the universe and everything else? Maybe a treatise on how to swim a few thousand miles safely home. But then, would we want to? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. quiall Post author

      I’m not sure I’d want to leave my deserted island! The idea of learning another language without actually having to learn it… I kinda like that idea. Not so much on the pain part.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Dan Antion

    I’d want The Twenty Elephant Restaurant and the collective works of Edgar Allen Poe. If I read Poe at night, under the stars, I might also want the Bible. I have The Art of War and you’re probably right about Shakespeare. Is that five? Maybe I need a math book 😏

    Liked by 1 person

  8. dweezer19

    Well five simply isn’r enough! That won’t even encompass the Harry Potter set. But….at this point in time my five would be:
    Harry Potter/The Deathly Hallows- JK Rowling
    The Idiot-Fyodor Dostoevsky
    Inkheart-Cornelia Funke
    The Dark Tower-Stephen King
    An empty bound book with a pen so I can write whatever stories I want.
    Disclaimer: This list is not an entire representation of the enormity of my interests and is subject to change from hour to hour.
    Happy coconut hunting! I’ll be circling the island for a few hours…

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Widdershins

    I’m going to stretch the rules … just a little bit. 😀 … the Harry Potter books, – for comfort reading … a complete set of the most up-to-date encyclopedia – to replace google searches 🙂 … a how-to-thrive-on-a-deserted-island compendium – obvious … a very, very, very, big book filled with blank pages – for craft/toilet paper/writing, that sort of thing … I think that’s do me. 😀

    Liked by 3 people


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