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.
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?