Books I’d Want With Me While Stranded On a Deserted Island

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book meme run by That Artsy Reader Girl. I don’t participate every week, but when a topic catches my eye I like to jump in.

I have a hard time choosing what to read next at the best of times, so the idea of picking just 10 books to have with me on a deserted island is really tough. Since it’s a situation where I’d be stranded, however, I started to think specifically about what books I’d be most fine with reading over and over. These are potentially the only books I’ll ever be able to read ever again, after all.

There are some series I love enough that I feel they should be here, but they’re sort of an all-or-nothing type deal, and we don’t want a list that’s 80% Dark Tower books or something. Let’s forgo anything practical too. I’m sure some books about agriculture or building shelter would be more useful to me than a novel, but we’re in the land of hypotheticals here. What’s the fun in practicality, right?

Far-Seer by Robert J. Sawyer


This was the easiest addition to this list, as it remains my all-time favourite novel. It’s actually the first in a trilogy, but I didn’t even know it had sequels until years after I first read it. It was incredibly satisfying that first time, and when I revisited it, and I’m sure I’d be happy to read it again and again.

Small Gods by Terry Pratchett

Small Gods

This was an especially hard decision, because this could have easily been Hogfather or Men at Arms or Maskerade instead. This book was such an unexpected standalone gem in the series, though. Pratchett isn’t a slouch with his Discworld books, but this was one where it really felt like he had something to say too.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley


With this book I would specifically want the edition I have with the striking illustrations by Bernie Wrightson. I love this novel regardless, however, which was a joy to discover. The basic idea is so ubiquitous in our culture, but I never really knew the original story growing up. I vividly remember how much I enjoyed learning of what it’s really all about, and would love to have it on hand.

Coraline by Neil Gaiman.


It was really hard to pick a Gaiman novel, there’s so much good to choose from, but you can’t really go wrong with Coraline. It’s just so wonderfully imaginative and creepy that it would be great to keep coming back to.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

The Song of Achilles

I love Greek mythology, I love the Trojan War, and I love Love, which would be in short supply on my imagined island. This book would be a great source of all three. I may not be gay, but if you’re not moved by the way Miller writes the love between Patroclus and Achilles you’ve got a heart made of stone, I tell you.

The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs by Steve Brusatte

The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs

It can’t all be escapism, and this the best science nonfiction I’ve read in the last few years, though admittedly that’s not something I read a whole lot of. Nevertheless, I love dinosaurs, and Brusatte wrote a marvelous book that captures the imagination as much as it teaches.

Hellboy: Odd Jobs, edited by Christopher Golden


I would really want every volume of Hellboy by Mike Mignola, but barring that, this anthology of short stories would be a fine substitute. I need to keep memories of the big red boy alive. My enthusiasm for the spin-off Hellboy books may have diminished over the years, but I’ll never forget how much of a pleasant surprise reading this collection was.

The Star Wars Trilogy by George Lucas, Donald F. Glut, and James Kahn

The Star Wars Trilogy

Picking a Star Wars novel was really hard too, as I’m too much of a fan to leave it all behind, but there are too many spin-off novels to choose from. Easiest choice, then, was this collection of novelizations of the original trilogy films. It wouldn’t be the same as the films themselves, but I’d still cherish the book for the same reasons.

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet

I had some issues with the plot of this book when I first read it, but I absolutely fell in love with the characters, which I think would be one of the better qualities in a book you’ll read over and over. Some moments were so moving that I actually went back and reread sections during my first reading, which is rare for me.

Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh


This choice was super easy. I’m going to need to laugh on this island, and this book frequently had me laughing out loud, thanks to its wonderfully bizarre stories and crudely evocative art. It’s not all fun and games, however, and the greater substance to each tale would be more than welcome too.

Until next time, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own list down below.


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