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Five Favourite Books For A Desert Island

Updated on September 25, 2014

Five Favourite Books For A Desert Island

I was asked, a while ago, to pick five books that I'd want if I were marooned. "Easy," I thought - books breed in my house, plenty to choose from ...

Famous last words indeed. Hours later, a small library of titles has come and gone. Too short, too easy, too un-desert-islandish. Finally, I make my selection and begin describing the books. Then I start second-guessing myself. And did I mention I'm on a tight deadline?

Every book must be well written - there'll be enough to moan at as a castaway without bad English and grammatical howlers. Books I know, books I want to revisit. Wit, humour, emotions, books to soothe and stimulate.

Read on for my selections.

Intro image: By Original uploaded by Pais (Transfered by Frysch) (Original uploaded on en.wikipedia) [GPL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

One Ring to rule them all,

One Ring to find them,

One Ring to bring them all

and in the darkness bind them

In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie

The One Ring, Lord Of The Rings
The One Ring, Lord Of The Rings

Lord Of The Rings: JRR Tolkien

Favourite Book #1

Size does matter sometimes, especially if I'm in for a long wait for rescue. So, let's start with an epic work: Lord Of The Rings, LOTR in fans' parlance.

I first read a tatty secondhand copy of this and kicked myself for ignoring it for so long. If (like me) you've been put off by hype or whatever, grab it and start reading.

LOTR is about good versus evil, it's about war and conquest, it's a tale of men and dwarves and orcs and trolls, but its not a story for those who just like things with fur. The unusual races are woven seamlessly into the tales. and it's the narrative that carries us ever onward.

The premise is simple: destroy a magic artefact, the Ring, before Dark Lord Sauron can get his hands on it and conquer Middle Earth. Gandalf The Grey leads a motley crew on the perilous quest as nations prepare for war and Sauron's fell servants draw ever closer.

Lord Of The Rings has been considered a parable of modern times, an allegory of WW2 - in truth, you can read into it what you will or you can just take it as a cracking yarn.

Buy The Book And The Film

The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy (Widescreen Edition)
The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy (Widescreen Edition)

I was amazed at how well the books were adapted - a major feat of film-making


"See you, yer a shilpit wee nyaff"

Private McAuslan

Victorian Piper
Victorian Piper

The General Danced At Dawn: George MacDonald Fraser

Favourite Book #2

George MacDonald Fraser was a prolific author though his name is surprisingly little known - a shame, as he's an author of great style, humour and sensitivity.

You might have heard of his Flashman books. Flash, cowardly, sottish, bullying, from Tom Brown's Schooldays, forced into the British Army. There, he drinks and carouses through most of the British Empire, gaining renown and reward despite his abject cowardice.

George MacDonald Fraser also wrote short stories based on his experiences as a young office in a Scottish regiment post-WW2. The tales are warm and grittily understated. They aren't accounts of great battles and heroics, they're a sympathetic look at the British Army through observation of the men who served, from kit inspections to football matches to a general knowledge quiz (serious stuff when honour is at stake).

Why that section title? Read a tale of Scottish dancing that will tickle your funny bone and shock the Guinness Book Of Records. What's a shilpit wee nyaff? Stunted, small, pipsqueak would be a polite translation.

George MacDonald Fraser's Short Stories

The Complete McAuslan
The Complete McAuslan

All three volumes of the McAuslan short stories, from taking over the platoon to demob. Lovely stuff!


London society didn't like Oliver Twist

"I saw no reason, when I wrote this book, why the very dregs of life, so long as their speech did not offend the ear, should not serve the purpose of a moral, at least as well as its froth and cream".


OLiver Twist: Charles Dickens
OLiver Twist: Charles Dickens

Oliver Twist: Charles Dickens

Favourite Book #3

One of the classics of English literature and sadly little read these days - I think people are scared of long books with dense prose, alas.

If your idea of 19th century England is based on the musical of Oliver Twist, there's a shock in store for you. Dickens savagely exposes the underbelly of London and the sordid lives of the lower classes (and some rather sordid activities of the upper classes as well).

The prose is gripping, if dense, the action unrelenting, as orphan Oliver goes from danger to pain to apparent salvation to more peril. It's not for the fainthearted but you'll feel enlightened when you've read it.

Rediscover Charles Dickens

Oliver Twist (Collector's Library)
Oliver Twist (Collector's Library)

Paper, for the old-fashioned (such as me)

The Complete Charles Dickens Collection (51 books) [Illustrated]
The Complete Charles Dickens Collection (51 books) [Illustrated]

Astonishing Kindle bargain - 51 books for less than three dollars!


"Mr Wooster, miss," he said, "is perhaps mentally somewhat negligible but he has a heart of gold."

The Jeeves Omnibus
The Jeeves Omnibus | Source

Jeeves And Wooster Omnibus: PG Wodehouse

Favourite Book #4

Rich and posh Bertie Wooster, aided and saved by the suave Jeeves - one of the great fictional pairings of all time. Whether it be the wrong tie or an accidental proposal of marriage, Wooster is constantly getting into situations that his well-bred brain cell can't cope with. Manservant Jeeves is always there and Bertie survives - though we know he'll be just as gormless at the very next opportunity.

"Not my cup of tea," you might be thinking - well, though the situations might be alien, the emotions won't be - and it's all carried off in the wonderfully stylish prose that characterises Wodehouse. The wit is ever-present, and can be sometimes barbed, the language flows mellifluously - I've never read a duff sentence in a Wodehouse tale.

try Jeeves, go on to Psmith, pigs and ancient golfers - you'll love them.

Works by Wodehouse - My Man Jeeves, & Right Ho, Jeeves
Works by Wodehouse - My Man Jeeves, & Right Ho, Jeeves

Kindle edition - four dollars - grab it!


"The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause."

Mark Twain

Collins English Dictionary
Collins English Dictionary

Collins English Dictionary

Favourite Book #5

Yes, a dictionary - after all, books are just collections of words and that's never more true than in a dictionary.

Every word has its own history: you can trace modern words back through centuries, back to Roman conquests and the lives of seafaring merchants. You can search for the right word - the "mot juste" or you can leaf through the pages and discover new words.

Challenge yourself - pick a word at random and make a sentence. Pick a word and invent a new definition. Pick a word just to learn or just to entertain - hours of endless fun. Play the game with your children - it's a great way to teach them and enthuse them.

Caribou - Monty Python on the power of words

Buy A New Dictionary

Special hardback edition of the famous Collins dictionary, with two-colour displays to enhance readability, etymological info, special sections: a useful reference book and a treat for book lovers.

woody allen favourite books
woody allen favourite books

Woody Allen's Five Favourite Books

Not for a desert island though

In a recent interview for the Guardian newspaper, Woody Allen picked his five favourite books. I'm not sure they'd do for a desert island but then again I can't see Allen surviving without New York!

  • The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger: 120 million copies sold of the seminal teen angst novel. Not sure I'd want it on my island.
  • Really the Blues by Mezz Mezzrow and Bernard Wolfe: A jazz memoir that's been criticised for inaccuracies and tall tales, but reputed to be a fine read. Add it to my supplementary list.
  • The World of SJ Perelman: A collection of the writings of the great humourist and thinker: "Learning is what most adults will do for a living in the 21st century." This and some Thurber would be good on the island.
  • Epitaph of a Small Winner by Machado de Assis: A Brazilian author who rose from humble beginnings to found the Brazilian Academy of Letters. Beautiful writing - not sure about the translation to sand.
  • Elia Kazan: A Biography by Richard Schickel: One of the all-time greats of US cinema and stage.Fascinating career, but too many reminders of the world beyond the island.

The World of S.J.Perelman (Prion Humour Classics)
The World of S.J.Perelman (Prion Humour Classics)

Satirising modern life in a gentle and witty way, SJ Perelman's writings continue to amuse and delight.


Image Credit

Cartoon courtesy of Alexei Talimonov Cartoons

Longer version of this post

I've expanded on these thoughts on my book blog: see post at books for a desert island stay.

Could You Survive With Five Books? - Could you survive at all?

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    • MartiLawrence profile image

      Marti Lawrence 3 years ago from Grain Valley, Missouri

      That was a great list! I enjoyed reading your choices and I think I would pick many of those books for myself.

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 3 years ago from Seattle, WA

      LOTR would be a good choice for me, and I'd probably take a dictionary too.

    • Paula Atwell profile image

      Paula Atwell 3 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      We don't spend much time on dessert islands but we have watched the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy numerous times. It is so good. Love everything about it. We got the extended edition and I love the added parts. We already have the first Hobbit movie. :)

    • JanieceTobey profile image

      JanieceTobey 3 years ago

      Great choices! We're going to be reading Oliver Twist in our homeschool British Lit class this year.

    • pkmcruk profile image

      pkmcr 3 years ago from Cheshire UK

      An excellent choice and if forced to select just one it would probably be Jeeves and Wooster.

    • Bellezza-Decor profile image

      Bellezza-Decor 3 years ago from Canada

      Paul, I really enjoy your writing style; a great complement to the writers.

    • Expat Mamasita profile image

      Expat Mamasita 4 years ago from Slovakia

      An excellent choice of books for a desert island.

    • Paul Ward profile image

      Paul 4 years ago from Liverpool, England

      @Erin Mellor: No :) Fred The Lobster is a stickler for the rules.

    • Erin Mellor profile image

      Erin Mellor 4 years ago from Europe

      Kirsty Young would at least give me the Bible, Quran and Complete Works of Shakespeare as a running start, can I take those plus five others?

    • profile image

      Ibidii 4 years ago

      I would definitely choose the Lord of the Rings books because there are so many characters and events it would take me forever to understand it all. I still have not read the book so it is safe to say that would be an awesome read! :D

    • gadifi lm profile image

      gadifi lm 4 years ago

      great lens and great information on these books

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 4 years ago

      Well, I would take my Kindle Fire with me -- thus far, it only has two books. I'd like a little of Fred please.

    • lollyj lm profile image

      Laurel Johnson 4 years ago from Washington KS

      Hmmmm. My five would include a couple favorites by Gene Stratton-Porter, a couple by favorite unknown writers but I'd have trouble choosing, and Roget's Thesaurus so I could entertain myself by looking up words.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I dont know how on earth I would manage to narrow it down to 5 books! Maybe just have an endless supply of pens and paper and while away the time until rescue actually finishing my novel?

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      I would need the internet or I am sure I would lose my mind. Books? Maybe something silly and lighthearted.

    • profile image

      mumsgather 4 years ago

      Ok, time to get myself stranded on an island with these great reads. :)

    • Frischy profile image

      Frischy 4 years ago from Kentucky, USA

      I'm not sure what I would choose. I think I would prefer to take my laptop and internet connection if I could. I'm trying to imagine a scenerio where I knew I was going to be stranded on a desert island and could plan ahead for it to this extent.

    • RhondaAlbom profile image

      Rhonda Albom 4 years ago from New Zealand

      Interesting book selections. Personally, I would skip the dictionary if I only had 5.

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 4 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Could I just take my (packed) kindle? Then I wouldn't have to choose just five favourite books to have on a desert island

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 4 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Great idea for a lens. You've introduced me to a couple of new books and made me smile at some of the old favorites. I like your dictionary choice. I must try your experiment. Blessed.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      I'm a huge Wodehouse fan, so how could I not applaud your top picks for literary nourishment on a desert isle? Blessed!

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 4 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Back for another look, pin, and bless

    • Paul Ward profile image

      Paul 4 years ago from Liverpool, England

      @LisaAuch1: We used to choose five words beginning with the same letter and make sentences. I still remember erudite and escritoire :)

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 4 years ago

      I can survive on the Island, as I know 2 of them, but I don't know other two: "The General Dances at Saem", and "Jeeves and Wooster Omnibus".... so I have a lot to read... Blessings!

      By the way, one of my favorite book is "Doctor Jivago"

    • LisaAuch1 profile image

      Lisa Auch 4 years ago from Scotland

      I love the idea of going through the Dictionary, When teaching in a school I found the kids loved to get words they had never heard of given to them, then find them in the dictionary and make a sentence with them, So Simple but hours of laughter and fun!

    • Scraps2treasures profile image

      Scraps2treasures 4 years ago

      I don't know if I could choose just 5. I do know without much thought that one would be Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. By the way, the fate of poor Fred made me giggle. Let that be a lesson to all lobsters to never cheat at Scrabble!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 4 years ago from Central Florida

      I hope I get stranded on the same island as you and that you will let me read your books too.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 4 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I sure hope so! Enjoyed the read especially the quotes throughout.

    • EMangl profile image

      EMangl 5 years ago

      if there is an internet connection on the island: yes

    • Paul Ward profile image

      Paul 5 years ago from Liverpool, England

      @Alana-r: KIds leave home, books don't - get reorganising :)

    • PropheticBlogge1 profile image

      PropheticBlogge1 5 years ago

      5 books is a tough choice. I'd have to go for Game Of Thrones, The Subtle Knife, Catcher in the Rye, Guards! Guards! and 1984.

    • Alana-r profile image

      Alana-r 5 years ago

      Just 5 books seems a bit harsh, without giving it the consideration it deserves off the top of my head I think..

      Lord of the Rings, or possibly the Silmarillion

      A Storm of Swords, my favorite in the series

      Then I'm thinking a Discworld novel, not sure which, for light reading.

      The last two would more than likely be one of Lisa Gardners later novels and possibly the first in the Myron Bolitair series by Harlan Coben because I havent read it in years!

      Thats it, if it think about it anymore I will have to start reorganizing my entire book collection which could take days or weeks and since my kids might object to being ignored for that long, Id better not although I really would love nothing better!

    • Redneck Lady Luck profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      Hmm? I am thinking that it would take me a lifetime to read those 5 books because I spend most of my days on the computer but I am sure that Fred and I could have some pretty fine conversations should I happen to run into him on a deserted island.

    • MarcoG profile image

      Marc 5 years ago from Edinburgh

      Hmm...only 5? So, books 3-7 of Harry Potter, yeah? :)

    • profile image

      grannysage 5 years ago

      Err...I speak English but I have never heard of Jeeves and that other guy. Oh you meant English English. Aha. I do know though the words to the song "Food, Glorious Food" from the musical Oliver Twist for I was cast as a workhouse boy in my high school musical.

    • annieangel1 profile image

      Ann 5 years ago from Yorkshire, England

      could I survive with 5 books? er no! :0)

    • profile image

      CaffeineandChapters 5 years ago

      A prayer for Owen Meany by Johnn Irving

      Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

      Cloudstreet bt Tim Winton

      The Stand by Stephen King

      The Complete works of Charles Dickens (can that count as one book? Lol)

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      I probably could, though I probably wouldn't want to read only five books over and over and over... blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • profile image

      Ruthi 5 years ago

      I am not sure how long I could survive marooned on a desert island and hope to not have to find out. Five good books might help take my mind off my worries!

    • profile image

      marsha32 5 years ago

      That would be hard to decide on 5 books that you might be reading over and over. I am adding this into my book reviews lens.

    • raelcalu profile image

      raelcalu 5 years ago

      @ismeedee: i don't the know the others except for J. Salinger's book

    • raelcalu profile image

      raelcalu 5 years ago

      i did not expect you're going to include a dictionary...funny...i was quite intrigue with your answer and was expecting that your fave five would all be novels...poor me, i was wrong.

      Going back to your question, i realize yeah he is right, five books...that includes the dictionary...then i laugh at myself...the topic itself is broad and have lots of choices.

    • raelcalu profile image

      raelcalu 5 years ago

      i did not expect you're going to include a dictionary...funny...i was quite intrigue with your answer and was expecting that your fave five would all be novels...poor me, i was wrong.

      Going back to your question, i realize yeah he is right, five books...that includes the dictionary...then i laugh at myself...the topic itself is broad and have lots of choices.

    • bossypants profile image

      bossypants 5 years ago from America's Dairyland

      What a delightful surprise in the dictionary! And, a new title or two for me to add to my list. Enjoyable lens!

    • belinda342 profile image

      belinda342 5 years ago

      Hmmm, maybe I could take 5 pre-loaded to the max e-readers? 5 books wouldn't last me very long...

    • profile image

      glowchick 5 years ago

      I think if you love the books you could read them over and over!

      Great lens :)

    • ismeedee profile image

      ismeedee 5 years ago

      Great choices! Dictionary? LOL! Woody Allen's choices are unsurprisingly weird.

    • Sher Ritchie profile image

      Sher Ritchie 5 years ago

      I'd want to take C.S Lewis' "Voyage to Venus," (at least) and a collection of works by Pushkin.

    • profile image

      MaggiePowell 5 years ago

      oh no... 5 books wouldn't last me a week.... Would probably take a desert island survival guide....

    • greenspirit profile image

      poppy mercer 5 years ago from London

      Wodehouse and Tolkien; what perfect choices. I would add Hesse and agonize over the other two books .

    • KathyMcGraw2 profile image

      Kathy McGraw 5 years ago from California

      I would survive, and my 5 books wouldn't include a dictionary :) I have a couple books I have read several times over, but no, I wouldn't take them either. I would probably want a how to book so I could make myself shelter, learn which fish are poisonous, and other information. I also would probably want my other 4 to be blank journals so I could write. Of course I would have to write very, very tiny just in case I was on that Island for awhile :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      No I could not. I do read the same books over and over again, but my authors all have more than five books! Maybe if I could stretch it out to five series... or even to five authors? :D

    • Lemming13 profile image

      Lemming13 5 years ago

      Five would be a real struggle, but one of them would definitely be Lord of the Rings; there'd be a Macdonald Fraser, too, but it would be The Pyrates, I love pirates. Number three - my beloved Rudyard Kipling omnibus, which includes both Jungle Book collections, the Just So Stories, Kim, Puck of Pook's Hill and Stalky and Co. Cheating, maybe, but it does come as a single volume. Four; Robert Graves' I, Claudius. And five; not sure which one, but one of my many collections of tales of the Cthulhu Mythos, because I need my eldritch horrors.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 5 years ago

      Hmmm ... perhaps, I never contemplated this! Let me sleep on it and get back to you if I can come up with just five. I always favored Dickens, you know. Perhaps because mom used to say, all the time, you are a little Dickens! ;)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I haven't heard of Fraser, but heartily agree with your first two selections. There are several Dickens' novels that I would want to take, but this is a safe bet. Awesome lens. I'd have to think long and hard if I could only choose five.

    • amkatee profile image

      amkatee 5 years ago

      Keep up the good work! Nice lenses you have! Love to read and reread my favorite books. My husband can't get into Tolkien because of all the detail. I prefer those books with some meat on their bones!

    • Thrinsdream profile image

      Thrinsdream 5 years ago

      As soon as I read "One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them", my little heart sang! I adore reading and love the fact Collins English Dictionary is up there, the amount of times I have had to buy new updated versions of that book. Really enjoyed myself in your lens. With thanks and appreciation. Cathi x

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      These are our favourites, too. The Flashman series is one my husband introduces to everybody. I would add Patrick O'Brian, James Clavell...there are just too many wonderful writers.

    • daphnedangerlov1 profile image

      daphnedangerlov1 5 years ago

      I'd rather have 5 books than no books..and I do like to reread the good ones, so I'd get through. Now if I didn't have a pen and a notebook to write in, that might be a problem...

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      nice lens

    • emmajowebster profile image

      emmajowebster 6 years ago

      possibly - especially if one was a series!

    • GypsyPirate LM profile image

      GypsyPirate LM 6 years ago

      Only five - I'm not sure I could. But I do love your idea of taking a dictionary!

    • profile image

      JenniferV 6 years ago

      I enjoyed this lens! A few books I had not heard of and I think I'd like to read! I'm always looking for a good book...I think I said that earlier on your other lens. :-) I love to read. I'm not sure I could survive on an island with only 5 books though. Maybe 10.

    • ellagis profile image

      ellagis 6 years ago

      No, I don't think I could survive..... I'm experimenting it since when I moved to Denmark and I keep reading and reading again the few books I had brought with me (and the few ones I've bought via web too). I was used to read at least ten books per month, taking them from the public library, and now I feel so.... greedy, when I can have a new one!!!!

      I totally agree with you about the Dictionary choice, and I really like what you've said about liking words. I love them too, and I love to play with them (of course, it's much easier in my own language!).

      Love your lens!

    • profile image

      BrassFittings 6 years ago

      yes! I love the Dorthy Parker quote and have never read: George MacDonald Fraser, but will pick up something of his this evening! Great lens. I would probably choose survival books myself.

    • profile image

      ccorrig 6 years ago

      Very interesting intro. I loved the ranting about which books to take and talking to Fred the crab. You seem to already be set if you ever become marooned.

    • brbrooks profile image

      brbrooks 6 years ago

      Love books and I enjoyed reading your lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Love the idea of playing the 'word-game' with just a dictionary by your side!! I often do that. Words are dangerous...they are psychedelic!

    • NoYouAreNot profile image

      NoYouAreNot 6 years ago

      No Dickens for me, thank you...

      And, again, thanks for introducing George MacDonald Fraser. Never heard of him, but I'll sure give him a try sooner or later.

    • Dakeas profile image

      Dakeas 6 years ago

      You are my kind of person. I love Tolkien and also Monty Python.

    • mich1908 profile image

      mich1908 6 years ago

      It would helped if I had Snickers to munch along with my 5 fave books!

    • fireblazzer profile image

      fireblazzer 6 years ago

      i love books,, i agree witht he post under me.. as i kid i use to read the dictonary all the time.... my favotire book is "tucker max" " i hope they serve beer in hell"

      it might be a bit too extream for you.. but i sure love it.. made me laugh the whole ride thorugh lol!

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      I like your picks especially the dictionary. As a kid I used to read it .. like a novel. I loved words. I love Dickens too and would probably include more of his books. Oh, and .....

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 6 years ago from UK

      Five books would be better than none, but a Kindle packed with books would be best of all. What's that you say... no power connection to recharge? Ah well, in that case I'll gladly take your recommendations to keep me going until I'm rescued. :)

    • LissaKlar LM profile image

      LissaKlar LM 6 years ago

      No. I would need many more than that. After i got settled in that is!

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image

      June Parker 6 years ago from New York

      I forgot to tell you that you are *Squid Angel blessed* and I've added your link to My Squid Angel Wings to be featured in the "Books, Poetry & Writing " neighborhood.

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image

      June Parker 6 years ago from New York

      These are all wonderful choices and I love books so much that the choice would be difficult. As it is I have a difficult time parting with any of the books in my library so to pick only 5 is very difficult indeed. It will take me much more time to think through! LOL.

    • profile image

      GeoffSteen 6 years ago

      My first thought was Lord of the Rings...but this has been superseded for me latelt by Game of Thrones. It'd take years just to get a hang of who all the characters are.

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 6 years ago from La Verne, CA

      Let me see, since I have read Mildred Pierce only once, that is one of my choices. I'll take your Dickens, or any of his books. How about The Magus? Shakespeare to practice voice and a journal and pencil. Can you read into a Kahlua and milk?

    • profile image

      editionh 6 years ago

      That is a rather ecclectic mix, I haven`t read a single one of those ;). I probably could survive for some time without books

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 6 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      @Richard-H: I agree, Rich. Six is quite 'woody'. Now number ten sounds too close to 'tin', so that would have to be a 'tinny' word. :-) Always loved Monty Python.

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 6 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Only five? I couldn't possibly survive without at least my favorite 100 (including the dictionary) -- and some paper & pen to write my own words! Great Top 5 choices you gave, though! :-)

    • chezchazz profile image

      Chazz 6 years ago from New York

      Don't think I could survive with even 50 books. Would have to include something from Mark Twain and Jules Verne. There are at least 60 more tied for a 3rd choice....

    • profile image

      GrowWear 6 years ago

      If I get caught by surprise, no time to think of my own favorites, I'll gladly take your list. :)

    • Richard-H profile image

      Richard 6 years ago from Surrey, United Kingdom

      I'd have to take some John Wyndham and HG Wells with me. Five, you say? Something of a tinny word - or would that be number? Six is exceptionally woody :)

    • Addy Bell profile image

      Addy Bell 6 years ago

      That Monty Python sketch made me LOL. Honestly, the cats looked at me like I was nuts. It was like Jeeves and Wooster on acid.

      I could never survive with only five books ... I'd be arguing semantics with Fred the Crab in no time :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Wonderful selection of books. Time for me to look out for a deserted island!

    • profile image

      boutiqueshops 6 years ago

      Well done; what a great idea. I love your first choice. I think I make most of my way through all of them at least every other year. I'd have to include Dickens' David Copperfield (adore it) and Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Then you better check all my bags because I will try to smuggle more...hehehe

    • LadyFlashman profile image

      LadyFlashman 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Oooh I am so excited reading this lens, you have included two of my favourite authors - George MF and PG Wodehouse! I adore the Flashman books and have read and re-read them all, I am yet to branch out and read his other stuff but I shall! I love the gentle humour of the Jeeves and Wooster books, I have read all of them too. You have selected some wonderful choices for your desert island reading, I don't think I could cope with just 5 books on my island though!

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      CruiseReady 6 years ago from East Central Florida

      Back for a return visit, and you've reminded me that I've STILL neglected to read Oliver Twist, and must do that soon!

    • Dianne Loomos profile image

      Dianne Loomos 6 years ago

      I'd have to really think hard about this. In the meantime I like your choice of Lord of the Rings. I read it in my twenties and read it again to my children when they were in the 9-12 age group. They loved it too.

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      Susan Deppner 6 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Assuming I had food and water, five books would do me nicely. You've certainly justified your selections - well done! Love that you included the dictionary. I might not have thought of that, but now it's on my list.

    • JackNimble profile image

      JackNimble 6 years ago

      No way! I guess if I was stranded I wouldn't have a choice. I would want a book that made me ponder life and other things.

    • JeanJohnson LM profile image

      JeanJohnson LM 6 years ago

      No way, five is not enough! Right now I'm in the middle of five books. I need much more. Thanks for the review of Jeeves and Wooster Omnibus. I think I'm going to enjoy reading that one.

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      Ruthi 6 years ago

      Yes! to Oliver Twist and the Dictionary. I'll have to think awhile on the other three for me.

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      little_diddle 6 years ago

      If I had to choose between having 0 books or having 5, I would certainly choose five......But if I had my way, I could take 20 books, and choose 15 that I had never read before, and five that I was already familiar with.....

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      celeBritys4africA 6 years ago

      No way. I like the diversity.

    • BlakeCzirr profile image

      BlakeCzirr 6 years ago

      I'm like you, Paul. GOTTA have books. (Also, liked some of your choices; I'm highly interested in the quotes.)

    • jackieb99 profile image

      jackieb99 6 years ago

      Nice choices!

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      BeyondRoses 6 years ago

      I'm not sure I could survive without "creature comforts" so with this in mind, I would want to have at least five books. Among the five books would be, The Great Gatsby, a large book of poetry, a survival guide (written in an upbeat manner) and a self-healing guide. The fifth book would be the Bible, as I have not read it in awhile.