If we were stranded on a deserted island, which books would we each bring with us? We thought it’d be fun to share some of our favourite books that might be suitable for an extended trip away from civilisation!
I decided to only choose books that were standalone, because it would suck to bring only one instalment of a series.
All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr
Of course, I need to bring my favourite book of all time. It’s over 500 pages, which I think is a good length if I’m going to be rereading it over and over. It’s got beautiful writing and is set partly in a seaside town, which I guess would match my deserted island surroundings. It also has lots of facts about shells and radios, which might come in handy if I needed some survival tactics
I’ll Give You the Sun – Jandy Nelson
This book is perfect for any occasion. It has a great balance of family, friendship and romance so no matter what I’m in the mood for, I’ll be completely satisfied with this story. It also has some LGBTQ+ characters and a Hispanic character if I wanted some diversity in what I was reading. The story is also uplifting, which will be great in a deserted island setting. I just can’t go wrong with bringing I’ll Give You the Sun!
Carry On – Rainbow Rowell
Because I decided not to bring any series with me, I can’t bring any of my Harry Potter books. Which makes Carry On perfect because not only is it a funny and charming book on its own, it also has enough Harry Potter elements to keep me satisfied. The SnowBaz romance in this is so swoonworthy and makes me so happy that I could reread this one again and again without getting sick of it. (I did notice that Jeann also has Carry On on her list so maybe we can share and I can choose one of my many other favourites?)
The Weight of Feathers – Anna-Marie McLemore
I don’t know about you, but this girl needs some magical realism in her life. My favourite book with magical realism is The Weight of Feathers. It’s got the most wonderful romance and relationship and makes my heart swell with emotion every time I think about it. It’s got a different tone than the rest of the books, which makes it the perfect book to round out my four books that I’d want to have with me if I was stranded on an island.
The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
When I’m feeling hungry on a deserted island, I definitely need some hunting and survival tips from Katniss herself! She knows how to hunt for food, camouflage against threats, survive in the wilderness and even sleep in trees. That’s definitely useful for a desert island I think! Plus I can secretly wish for a gift from my sponsors to ease the journey and that I’ll be airlifted away to safety.
Queen of Shadows – Sarah J. Maas
This is my favourite book, with my favourite ship in my favourite series, so of course I’m going to pick this one! Plus it’s a super long book as well so it would definitely cut down on the boredom. I can dream of sexy fae princes and totally relive the victorious moments in this one again.
Carry On – Rainbow Rowell
Just thinking about this book makes me smile, every time. I absolutely LOVE the relationship between Simon and Baz and their super adorable antagonistic romance, where it’s obvious to everyone but themselves. I definitely need a feel good book when I’m out on a deserted island, and even better that it’s an LGBTQIA+ read!
Ready Player One – Ernest Cline
Ready Player One is probably my all time favourite book – combining virtual reality, gaming and pop culture all into one! I love how geeky this book is, how charming the characters are and how much fun it is. Having it close by will definitely be pure escapism.
Uprooted – Naomi Novik
I would only bring stand-alone books if I had to choose because if I can’t have the whole series, it would be too painful to only have one of the books! Uprooted is easily one of my favorite fantasies ever read, with a perfect blend of action and magic and romance all melded into one story. I’ve already reread it so many times, and I discover new things each time.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – Benjamin Alire Saenz
Okay technically this breaks my rule of “stand-alones” since there’s a sequel coming out (YAY!) but I had to add a contemporary to my list. It was between this and a Morgan Matson book, but I figured the friendships in Matson’s books would just make me more aware of my loneliness on the island. Not that Ari and Dante don’t have that either, but a lot of the book focuses on them as a friend/couple and that’s more heartwarming than reading about friends breaking up/making up. ANYWAYS I always end up crying whenever I read this book; for some reason it really hits my gut and makes me emotional. Maybe I’ll read it on the island so many times I won’t cry whenever I reach the end.
Rook – Sharon Cameron
So far I have a fantasy and a contemporary, and that should be balanced by a science fiction story. This one is set in a dystopian France, and has great characters that I fell in love with. I feel like it’s pretty underrated too, but I’d definitely reread it. There is also excellent action and a conclusive ending in one book. And while it doesn’t have the science fiction elements in space that I love like aliens or intergalactic wars or spaceships (because let’s be real those books are all in a series) the setting is still set in the future! BUT AT THE SAME TIME it has historical fiction vibes because it’s like a future that went to the past if you know what I mean. So I get the best of both worlds, boo-yah.
New Oxford American Dictionary, Edition 3
This last book is to be kept for my sanity. I was debating over a dictionary or an encyclopedia, but couldn’t pick a letter for encyclopedia. In case I ever get the chance to be rescued, I’d like to remember how to speak and what words are and what they mean. Plus, it would certainly pass the time to learn all the words in it. And if I get really bored, I can memorize definitions. Also maybe I can use the new words I learn to help write a novel on the sand of the island! Or with rocks! Or carved on the trees! Who knows, maybe the dictionary will even have plants I could identify on the island. I may become a savage on the island, but it won’t stop me from being a smart savage.
Which books would you want to have with you on a deserted island?
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