As I said in the last #DesertIslandBooks post, there are only a few left! Today features one of my newest twitter pals, Liam who tweets over at @notsotweets. I hope you enjoy!
Right, just six books. This is where I regret how many times I’ve called other people out for cheating by taking collections, isn’t it?
Ok, book one is The Silmarillion by JRR Tolkien. This is the fantasy epic of fantasy epics. A book so vast in its scope that it starts with creation and the entirety of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings is recounted in the last three pages. Yet it’s full of amazing characters, tragic romances, huge battles, heroes with fatal flaws and a villain so terrible that Sauron is his lieutenant. Oh, and an elf lord taking on a dozen balrogs.
Book two is Wild by Cheryl Strayed. This is the true story of a woman whose life is totally falling apart, who takes herself off to walk the Pacific Crest Trail in western america alone. I first read it at a very low point in my own life, and it inspired me to get outside, go walking, go camping and to find something I could use to start to rebuild myself.
Book three is The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I adore this book. The magic in it is so subtle and so beautifully realised. The story unfolds before you like a complex, wondrous puzzle. Each scene is described so perfectly. I don’t want to go and live in a fantasy world, I just want one night in this magical circus, and every time I read this book that’s what I get.
Book four has to be Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. It’s my favourite comfort reading, and I’ve got about half a dozen copies with illustrations by different people. My current favourite is the Arthur Rackham illustrated one, so I’ll take that.
Book five will be American Gods by Neil Gaiman. Some books are genre-defining. This one is genre-defying. It won major awards for crime, horror and fantasy genre fiction. It’s deep, it’s complex, it’s often emotional, it’s mysterious. It’s also pretty long.
Book six will have to be a bird guide. I’m really into birding, and the idea of being on a desert island and not being able to identify all of the birds I see is a frightful one. My Collins guide to the birds of Britain and Europe has been up mountains, through gales, spent nights in forests, and crossed seas with me, and it looks like it has too. But I’ll take whatever book is appropriate depending on where this island is, please.
You are allowed to take a snack of your choosing: this will be provided in an unlimited quantity.
I normally prefer savoury snacks to sweet ones, but the best accompaniment to reading has to be biscuits, particularly biscuits in an unlimited quantity! If I had to pick I’d probably go with a classic like custard creams, but an assortment would be great.
You may choose from unlimited supplies of tea or coffee.
You are entitled to carry with you 1 music album/playlist (not surpassing 15 songs).
This was actually a lot harder than the books!
Things the Grandchildren Ought to Know – Eels
Take Me to Church – Hozier
Once Upon a Dream – Lana Del Ray
Invitation to the Blues – Tom Waits (this one is like a crime noir story in five and a half minutes!)
Avenue of Hope – I Am Kloot
Walk Unafraid – First Aid Kit
Letters From The Sky – Civil Twilight
I Heard It Through The Grapevine – Marvin Gaye and the Grant Lazlo Orchestra
Wish for Something More – Amy MacDonald
If You Could Read My Mind – Johnny Cash
FEELING CALLED LOVE – Pulp
Set The Fire to the Third Bar – Snow Patrol and Martha Wainwright
Should I Fall Behind – Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
Black Parade – My Chemical Romance
PS You Rock My World – Eels
You MUST CHOOSE ONE BOOK and ONE SONG from your playlist/album that you get to keep when the Desert police come along.
My bird book and Walk Unafraid.
In addition to this book, you will be given the entire works of Shakespeare and the Bible (totally not stealing from Desert Island Discs, no sir)
Excellent! The Bible gets a bit of scorn in these lists, but I’m looking at it as a 73 book series by a whole host of different authors spanning genres from history and law to some fairly steamy poetry and post-apocalyptic fantasy. And I know some Shakespeare, but there’s loads I’ve never read. I’ll soon be wandering the beach giving lengthy speeches to the crabs.
Thank you so much for choosing this journey on DesertJet. Remember the rules are simple, but strict.
Thank you for letting me play. It’s amazing, one minute you meet a woman in a bookshop and excitedly explain the plot of “The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish.” to her, next thing you know she’s sending you to a desert island, miles away from anyone, completely on your own. Hang on, maybe I need to rethink my life…
Hahaha, that really is how Liam and I met. We had been friends on Twitter for a while and then I heard him talking about that book in Waterstones… then tweeted him about it! Thank you for playing, Liam!