Hello and welcome to another instalment of Desert Island Books! This is a monthly feature where I chat to bloggers, authors and people from the book industry about the books they love.
The premise is simple – imagine you have ended up on a desert island. You have sufficient food and clean water but you need something to occupy your mind. You can bring 5 books with you to your island paradise, but what would they be? And why? Oh, and you’re also allowed to bring a fictional character from literature with you, who would you choose?
About Daemon Book Lover
Besides reading, I love to watch films and also do a little bit of writing for fun.
Desert Island Books
Valley of The Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
The first book I’d like to take is Valley of The Dolls by Jacqueline Susann. This is one of my all-time favourite books. I first read it in my early 20s and it blew my mind how this 1960s book about celebrity culture was so similar to what was going on in the early 2000s. The career of the main character, an actress and singer who goes by the name Neely, is almost impossibly up and down. And yet if you follow any celebrity culture at all, I think you have to agree that it’s scarily representative. Overall, Valley of the Dolls is quite a cynical story, but I think that on a desert island I’d want the comfort of something familiar, and it would be a safe place to re-read this hedonistic whirlwind of a book.
Salem’s Lot by Stephen King
Stephen King’s ‘Salem’s Lot is another favourite of mine, but I’m taking it more as a study than anything else. One of the things I love about King’s work is how many storylines he can weave into a single novel. I did consider taking Pet Sematary, as it was the first Stephen King I read, but I think ‘Salem’s Lot has more to keep me occupied. The horror aspect of ‘Salem’s Lot – the story of the vampires at the top of the hill – is fantastic, but I think I’d enjoy reading it with no expectations. Since I already know what happens I could concentrate more on the little incidental stories. Maybe I’d even fashion some sort of spreadsheet out of sand and twigs and try to track how many characters from other Stephen King books make appearances! Ooh, this is going to be exciting!
Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
I think I worked my way through most Judy Blume books as a teenager, but Tiger Eyes is the one that I remember most, and possibly one of the books I’ve read the most times! After Davey’s father is killed, Davey, her mother, and her younger brother travel across the country to stay with relatives. What is supposed to be a short trip gets extended and despite her resistance to change, Davey starts to appreciate the landscape of canyon’s around her, and the young man who calls himself “Wolf” who helps her. And, to be honest, it was probably the Wolf aspect that fascinated me the most as a teenager. There is just so much going on in this book that I’m sure I will never get tired of re-reading it. It deals with some difficult stuff, but thankfully I’m now far enough away from teenagerdom that I can read it without too many tears.
Delia’s Complete Illustrated Cookery Course by Delia Smith
Delia’s Complete Illustrated Cookery Course by Delia Smith might seem like an odd choice to take to a desert island where, I assume, ingredients other than fresh fish and coconuts would be lacking. But this is another comfort read. The copy I have of this book is very glossy and pristine, but there’s a copy at my parents’ house that I much prefer. It was my grandma’s book and I have a very clear memories of her stalking in from the kitchen to the bookshelf, mid bake, muttering under her breath, “I wonder what Delia says…” There are some very “retro” recipes in this collection, but I love that the instructions are written almost in a teacherly voice. I’m thinking I could probably work through all the recipes in my head, and by the time I’m rescued (will I be rescued?) I’ll have a nice little repertoire to work on!
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Lastly, I think I’d like to take a book I’ve never read before. Everything I know about Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina tells me I’d love it, but I’ve just never been able to get round to it. It just seems so intimidatingly long! So, my thinking is, if I’m cast away on a desert island, with no distractions, it’s the perfect time to try!
A Fictional Character
Keiko from Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata
I’ve really struggled trying to find a character I’d like to take to a desert island. This exercise has taught me that I read about a lot of people that I don’t actually like. So, my final decision is based more on necessity than any real emotional connection. I shall take Keiko from Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata. This was one of my favourite books of last year, and I think Keiko and I would get along nicely. She likes her routine and I’m sure would help our survival on the island. But also, she’s happy with her own company, so I’m hoping we wouldn’t get on each other’s nerves too much.
My thanks to Daemon Book Lover for sharing her wonderful Desert Island Books with us.
If you are an author, blogger, work in the book industry or just love books and you’d like to take part in my Desert Island Books series then I’d love to hear from you! You can contact me by filling in the form beneath.