Desert Island Books with Joanne at Portobello Book Blog @portybelle

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?

I am thrilled to welcome Joanne from Portobello Book Blog to Beverley Has Read today to discuss her Desert Island Books.


Hello I’m Joanne and my blog is Portobello Book Blog In my spare time, I like to go for walks. I live in Portobello which is on the outskirts of Edinburgh. I live very close to the sea so enjoy walking along the prom. Where we live is great for getting into the countryside so I often walk there too. I also enjoy cooking and baking – my favourite cook is Nigella Lawson and I have a whole shelf of her books.

An interesting fact about me – when I was at school, I wanted to learn the flute. I got given the oboe instead which I never really took to. Many years later, my husband gave me a flute for my birthday and I took some lessons. I can now play to a reasonable standard and enjoy being part of a small band. We mostly play for fun and one of my favourite pieces is A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square.

You can find Joanne’s blog, Portobello Book Blog here and she is also on both Twitter and Instagram

Desert Island Books

Five on Treasure Island – Enid Blyton

Five on a Treasure Island by Enid Blyton

I would have to take a book that reminds me of my childhood so it’s got to be a Famous Five book. Imagine having an island of your own and being able to head off there in your own rowing boat whenever you fancied! I still have all my Famous Five books (and many other Enid Blyton books) in a box in the attic. So my first choice is Five on a Treasure Island.

Sense & Sensibility – Jane Austen

Sense & Sensibility - Jane Austen

I would definitely want to have a book by my favourite classics author with me, and my favourite Jane Austen novel is Sense & Sensibility. I do like Pride & Prejudice (of course! But I like the relationship between the two sisters despite how different they are. And I like how they both get their happy ending. Emma Thompson’s film version is fabulous so when reading it, I can think of all her handsome leading men…

Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks

Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks

This is one of my favourite books. It’s one of those I think I just read at the right time. I was researching my family history, like the main character in the contemporary part of the novel, and I knew that my great uncle had died in W1 near Arras, where much of the action in the book takes place. So it was a book I connected quite deeply with. I  also thought that the love story aspect of the book was done so well.

Here Come The Girls by Milly Johnson

Here Comes The Girl - Milly Johnson

There’s nothing like a Milly Johnson book to cheer you up! I have loved all of her books which I’ve read so far and this is one of my favourites. It’s about four friends on a cruise although there have been difficulties in their friendship. Love does feature but it’s more about strong female characters with friendship and finding what makes you happy important themes. It’s such an uplifting and funny book. And maybe a passing cruise ship might rescue me from the island!

The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel

The Mirror & the Light - Hilary Mantel

I read and enjoyed the first two books in the historical fiction trilogy but although I have this on my Kindle, I haven’t fitted it into my reading list yet. If I’m stuck on a desert island for a while, it will be the perfect opportunity to get those 900+ pages read at last!

Fictional Character

If you could share the island with a fictional character, who would it be?

Colonel Brandon

Alan Rickman as Colonel Brandon in Sense & Sensibility

Oooh, a tricky question! I think I’ll have Colonel Brandon (in his Alan Rickman guise please). He is such a patient and gentle character and he could read to me. That would be a lovely way to pass the time.

My thanks to Joanne for sharing her Desert Island Books with me.

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.

6 thoughts on “Desert Island Books with Joanne at Portobello Book Blog @portybelle

  1. Wonderful choices Joanne. My only exception is Jane Austen. For me it has to be Persuasion – my set book for ‘O’ level many years ago. I have to admit to being a little biased too, as part of it is set in my home town of Bath x

    Liked by 1 person

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