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You can ONLY choose 5…

January 27, 2010

Let’s make this blog interactive, shall we?

Someone asked me today (before I sang songs from “Annie” to my class of juniors, but after I was bribed for a good grade with a pack of Wrigley’s Spearmint gum) if I was heading to a deserted island — or a different planet — and could only take 5 books with me (for the rest of my life), what would they be.

Let me say that this list has to be ever-evolving for me. And that this is HARD. HARD. HARD. HARD. With that said, here are my 5 books (in no particular order):

* The complete Far Side Gallery: Because you need a little laughter
* Little Women: Because I love the March sisters and this is one of my all-time favorite books
* The complete works of Shakespeare: Because he’s timeless and I love him; and there is everything in there to fit whatever mood I’m in
* The Bible: Because you need a little perspective
* Infinite Jest: Because I’d probably finish this thing if it were only one of five books I could own and I was trapped somewhere without a television

*Things that almost made the cut, but I eventually left off: Prayer for Owen Meany, The Stand, The Sparrow, Les Miserables, Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit, Brave New World, The Shiloh Legacy trilogy, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Wind-up Bird Chronicle, The Elephant Vanishes, Persuasion…my favorites!! But I did it, I narrowed it to a purposeful list. 

Now…do it. Stop lurking and give me a list. 

See? Funny stuff.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. louis permalink
    January 27, 2010 6:37 pm

    1. The Complete Calvin and Hobbes
    2. Boy’s Life
    3. The Last Battle
    4. Stop-Time
    5. The Dictionary – so I could have all the others or make up my own.

    Just five??? ARGH
    I would agree on your back-ups, too.

    • January 27, 2010 9:42 pm

      I’ve never read Boy’s Life — but I looked it up and it sounds awesome!!

      • Louis permalink
        January 27, 2010 11:27 pm

        I hope that you do! I don’t think it fits in your “world” theme, but it’s a great read

  2. McFaul permalink
    January 27, 2010 6:59 pm

    1. The Complete Works of Jane Austen
    2. The Boxcar Children (the one with books 1-4 smashed into one book!)
    3. Graceling
    4. I am the Messenger
    5. Anna Karenina

    Post Secret books
    Les Mis
    Nancy Drew 1-52
    The Trumpet of the Swan
    Stuart Little
    Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging
    The Abhorsen Trilogy
    His Dark Materials Trilogy
    Hunger Games

    • January 27, 2010 9:43 pm

      Matt was surprised I didn’t have any Jane Austen on my top 5 list. That was hard to do. I’m going to finish Graceling soon — I promise!

  3. Jessica permalink
    January 27, 2010 10:04 pm

    Sticking purely to pleasure reading and not books on how to survive on a desert island, and cheating wherever possible with omnibi (omnibuses?) and collections, this is my attempt at a list. I’m sure it would change if you were to ask me to do it again tomorrow.

    In no particular order:
    1) Harry Potter series (if I can only pick one, I choose #3)
    2) The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
    3) Dragonflight/Dragonquest/White Dragon omnibus by Anne McCaffrey
    4) Complete Shakespeare (I am going to have lots of time on my hands on this island and when I go crazy, I can act out the plays instead of talking to a volleyball)
    5) The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje

    Others that can easily appear on this list if you were to ask me another time:
    A Prayer for Owen Meany, Jane Eyre, The Twilight Saga (that’s right, I went there), Possible Side Effects by Augusten Burroughs, Time Traveler’s Wife, Hunger Games trilogy (can’t wait for the third one to come out!), Divine Comedy (I’ve never read it and I figure time alone on an island is a good time to start), Edith Hamilton’s Mythology, Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, Memory of Running…. I could go on and on but pretty much my list is going to be primarily fiction. I also like the idea of having a complete Far Side or Calvin&Hobbes. Nice call on those.

    I’m going to hit submit now before I start changing my mind. This is hard, Shelbi!

  4. Currie (call me inspiration) permalink
    January 27, 2010 10:20 pm

    ok, i love how you took total liberties with the “sets” of books. i don’t even want to know what your mind would have turned into had i not given you that leeway. i had class which is why this is so late in the making. some of us have to do things other than blog all night long.

    at any rate, i haven’t thought about this in great detail but am pretty simplistic when it comes to what i like and desire. with that said, here they are:

    To Kill a Mockingbird: because it’s brilliant and hopeful and makes me feel good about being human every time i read it.

    Catcher in the Rye: whenever i feel completely out of whack i rely on my good friend Holden. he’s the only one who truly gets me.

    My Book: and no that’s not a title. it’s literally the book i have written. i figure if i’m on the island i will have plenty of time to finally get the characterization good enough to send to a publisher. not that there are publishers on islands. i could open up a business and then my book would definitely get published. this is sounding better and better with every strike of the keyboard.

    Vonnegut: but which one? and so it goes??? kilgore trout? ughhhhh!!! ok this one is hard. i would flip a coin between Slaughterhouse Five and Breakfast of Champions. and i would pray god would allow destiny to decide my fate.

    and finally…..drum roll please……………………………….. ha ha, get it? the dots make a drum roll sound. i thought it was funny. ok, anything by John Irving. wait! no, not anything. either Garp or 158 Pound Marriage. and the emmy goes to…. 158 Pound Marriage. it’s just too awesome.

    there! done. and i didn’t even have to get up to look at my bookshelf. and no, no backup list. the books aren’t going to be incapable of performing their duties. i live and read with no regrets!

    later blog pimp!

  5. Missy Toupal Hart permalink
    January 28, 2010 7:33 am

    I’ve been thinking about this, and trying to come up with ideas, and so far I like this list:

    1-Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. A childhood favorite.
    2-Gone With the Wind. I’ve always wanted to read this one. I’ve started a couple of times, but never finish. I guess on an island I’d have nothing but time to finish this one.
    3-Italian for Dummies, or something close to that. Always wanted to learn to speak this, and never have. While no one else will be there to hear my broken language, I’ll have fun trying.
    4-A scrapbook of family pictures. I never want to forget them.
    5-A Reader’s Digest, quarterly published, 4-within-1 book. Yeah, I know they are mostly for old people, but you get 4 books, by different authors, and for the most part you’ve never heard of them. Might as well look for a new favorite author while on an island, right? Who knows, you may get off and decide to pick up the rest of their stuff.

    Too many other books to list as back ups.

  6. Kevin Phillips permalink
    January 28, 2010 9:03 am

    If I was forced to bring only five, they would have to be:

    1 – Twisted

    2 – Jane Eyre

    3 – The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

    4 – To Kill A Mockingbird (Vanderpool’s books get to me)

    5 – Iggie’s House

  7. Jill Sherman permalink
    January 28, 2010 1:02 pm

    I wrote this lovely thoughtful response, while at school. Then we had a fire drill and while out, the computer lost the internet connection and thus my writing. Here goes again. If you do not like it, just remember the first one was much better and wittier!
    All my choices are fiction except for the first – only because I chose to limit myself to that.
    The Bible – must go first because of what I believe and live
    The Narnian Chronicles – any but especially the parts where Puddleglum confronts the witch in The Silver Chair and the end of The Last Battle, which got me excited about heaven for the first time in my life
    Pride and Prejudice – for so many reasons – it informed so many of our family jokes and lines – “such perspicacity!” – teaching it to seniors and all the girls fell in love with Mr Darcy, enjoying the movies and Paul loved it – enough said
    The Wind in the Willows – it makes me laugh, cry and think – I especially love the chapter Dulce Domin because of what it says about Home
    The Lord of the Rings – I would include The Hobbit if you let me – but if not it goes to the second tier as it is wonderful but doesn’t quite have the depth of the triology. In later years, the trilogy and its accompanying movies spoke to me about being on a long, painful, arduous and unwanted journey because it was for the Good and the Right. However, the travelers survived with scars. I first read the trilogy in college, in a small senior seminar, in a tiny library room, with Wheaton’s own hobbit, Dr. Clyde Kilby, who had actually worked with Tolkien and Lewis in England – such an amazing privilege

    Second tier – I love many of these books as much as the above but had to choose – Jane Eyre, Prayer for Owen Meany, The English Patient, the rest of the Jane Austin canon, Shakespeare (all of it but especially Romeo and Juliet for many of the same reasons as P & P), Peace Like A River, and so many other authors I love for giving me a good and often escapist read.

    Well, there it is – I reserve the right to add to this in part Deux as I am sure I will think of or see titles and be aghast that I excluded them.

  8. Laagen Dazs permalink
    January 29, 2010 6:24 pm

    So… I wish I was in the mood to extrapolate but I’m doing this at 6:08PM on a Friday and I’m pretty much fried from the week. Also, I had made the list in my head before actually reading the instructions, so this is more of an “All Time Favorites List” than a “Survival List.” As brevity is the soul of wit… I will be brief.

    1) HIS DARK MATERIALS TRILOGY (my Bible. Nothing else has explained the Universe to me better so far)
    2) A HEART BREAKING WORK OF STAGGERING GENIUS (Dave Eggers is my post-modern prophet)
    3) CATCHER IN THE RYE (considering our loss this week)
    4) A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANEY (opened the door and set the course to a life changing year in reading my senior year in high school)
    5) ON THE ROAD (I mean, c’mon…)

    I have quite the male-centric perspective when it comes to reading don’t I?… Hmpf. Who knew? Anyway, if we’re talking survival on a desert island, I’d be open to switching out 1 or 2 of these for THE COMPLETE WORKS OF SHAKESPEARE (the possibilities are certainly endless), THE LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY (not only could I escape, I’d also be able to pick up Elf as a second language from the appendices in the back) or THE ENGLISH DICTIONARY (good call, Louis.) But strictly sentimental… Well, that’s my list above.


    • Laagen Dazs permalink
      January 29, 2010 6:26 pm

      btw’s… I love all the OWEN MEANEY love! I thought I was going to be the only one.

      • louis permalink
        January 30, 2010 9:08 am

        Ok, I really want to add A Prayer for Owen Meany and On the Road. Someone do a flyover and drop those down. Why’d it have to be five? This isn’t fair.

    • January 29, 2010 7:13 pm

      So, once this little book challenge ends, I will check out His Dark Materials. A lot of people have recommended them to me. I have seen a little bit of The Golden Compass movie though…I know it doesn’t count for much.

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