What books would you pick to help keep you sane?

“A man who has been three years biting his nails on a desert island can’t expect to appear as sane as you and me.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only have five books for the rest of your life, which five would you choose and why?

First, the criteria for choosing. I’d want long books so that I didn’t get tired of reading them over and over. Obviously, I’d want some of my favorite books because who wants to repetitively read books they hated? (I know I’d never want to be stuck on an island with only Moby Dick to read). And lastly, I’d want them to be from a variety of genres, again to help maintain interest. With that said, here are my five desert island books.

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

It’s long and I love it. It’s so psychological, philosophical, and driven by the wavering character of Raskolnikov and the way Dostoyevsky weaves subplots and main plot are poetic. It also has some of the most poetic tableaus in all literature.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I’m a huge fan of all Jane Austen (except maybe Mansfield Park) and my two favorites are Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion but Pride and Prejudice is longer so that’s the one I’d rather have if it was one of only five books I’d have for an indefinite time of a deserted island.

Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

It was my favorite book growing up and it would be nice to have something whimsical and optimistic while stranded for who knows how long. I have read it several times and I think it’s one I could handle reading several more times.

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

The way that Kingsolver can create such distinctive voices for each of her characters is mesmerizing. That combined with an amazing plot and weaving in the history of a country torn apart by colonization. A great read, each and every time.

The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

To be honest, the fifth spot on my desert island list tends to change. For a while now, it’s been The Lord of the Rings. It’s length makes it ideal for repeated readings and it’s compelling and intricate story also never get old.


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