Remember the written word? It used to convey information. If you like to read and discuss what you have read, this group is for you.
The Desert Island Volumes
July 17, 2009 at 1:31 pm #75946
If you are shipwrecked on a deserted island, what cache of books would you want with you (and why)?
My list (for now):
I don’t think I’ve read it cover to cover since Catholic High School (if then).
The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
My introduction to fantasy, read all of it, the first time, in a week.
The Complete Sherlock Holmes by A.C. Doyle
Got this as a Christmas present while in 6th grade, read it cover to cover by February.
The Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin
Comprising several huge volumes. The best fantasy since Tolkien, and so much richer. I cannot recommend a set of books more highly. Start with THE GAME OF THRONES, you’ll be hooked.
Holy Blood, Holy Grail by M. Baigent, R. Leigh, and H. Lincoln
Yeah, very controvesial source book for Dan Brown’s THE DA VINCI CODE, still a helluva read in it’s own right. Read this a few years out of college and it taught me to think all over again by forcing me to re-examine historical “facts” I just took as given. Some of it de-bunked now, but still thought provoking.
July 17, 2009 at 1:49 pm #75974
I’d have to add the “Great Books” series from Britannica. I’ve only read a fraction of them, and while they are shockingly Western, and in some cases the greatness is debatable, they contain a very broad range of thought. I’d add the “Encyclopedia of Japan,” as I was educated as an historian and still do not know all the nooks and crannies of this 2,600 year history. For pure entertainment, Patrick O’Brien’s Aubrey-Maturin series, covering the Nepoleanic war at sea in 20 books, is one of the great literary pieces of the 20th century, and a pleasure to read. C.J. Cherryh’s “Cyteen” and “Foreigner” series are superb examples of “hard science fiction,” both because they make you think really hard and they are realistic extrapolations of current science, sociology, and culture. Vernor Vinge’s work, while not a nicely packaged series, is a superb examination of the social, political and cultural ramifications of pervasive computing power in the near future; probably the antithesis of what you would encounter on a desert island, but well worth reading, and re-reading.
July 17, 2009 at 1:58 pm #75972
Just put The Game of Thrones on my library reserve list. Hope they can get a copy.
July 17, 2009 at 2:20 pm #75970
Ah! Thank you, if I’d have thought of it, I would have mentioned Patrick O’Brian as well. I had read C.S.Forrester’s Horatio Hornblower novels in high school and loved them. Later a friend, also a historian, got me reading Bernard Cornwell’s Sharpe books about an English soldier in the Napoleonic Wars. But a boss of mine, Mike Lombard who is here on Gov Loop somewhere, put me on to O’Brian’s Aubrey and Maturin books. They are billed with the tagline being the best series of historical novels ever written, and they do try very hard to live up to that billing. While I’m blathering, the Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett is another great series of historical novels, if you like Scotland and Raphael Sabatini-like heroes.
July 17, 2009 at 2:40 pm #75968
I would have to go with the collected works of:
Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)
Alfred Lord Tennyson
H. G. Wells
Edgar Allen Poe
H. P. Lovecraft
and the Old Testament of the Bible to go along with Ed’s choices.
July 17, 2009 at 2:50 pm #75966
I hope you enjoy it, Pam. I like this author. He wrote a captivating historical novel called Fevre Dream about a riverboat race on the Mississippi River with… vampires. He also developed and wrote many of the episodes of the CBS 80’s TV show BEAUTY AND THE BEAST with Ron Perlman and Linda Hamilton. Interesting guy:his website.
July 17, 2009 at 4:46 pm #75964
The Apologetics Study Bible-Sometimes believers are more harmful to Christianity than non-believers
The Annals of the World-James Ussher- a fascinating account of the ancient world
The History of the English Speaking People-Winston Churchill- People tend to forget that Churchill was a prolific writer. This is a four volume set about modern history’s most influential group of people
July 17, 2009 at 5:02 pm #75962
Churchill’s 4 volume history was one of the first sets I bought at auction while working at a used bookstore in my younger days. I do take issue with his stock Tudor version of the history of Richard III however. I side with Walpole and the US Supreme Court. Very unlikely Richard had his nephews killed; nor was he deformed.
July 20, 2009 at 4:39 pm #75960
The Miracle of Mindfulness Thich Nhat Hanh
The Will to Meaning Victor E. Frankl
Tropical Island Cooking: Traditional Recipes, Contemporary Flavors by Jennifer M. Aranas
July 20, 2009 at 5:02 pm #75958
I’ve read Frankl’s MAN’S SEARCH FOR MEANING, his intro to logotherapy. I was very impressed.
And you are very clever to include an island cookbook on your island list! Kudos!
July 20, 2009 at 6:59 pm #75956
Lawrence, I read Vernor Vinge too. Some of the most deeply thought-provoking science fiction out there. I wish he would write something new.
Ed, if you’re taking the Bible, consider also taking the Nag Hammadi Gospels and Bart Ehrman’s “Misquoting Jesus.”
July 20, 2009 at 9:52 pm #75954
Looking at this list of books and the thoughtfulness that went into them. I think I love you all!!!
July 31, 2009 at 4:53 pm #75952
I would add Shakespeare to this list. And for fun, JK Rowling’s books.
September 8, 2009 at 4:58 pm #75950
I have “Great Books”!!!! I scored the entire series at a library sale. I haven’t read them yet, but I agree: shockingly Western and not very balanced. But what do you expect. I’m just glad someone else has heard of them!
September 8, 2009 at 5:00 pm #75948
I love this kind of thing! My list changes from time to time, but mainstays are:
Cosmos (Carl Sagan)
War and Peace
Collected works of: Sylvia Plath, Edgar Allan Poe, Nietzsche, Kurt Vonnegut, Kafka
I think with these, I’d be set.
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