Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Desert Island Books

You're shipwrecked.

You're on an extremely long vacation.

You're on LOST.

No internet. No phone. No iPod. No television or DVDs or even electricity. You're desperate for reading material. What do you hope the Universe will drop onto your lap?

Here is my dilemma: do I choose an author whose sheer prolificness (is that a word? maybe I should request a dictionary) means you have ample reading material for the length of your stay? Or do I choose books that I would gladly read over and over and over again?


Can I have both?

No? Bummer. Okay, in the former category, I would definitely go for someone like Stephen King. Lots of books in lots of genres (well, okay, not that many genres but enough that I don't have a nightmare every night) that wil keep me occupied while I await rescue or death. While a writer like Isaac Asimov wrote something like 100+ novels, they're all s/f and I would need a break. King at least wrote some strictly literary material as well as nonfiction and some fantastic short stories.

In the latter category, I would choose a novel like Toole's "A Confederacy of Dunces," a novel I could read over and over again. I considered Eco's "Name of the Rose," which I also love, as well as Adams' "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" but Toole's work is especially poignant because he committed suicide and if I'm stuck on an island, I would want a book that spoke to the depth of a human condition while also being hilariously funny.

What about you? Any choices? Do you pick romance novels or graphic novels? Short stories or epics? Poetry? Haikus? A book of dirty limericks?