Tuesday, July 26, 2011

If you were stranded on a deserted island, and could only bring one book with you, what would that book be?

This was the question posed by one of our NYOBG members at our first summer meeting in June.  Hers was I, Claudius by Robert Graves.  Another member's was Brothers In Arms by Lois McMaster Bujold.  Mine would have to be Twin of Fire, followed by Twin of Ice, by Jude Deveraux, simply because it was the first romance I ever read---slid to me under my desk by a classmate during study hall in high school (when I should have been studying), over twenty years ago. 

I've always been a prolific reader.  I was that kid in grade school who had over a hundred shiny sticker-stars posted next to my reading list assignment, indicating how many books I had read... while others only had a few.  In middle school, I poured through every Nancy Drew, C.S. Lewis, and all of Judy Bloom's books (Wifey blew my thirteen-year-old mind).  Once in high school I moved onto V.C. Andrews, Piers Anthony, Stephen King, and anything and everything else I could get my hands on.  Then I read Jude and discovered what would become my favorite genre.  And... my-oh-my... has that genre evolved over the years!  However, Jude will always, always hold a special place in my heart.

As you've probably surmised, I loved this question so much I wanted to extend it to our blog.  The genre isn't important, and it doesn't have to be classic literature, or literary fiction, or fiction at all.  Recent or old, it doesn't matter, just something that touched your life as Jude Deveraux touched mine, and Lois McMaster Bujold and Robert Graves touched our NYOBG members.  (I'm forgetting others from the meeting, I know, so please log on when you get a chance and post your "deserted island" book.)

So, if you didn't have a chance to make June's meeting, or if you're just a visitor on our blog, please share what book has most influenced you, enough so that...  If you were stranded on a deserted island, and were only able to bring one book with you, what would that book be?

Hope to see you in our library someday soon,
Jan

(Please note: I haven't linked any of the covers to our catalog for the moment.)

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28 comments:

  1. The Bride by Julie Garwood. It was pure escapism during a difficult time in my life when I needed it most.

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  2. Lord Of The Rings by Tolkien

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  3. Great suggestions! Two very different books but I've read them both and enjoyed both.
    ~Jan

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  4. I am not one who rereads books, but the one title that I have reread at different points in my life is "The Stanger" by Albert Camus. The first time that I read this I was in high school, while I enjoyed it and found it quite profound; I did not fully understand the book. The second reading was in college where I grasped much more of the novels meaning. It is one of those books that make you think and you grasp more of the meaning of the novel upon each reading. And I am sure that if I brought this book to a deserted island I would read it again and again and glean even more upon each reading.

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  5. I hate to be picky . . . but isn't that TWO books, Jan???? :D

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  6. It's sooo hard to pick just one! :o)

    BUT, in my own defense, I have seen Twin of Fire and Twin of Ice published as one book. The two books take place during the same time frame, with the same events published from each sister's point of view, and there are some really funny moments through the different perspectives.
    Jan

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  7. I'd probably be stuck on the island bookless due to indecision about which one book to choose!

    I think I would probably "cheat" and take an omnibus - Wraeththu by Storm Constantine. It has 3 books I love, and there it would keep me busy reading for a while since there are 3 books!

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  8. Does the Harry Potter series count as one book? :) I would have to take The Order of the Phoenix if I had to pick just one of them though. Of all the genres and series I've read, that is my absolute favorite series and one that I re-read every few years. I can't wait to read it to my kids!

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  9. Wonderful choice. I think the Harry Potter series touched a lot of people, of every age, me included. I was truly sad when I finished the last book.
    Jan

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  10. It would probably be Jane Eyre. I've been reading the same worn-out copy since I was a kid, and every time I pick it up I come away with a different understanding of it. Part lit, part mystery, part romance - what more could a girl ask for in one little book??

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  11. I love Jane Eyre. There is a line in the book, where Jane decides to leave and is standing outside the bedroom door (after she realizes the psycho woman in the attic is Rochester's wife) that is quite powerful. I will look it up and repost. (I'm mobile at the moment, and in the wilderness)
    Jan

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  12. Oh, I don't know... this is a hard one, but I will say the one book I have recently enjoyed is 'The Time Traveler's Wife' by Audrey Niffenegger.

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  13. Kristen, you have me curious again with another great book recommendation. Wraeththu looks interesting. I'm going to try to order it for the library.
    Jan

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  14. Hope you like it, Jan! It's much more character-driven than plot-driven and rather angsty so I don't always recommend it to people even though it's one of my personal favorites!

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  15. I'm not sure that I could decide on just one... But if I really really had to, I would probably pick Bel Canto by Anne Patchett. I red it in high school and have read it 4 or 5 times since. I just love it. I'm not one for rereading many books, I try not to unless I don't have anything else to read, but for some reason, I can read Bel Canto over and over and never get tired of it.

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  16. This is a tough one. I think I might be somewhat unconvential (for me) and bring something I haven't read but told was good. Like, The Da Vinci Code, The Grapes of Wrath, The Color Purple, Cider House Rules. If I can only pick one, I pick Cider House Rules. Loved the movie.

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  17. Thanks for all the wonderful suggestions!!! If we could all share our books on that deserted island, I think we might be okay! :o)
    Jan

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  18. I absolutely loved "The Time Traveler's Wife." I wasn't sure about the premise at first but got sucked in right away. I do think that the book could be read over and over again it would be just as enjoyable as it was the first time.
    ~Sarah

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  19. I had a big grin on my face when I saw the cover of Wraeththu in this post -- I'd thought of suggesting it for the "Favorite Sci-Fi and Fantasy" post back when that first came out. The only reason I didn't was that I'd already nominated a few "out-there" books with some rather unconventional elements. Not that I'm censoring or anything, heh-heh.

    After my initial grin, my immediate thought was, "I'll bet Kristen chose that book," because I've been enjoying her comments (and website) since that Favorite Sci-Fi list. And I was right!

    Jan, I do think Wraeththu would be a good add for the library. It's a fat one, by the way, given that it's three books in one. Knowing what I do of your adventurous reading taste, I think you'd like it.

    If I didn't bring that book, I'd bring either A Trio for Lute by R. A. MacAvoy, another "omnibus" of three books in one, or Rheingold by Stephan Grundy. I absolutely loved them when I first read them. They both feature utterly absorbing writing.

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  20. Awesome recommendations Anonymous (although I think I know who this is) :o) We should talk about these at our next meeting.
    ~Jan

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  21. Anonymous - Heh, I didn't list Wraeththu on the favorite scifi/fantasy list for the same reason. It is unconventional and I think it also takes a particular type of taste to enjoy since it is more about the writing and characters than an exciting plot. And I'd already added a couple of books like that to the list as well. ;)

    And thanks, you made my day!

    I looked up your choices and they're both out of print. I hate how quickly good books go out of print! I hadn't heard of A Trio for Lute before now (it sounds great) but I have had my eye on Tea With the Black Dragon by the same author. Have you read that one?

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  22. OMG...you guys, I just looked up Tea With a Black Dragon (love the title) and it looks REALLY good. You have no idea how many "to read" books I have on my desk. Authors have been sending me their books lately at the library for reviews. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed... Can you tell? And, Kristen, your blog is awesome! I say that to myself every time I log on!
    Jan

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  23. I love the title Tea With a Black Dragon too, Jan! Doesn't it sound great? I hear you about having an overwhelming number of "to read" books. They were taking over my couch for a while and they seem to be piling up yet again after finding places for all of the ones that were there.

    And thank you, Jan! :)

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  24. You're welcome. I'm going to see if I can get a copy of Tea With a Black Dragon. What's one more book on the pile? Although all mine are in baskets, several of them, all over my living room! :o)
    Jan

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  25. Hi, Jan and Kristen, sorry for the delay in my reply (and yes, Jan, you do know who this is).

    I should have thought to say that those books are out of print when I left my first comment, duh. I have my treasured paperback copy of A Trio for Lute that I bought probably in the early 90's when it was still in print, and I recently acquired a used, book club hardcover edition (with truly hideous cover art) to be my "backup" copy. I've occasionally seen copies of the paperback in used book stores, even of the original, separate titles (Damiano, Damiano's Lute, and Raphael. It should be possible to locate it/them online, and I'd say it would be worth the effort.

    I may have to eventually do exactly that with Rheingold, as it is one of the only books I have ever lost, presumably during a move. I've been nostalgic for it for years.

    I truly felt that I was in the world of each of those books when I read them, and they left lasting impressions, obviously.

    Kristen, I've known about Tea with the Black Dragon for a long time, but I've never laid my hands on a copy of it, so I'd be very excited if Jan gets hold of it (I hate to tell you, Jan, but it looks like it has a sequel, too). I do, however, have a used and yellowed copy of the author's The Book of Kells, which I haven't yet read. If anyone's curious, here's a bibliography of MacAvoy's works:
    www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/ea.cgi?390

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  26. You are wearing me down on A Trio for Lute! :o) I will be sure to see if I can order Tea With the Black Dragon on Monday and keep you posted. As you know, I love anything Celtic, so I'm anxious to hear more on The Book of Kells when you finish it.
    ~Jan

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  27. So, I finally looked up the part in Jane Eyre...

    "I would have got past Mr. Rochester’s chamber without pause; but my heart momentarily stopping its beat at that threshold, my foot was forced to stop also. No sleep was there: the inmate was walking restlessly from wall to wall; and again and again he sighed while I listened. There was a heaven—a temporary heaven—in this room for me if I chose:"
    ~Charlotte Bronte

    I just think this was such a spunky paragraph to write with the mindset toward single woman in the 1800's!

    ~Jan

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  28. As I try to decide what book I would want to bring, and those I want to part with, I have discovered my heart is attached more to the ones that have given me the most enjoyment, rather than the more thought provoking books. And if I were deserted I think I would want enjoyment. My choice would probably be Night Pleasures by Sherrilyn Kenyon.

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