The original topic at That Artsy Reader Girl was "books I'd bring while stranded on a deserted island," but I'm always bad at that topic because I'd feel compelled to choose survival guides and maybe a novel or two with survival elements in it, and coming up with 10 excellent options sounds like more work than I have time for (I never did get around to returning all the comments on the last post, and probably won't have time to do so this week either, I'm ony sharing for people who want entertainment).
So instead, inspired by a combination of my circa-2018 fantasy of taking a leave of absence from work to go live in an isolated mountain cabin with a stack of books and no responsibilities (which the pandemic actually made come true, minus the relocation aspect), and the book I read yesterday -- featuring a woman sent to Alternative Rehab on a Caribbean island who had the option of paying to cheat her way through the program and kick back in a mansion the whole time instead -- let's imagine for a moment that I've signed up to spend 3 months detoxing from screens on a fabulous island, whose only (arbitrary) rule is that I am limited to bringing ten books with me for the duration.
These are the stories.
(Since this is my fantasy world anyway, let's also assume that the books would be provided to me, since I don't actually own any of these. Sorry, no time 4 cover collage this week. maybe this weekend I'll add it.)
1. S./Ship of Theseus - J.J. Abrams
Inspired by me almost checking this out of the library again yesterday, then putting it back with the reluctant realization that I have at least 7 other novels checked out within the past week and "no time to play with this right now." The whole thing looks fabulously complicated, with an aesthetically pleasing multimedia + differenlty colored text design and multiple layers of story, and I've been hoping to get to it for years now. But it would take me a few weeks to both concentrate on it and keep the story(s) straight in my head, I think, and I just don't know when I'll stop reading other stories long enough for that.
2. An edition of Books For You
Any old annotated bibliography of 20th century juvenile lit works for me, but I like the formatting of this series because it doesn't go too into depth and spoil the novel for people (like me) who use this type of resource to find books they're interested in reading, not just to judge what is suitable for purchase in a school library/classroom use. I use these a lot to find lost books for people via keyword search, but on the island I'd have a highlighter in hand and be able to really read all 250+ pages cover to cover.
3. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Price of Freedom - A.C. Crispin
Not only is it sometimes fun to read about the kind of setting you're in, this is quite a long novel about a young Captain Jack Sparrow, and even if I could find it (prices for 2ndhand copies are seriously out of this world), I'm not sure I'm as interested in pirate stories generally to make the time investment. But I could be convinced in this context!
4. Dragonwyck - Anya Seton
It's this or Rebecca, and frankly this compels me more even though Mom keeps begging me to read the latter (listen, I got burned by The [dull and slow-moving] Haunting already, and that one was short. It's gonna take me a while to trust again). It is, however, very long and full of old-fashioned writing for adults, so. It seems like a bit of a slow read, no matter how intriguing.
5. The Peacock Summer - Hannah Richell
Obviously I gotta bring one fat book w/ dual timelines and a fabulous old mansion/estate from a trusted author in that genre. This is the one I want most right now.
6. Amelia Unabridged - Ashley Schumacher
I know I'm obsessed right now and this could be replaced by another book in a year or even a few months' time, but right now this is the book I most want in the world to spend hours rereading, taking notes on, maybe writing fanfic for, imagining a subscription box's contents worth of stuff for, etc. (I can't believe this book was in a subscription box and it's even available for sale right now on eBay, but I'm lukewarm on everything except the letter from the author and the socks, and the latter -- sadly not the letter -- I'm pretty sure I can get elsewhere. so much whale stuff...when imaginary floating whales were the one thing I would like to delete from this story)
7. The Fairy Tale Girl - Susan Branch
An illustrated memoir by an incredible artist I would just like to pore over for a while.
8. She's Faking It - Kristin Rockaway
Because COME ON, Self, you've gotta bring some fluffy beach reads to the beach! This seems to be the only one on my Goodreads TBR that's even close to fitting the bill, but I've been dying to read this -- the idea of a young San Diego woman unwittingly becoming an Influencer is a delight.
(reserved in hopes I'll come up with a fluffy YA beach read -- somehow, finding one that appeals to me is proving difficult, even though literally HUNDREDS of options exist. I'm really gunning for one that specifically features a lot of time on the beach, preferably in Florida if not an actual tropical-paradise resort setting. Recs wanted! Not Even in Paradise)
10. One Was Lost - Natalie D. Richards
Admittedly, an island thriller would be better for my vacation than one set in regular woods, but I can't think of any of the former and I wanna read this SO bad, but my local library doesn't have it. (Psst. If you can think of any tropical island thriller recs, throw them my way! That book yesterday went by too fast and I still hunger for this genre.)
[EDIT: Oh man. Three weeks later, I stumbled upon the perfect one -- or so I think, since I haven't read it -- You're So Dead by Ash Parsons. "Pyre Festival" here I COME]
You know what else would have been a fun take on this topic? Books I'd bring on vacation with me right now -- if I were limited to books from my own collection! I haven't gone on vacation very often, especially for more than 1 night, but when I do choosing the books to bring along is the best part. I actually would not want to bring a Kindle with all the options; what's the fun in that?! Learn your own mind well enough to anticipate reading moods up to 7 days out, I say.
Anyway, time for the boilerplate:
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