Ask people to name a British radio show and, sooner or later, you will get Desert Island Discs. It’s a lovely, calm piece of radio in which celebrities talk about the eight songs they’d pick if cast away on a cushy desert island and why. It’s iconic. That’s probably why Imyril at One More decided to make a tag around it. It’s a wonderful idea from the wisest of bookwyrms and my taste clone, and so here I am to do it. If you want to do it, click through to the link to find the rules – 8 books (individual books), 1 piece of TV/Movie/Podcast, and 1 luxury item.
1. Desert Island Reads
- The Invisibles – Grant Morrison: Hi, my name is Peat, and the moment I hear of a challenge I start thinking of how to game the rules. Allowed a series as long as it’s in one book? Brilliant, let me bring along my 1536 page collection of an entire comic run. That’s what I call value for money! Bonus, the book is so heavy I could use it for hunting in a pinch. Or as a workout tool. It is the multitool of book choices. It’s also a supremely entertaining, hyper dense piece of art that I could read over and over, so perfect for my desert island soujourn.
- The Fionavar Tapestry – Guy Gavriel Kay: More omnibuses! This is one of my favourite trilogies and it’s been ages since I’ve read it, so perfect to bring along. It’s a beautiful story to lose yourself in and has a ton of different emotions and scenes worth rereading.
- Ombria in Shadow by Patricia McKillip: It’s time to do that thing where I pretend I read books I haven’t read before! McKillip is arguably the greatest author in the genre I’ve yet to read anything by and I really liked the little snippet I read of this World Fantasy Award winner. Yeah, the style’s a little dense, but hey, guess I’ll have a ton of time to get into it, right?
- Drenai Tales: Volume Three by David Gemmell: I’m going to need some lighter, quicker reads to go along with some of the behemoths I’m taking, and Gemmell’s thoughtful, violent heroic fantasies are exactly what I’m looking for here. I’d been going to take Winter Warriors, but research revealed there’s an omnibus including that book along with Hero in the Shadows (another great entry to the series) and The Legend of Deathwalker (been a long while since I read it) so I’ll take that instead. I’m not saying I’m going to know every omnibus in fantasy by the end of this, but it’s going to be close.
- The Craft Sequence by Max Gladstone: I’m not sure this has been published outside e-format, does that still count? I assume so. Imyril didn’t specify and shockingly enough, I’m interpretating all ambiguities in my favour. This is a great series and one I haven’t finished – there’s one book I DNFed and one book I haven’t done yet – so I get a little something old and something new. Perfect! Plus, it gives me a slightly feel of fantasy to what I’ve taken before. Everyone needs a varied diet.
- The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Tex Ox by Barry Hughart: Aha! Another omnibus edition of a great series where I haven’t read all the books yet. Best of all, this series is a very different take on fantasy with its scurrilous wit and Master Li’s roguish exploits. And it’s really good. There may be a slight flaw in Li Kao’s character, but there is non in these books.
- Penric’s Progress by Lois McMaster Bujold: Omnibuses are a little less satisfying when we’re talking about novellas, as this only grades out at normal novel size, but I really liked the first novella – witty, warm hearted, and full of intrigue – and want to dig into the series, so this would be a perfect time to do so.
- The Shepherd’s Crown by Sir Terry Pratchett: I thought about a lot of Discworlds I could take. But, well, decided on this one single one. The last one. The one I haven’t read because the part of me where sentimentality holds far too much sway can’t bear to read Pratchett’s final book. Well, I’ve got to read it sometime. All alone, wondering about mortality, all abandoned and dreaming of… potatoes? This isn’t the best book I could have brought – well, probably – but it’s the best book I could think of to close this list out.
Not a huge TV person, but I am a huge Avatar: The Last Airbender fan. I’ve already watched it twice so I know it’ll hold up to another few watches. Plus, I’ll need some inspiration in my enforced loneliness, and what better than watching Uncle Iroh dealing with his imprisonment?
3. I can’t do without…
Look, other than books, my favourite things are my wife and cat, food, music, and sports. Well, I guess I can’t watch sports with only one TV show (and you can’t play by yourself). The wife and cat aren’t just “objects”. Food, assuming survival isn’t super hard, will be taken care of on the island. That leaves music. What’s the biggest music collection I can get away with by Imyril’s rules? Whatever that is, I’m bringing it. If I can’t bring one, then I bring a guitar and finally learn to play it well.
That’s my list. Thanks again to Imyril for the inspiration – it’s been a fun tag.