Desert Island Reads

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.

Let’s go!

1. Desert Island Reads

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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?
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

2. TV/Movie/Podcast

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.

IMAGE CREDIT: pegasus image by Svetlana Alyuk on


14 thoughts on “Desert Island Reads

  1. Wait.



    …there are collected editions of The Craft Sequence and The Fionavar Tapestry? BRB, need to go update my Desert Island Read list.

    Luxury item: would be a single disc, you egregious cheat so you get the guitar as being most in the spirit of the rules as I’ll allow all your admirably broad interpretations of the rules to this point. It’s also in keeping with the spirit of the inspiration – apparently a piano is the most requested luxury item on Desert Island Discs!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You can get the first five books of the Craft Sequence as an omnibus for six quid or so on kindle. That’s how I got it and it’s just fantastic.

      Fionavar Tapestry I didn’t know about before this exercise but after my mind started that way, I decided it was worth looking to see and lo and behold. That’d cost… twenty five quid from Amazon. ‘kin ell.

      And guitar it is!


  2. I didn’t realize a post about desert island reads would destroy my TBR, but here we are.

    Genius of you to bring along all your omnibus editions! I have the individual versions of the Monstress comics and now I’m thinking the omnibus version might be necessary in case I’m every trapped on an island and can only have 8 books!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Woah, a fantasy author I’ve read that you haven’t, I never thought I’d see the day haha (McKillip). I like that you have included a book you haven’t read before. I am thinking of doing this tag and assumed I’d pick all favourites but maybe I should try something new as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I only found out about McKillip in the last few years, so I’ve yet to get round to reading her! I always get the impression she wasn’t super big commercially outside of the States.

      And I think a few new books is deffo a good thing for this!


  4. It *is* be a genius idea to take an omnibus of Patricia McKillip’s works to the desert island. Such a strong backlist! Ombria is great, but if you want to start with McKillip, I’d suggest Changeling Sea (lighter) or Forgotten Beasts of Eld, both standalones that make you think in new ways. ~Lex

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Alas, the only omibus I’m aware of is for the Riddlemaster of Hed, which I tried and didn’t get on with. I’ll bear what you said in mind – I’ve read a few samples and Forgotten Beasts feels very stodgy on the prose, I’ll have a look at Changeling Sea next.

      Liked by 1 person

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