Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Three Books for a Desert Island

What's the point of taking books along I've already read? Instead, what three books would you take along that you haven't read but are pretty sure you'd enjoy.

In other words, what books have you just not got around to yet? No matter how extensively you've read, there must be three.

These are my picks.


Anonymous said...

I'm going with the big brick books:

The Black Lizard Big Book of Pulps
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

BTW, The Friends of Eddie Coyle, is, right now, on my to-be-read stack in front of me.

pattinase (abbott) said...

The big brick books are good. But what if you were only going to be there for a week? I'm playing with these ideas for my panel at Bouchercon.

David Cranmer said...

1) The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
2) Oh, Murderer Mine by Norbert Davis
3) Mystery Mile by Margery Allingham

pattinase (abbott) said...

Never been able to get through Portrait either. I've read the short James books; Washington Square, Daisy Miller, The Turn of the Screw. But on the island, it might work out. Is the Allingham one long? I can't remember that one.

Randy Johnson said...

1: Duma Key - Stephen King
2: Chasing Darkness - Robert Crais
3: The Broken Window - Jeffery Deaver

These are all recent and based on if I were only going to be there for a week. I think I could probably get them read with nothing else to distract me.

Lesa said...

I'm taking one I just started - Dennis Lehane's The Given Day. That would last me for the week. I have the ARC of Louise Penny's new book, The Murder Stone, and I love Louise Penny. And, I have Zoe Sharp's new Charlie Fox book, Third Strike. Can I leave now for that island? It would give me time to read.

Scott D. Parker said...

Oh, well then, for a week's trip, I'd take these:

Hell of a Woman: An Anthology of Female Noir

American Skin by Ken Bruen

The Deep Blue Good-bye by John D. MacDonald

Anonymous said...

Uncle Silas - Sheridan Le Fanu
Detroit Massacre - Mike Barry (Barry N. Malzberg)
Texas Wind - James Reasoner

I love Le Fanu and have started Uncle Silas several times, but something always interfered. I need a chunk of time to savor this one.

The Malzberg is one of the middle books in the Lone Wolf PBO action series, and the only one I didn't have on hand when I read the series. When viewed as a 14-book novel, the series is truly stunning.

I just haven't got to the Reasoner; there was always one book ahead of it in my TBR pile.

What truly frustrates me is what is NOT in my TBR pile -- those books that are beyond my means and that I have not been able to beg, borrow or steal.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Can't wait to see what you think of the Lehane, Lesa. And Louise Penny-well tops.
I haven't been able to finish a King in a while although On Writing is my bible. I think horror is not my thing. Crais, I have on my shelf.
Love MacDonald and think, Scott, I read them as they came out.
Wow I never heard of Detroit Massacre. Have to check that out.

David Cranmer said...

I have been avoiding James for awhile because I'm told he's a little dry. So on a deserted island I won't be picky. I'm not sure on the size of the Allingham book but after reading a short story of hers for a Forgotten Books post a few weeks ago, I definitely want to read more of her work.

Kitty said...

1) "The Return," by Hakan Nesser. I read his "Borkmann's Point" and loved it. This continues with the same character.

2) "Death In Venice," by Thomas Mann. Ever since I saw the young boy (Russell Crowe's character as a boy) read it in "A Good Year," I've been interested in reading it, too.

3) "Murder in the Rue de Paradis," by Cara Black. I fell in love with the dust jacket, and then I read the first page.

I am the world's slowest reader, so three books in a week is an ambitious goal for me. Of course, I won't have pesky interruptions, like the Net and housework.


pattinase (abbott) said...

Have never read that one by Mann. Have also always meant to read Magic Mountain. I have read Buddenbrooks. Love those Cara Black covers too.
And I am the world's second slowest reader lately. My eyes just can't cut it.
Yes, James is slowwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

Anonymous said...

T.C. Boyle-Stories
Cormac McCarthy-Blood Meridian
Mark Twain-Adv of Huckleberry Finn

And speaking of The Friends of Eddie Coyle-when is someone going to releast the film version on DVD?Shamefully neglected with a wonderful performance by Robert Mitchum.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I have never seen it much to my dismay. How could they. T.C, Boyle-that guy can turn them out. Blood Meridian is my husband's all time favorite.

Todd Mason said...

I can't make out what your middle one is.

Two I've read some of, but haven't read all of:

ITALIAN FOLKTALES retold by Italo Calvino

...and I'll take one of the Stephen Jones triple-decker horror collections I've been meaning to get to, or one of Dennis Etchison's anthologies...Stephen King is hardly the epitome of horror, though I like his ON WRITING, as well, much better than the vast majority of his often derivative fiction. But I liked Damon Knight's CREATING SHORT FICTION and Kate Wilhelm's STORYTELLER better. And Joanna Russ's MAGIC MOMMAS, TREMBLING SISTERS, PURITANS AND PERVERTS and the recent THE COUNTRY YOU HAVE NEVER SEEN, Barry Malzberg's BREAKFAST IN THE RUINS, and so many more...

There's plenty of people for you to look at, yet...imagine trying to decide if you liked crime fiction on the basis of Lawrence Sanders or Robert Ludlum.

"My Hero" was pretty much horror.

r2 said...

Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon----I've started it twice, loved every moment of it, but something always kept me from finishing the book.

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll--I read it once every year or so. I love the wordplay.

The Black Lizard Book of Pulps---Own it but haven't gotten around to reading it yet.

pattinase (abbott) said...

The Friends of Eddie Coyle. Always meant to read it. I've read the Cheever stories many times. Loved him. Yes, woefully unread in horror. But at my slow pace, it may remain so.
Oh, I wish I could read Gravity's Rainbow. That whole group Barth, Barthelme, etc. elude me. Just like I don't get language poets or Philip Glass or minimalism. Some gene is missing. Alice-what a great choice.

Barrie said...

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood, The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory, A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

pattinase (abbott) said...

Oh, these are great choices. I should make a separate list of literary, children's and sci-fi which might make sense on that island.

Joe Boland said...

The Civil War: A Narrative, by Shelby Foote (3 volumes)

pattinase (abbott) said...

Joe-Pretty heavy duty for an island. I'm impressed.

Patti L said...

How about just the first volume of Shelby Foote's trilogy, if you're just on the island for a week? I would also take a title by Neal Stephenson (I've got an ARC of Anathem), and Wedding in December by Anita Shreve. I bought the Shreve title over a year ago, and I was interested in it because I heard that the storyline includes the Halifax explosion (I became fascinated with this event by watching a CBC production--go to
for more info).

pattinase (abbott) said...

Patti-I was just in Halifax and got interested in this. How timely. Thanks!

Jen Forbus said...

Patti, I'm making my response a post at my blog. Feel free to check it out...