Thursday, 16 September 2010

Desert Islands - A Meme for today.


Last night we decanted our Raspberry Vodka and our Blackcurrant Vodka - both are the most beautiful colour and taste so different - the raspberry has a much sharper taste. But both will make a welcome drink by the wood burner on a cold Winter's night. Now the demijohns are washed and sterilised and ready to receive the blackberries for the blackberry whisky. If I were to be deposited on a desert island I would hope I could have a bottle of that blackberry whisky with me.

And that brings me to today's meme - it is ages since I did one. Reading all your comments on yesterday's post about Maurice O'Sullivan's life on Blasket Island at the beginning of the twentieth century, it struck me how we choose who to blog with and that when we get our little 'coterie' of bloggers we find we have so much in common. So many of you either knew of the book or said you would now like to read it.

So - how about taking part in this?

You are about to be landed on a desert island from which there will be no escape for at least a year. You can take a bottle of your favourite tipple (see above) and you can take accoutrements for your favourite hobby (pencils and papers, paints and canvasses, binoculars etc.)and you can take just 5 books. So here is the meme - which five books on your shelves would you take for that year? I have listed mine below to start you off. I shall be fascinated to see what you all choose.

1. Ronald Blythe's 'Out of the Valley' - a book in diary form about the English countryside - I can read it at odd moments to remind myself of home.
2. Edwin Morgan's 'Collected Poems' - I should get plenty of inspiration from this to keep me attempting to write poetry throughout the year.
3. L M Montgomery's 'Anne of Green Gables' - for when I am too tired to read anything that requires much thinking. I have read it so many times that I almost know it off by heart. Sheer escapism.
4. Philip's 'World Atlas' - so that I can fantasise about where I will go when that boat arrives.
5. Ernest Shackleton's Writings - I am assuming my desert island is hot so to read the terrible adventures of a group of men in such cold conditions should give me hope.

Which five books would you choose? I do hope you join in and give us all an interesting read.

28 comments:

Rachel Fox said...

Oh, Anne of Green Gables! How i loved her!
Maybe you will write about her when I finally get round to doing that children's fiction Bus prompt next week. I wish I'd picked her now...
x

maggi said...

I would have to take books that I can read over and over with undiminished enjoyment. My five would be:-
Keri Hulme's The Bone People. To me an almost mystical book that explores relationships which seem to develop further each time you read it.
Jerome K Jerome's Three Men in a Boat in which the humour never fails to make me laugh out loud.
Laurie Lee's Cider with Rosie to allow me to make a nostalgic journey.
Homer' Iliad for its passion and excitement.
And because I can take the acoutrement for my hobby Jane Dunnewold's Art Cloth so that I can play without interruption.
Thanks for this Pat, what a good idea.

George said...

Here's my five books: The "Tao Te Ching;" "The Complete Poems of Plays" of T.S. Eliot; "A New Earth,' by Eckhart Tolle; "Zen: The Supreme Experience," by Alan Watts; "The Razor's Edge," by Somerset Maugham.

Heather said...

I would have to have some needlework to do plus a few mixed media materials, but only five books to last a whole year! Richard Mabey's Food for Free might be useful, and it would be a golden opportunity to get to grips with Simon Schama's A History of Britain. My father would be delighted as I hated history at school but it now fascinates me. For light relief I'd like the Orlando stories by Kathleen Hale (a favourite from childhood), Ken Follet's Pillars of the Earth which is waiting to be read and finally the plays and lyrics of Noel Coward. I was born just a bit too late to be able to appreciate him in his heyday. If you ask the same question next week I might give a different answer.

Reader Wil said...

"Anne of Green Gables" is wonderful.
I should like to take a book by Chaim Potok, by Daphne du Maurier,"The Gnome"by Rien Poortvliet( he was the illustrator of it),one of Dickens's books,"The bell" by Iris Murdoch. Actually it's too difficult to choose!

Rebecca said...

Your different vodkas both sound toothsome! Most of the results of my fruity foragings go to make jams or jellies, but something stronger to take us through the winter months would be nice, I often feel...

My five books would be (oh, so hard to choose!)

Herb of Grace by Elizabeth Goudge for when the days are long and my heart is weary; Secret Water by Arthur Ransome which would tell me everything I wanted to know about being marooned and dealings with the natives; The Oxford Pocket Dictionary to expand my vocabulary and provide nourishment for the brain; Farthest North by Fridtjhof Nansen for a much needed blast of northern chill; and Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian to read when I am sleepy and in need of something heartwarming.

Eryl said...

I loved Anne of Green Gables too, and had forgotten all about it until now. I will have to put her on my mental shopping list in the hope of stumbling upon her in a second-hand book shop.

You have me thinking hard about which five books I'd choose for a year on a desert island. It might be a good opportunity to actually finish Ulysses.

Esther Montgomery said...

There, and you have Edwin Morgan. Often have I faced blank expressions when I have enthused about his poetry.

I would probably need a couple of weeks to work out my list. Shame to say, laptop, internet and camera now take the place in my life which books, pencil and paper used to fill. And as for reading - I'd rather write. A dictionary would be good though. And an atlas.

Esther

Everton Terrace said...

Oh dear, how could I ever decide so quickly? I know books are going to pop into my head all day and I'll think "oh THAT should have been on my list" but this is a quick thought...

Bible - never read the whole thing, would be a good time and it's got everything, sex, death, crime, mystery etc.

Dictionary - exercise the mind and possibly become a better speller.

Complete works of Shakespeare - is that cheating?

Pride & Predjudice - I could read it every day and not tire, I know it seems lame but I really loved it.

Is there a "how to survive on a desert island" book? I'd take that, one that includes which plants you can eat and which beasts are friendly.

MorningAJ said...

Reaper Man, Terry Pratchett. I've read it so many times but I never tire of it. And I'll probably need a good laugh.
Kiss Me Like a Stranger. Gene Wilder's autobiography. It's a moving story about a highly talented man who is so insecure but finally overcomes it.
Leaves of Grass. Walt Whitman. I love Whitman's poetry but really need time to study more of it. I guess I'd have time on the island.
James Herriot's Yorkshire. For the pictures.
John Irving. A Prayer for Owen Meany. It's not the happiest of books - but it always leaves me with a sense of wonder.

Elephant's Eye said...

Anne of Green Gables? Here is a blogger who lives, where that book was set.
http://canoecorner.blogspot.com/2010/07/anne-who.html
Childhood memories of that book have led me to blogging as Diana of Elephant's Eye

Rare Lesser Spotted said...

This is a hard one, because I've not read many of the 'classics' but here's my five:
Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, I've read this every Christmas Eve for the last 30 years and it still makes me glow;
Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, a world major work of brilliance;
Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, essential reading for the curious about our language;
In Search of Shakespeare by Michael Wood, a brilliant historian talking about a brilliant historical figure;
The Power of NOW by Eckhart Tolle, a great way to live your life.
XX

mrsnesbitt said...

5 books ---
1. John Wain "Strike the Father Dead"
2. The Bible
3. The Daydreamer by ian Mckewan
4. The Ship that Flew by Hilda lewis
5. Will have a think!

The Solitary Walker said...

RS Thomas: Collected Poems
Tao Te Ching
DH Lawrence: Collected Works
Shakespeare: Collected Works
Thoreau: Collected Works

Course my selection would inevitably change the next day. (Dependent on amount of blackberry whisky consumed!)

gleaner said...

*Dictionary
*Walden by Thoreau
*Hermann Hesse, Pilgrim of Crisis by Ralph Freedman
*A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole (for the pure entertainment factor)
*Encyclopedia of philosophy

BT said...

Gosh this is hard. The Complete Works of Shakespeare came to mind first it it's allowed. I would learn all the leading ladies' speeches and practice them outloud!

A large Atlas to try and work out where I am!

With Everyone saying 'Anne of Green Gables', which I have never read, I would have to take that now.

A book of First World War Poetry which I find so evocative.

Wuthering Heights, which never fails to please me and transport me back to my Grandparents' house in Yorkshire.

Titus said...

Ooh, that looks good Weaver.
Lovely idea for a meme, and I like your choices. Especially the Shackleton - we own every Shackleton book ever in this house. He was the man Scott wasn't. And Thomas Crean! How could you not love Crean! And Worsley, of course, but Crean has my heart.
I will defintely play next week. End of, I suspect.

Dave King said...

Remembering, another day another lis, here is today's:-

Giotto's Frescoes
Ted Hugh Collected
Ulysses (probably because I am rereading it currently.)
Hugh McDiarmid Complete Poems (If you'll allow two volumes as one)
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

Golden West said...

I'd have to take along my sewing basket with embroidery floss and some lengths of linen to embellish. Bookwise, if sets are allowed, it would be the 11 volumes of The Story of Civilization by Will and Ariel Durant, the two volumes of Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America and a copy of the Bible. That should keep me busy for at least a year and give me plenty to ponder as I embroider!

Poet in Residence said...

Goes to shelf. Ponders. Comes back with:
1. The Man Without Qualities - Robert Musil (because it's so thick I'll never get to read it otherwise)
2. 100 Selected Stories - O Henry
(2 stories for each week)
3. Greetings Carbon-Based Bipeds - Arthur C Clarke (for when I'm looking at the stars)
4. Poem for the Day - Nicholas Albery (favourite anthology)
5. Van Gogh - Walther & Metzger (some nice paintings to look at)
and a barrel of blackberry whisky!

The Weaver of Grass said...

If we put all these together on our desert island we would have quite a library to go at. Maybe it would be better to be marooned there for two years rather than one, so that we have time to read them all.
Thanks for joining in.

Heather said...

I forgot all about the tipple Pat. That says it all really - alcohol has never done anything for me. One sniff of it and I'm squiffy, so a supply of good tea would suit me. Nothing fancy, just good old fashioned tea.

MorningAJ said...

Now I've read everyone else's suggestions I'd like an additional five, please!
* Jerome K Jerome's Three Men in a Boat
* Herb of Grace by Elizabeth Goudge
* a "how to survive on a desert island" book
* Walden by Thoreau
* A book of First World War Poetry

Granny Sue said...

5 books--boy, that's a tough one.
1. my notebook of my own poems, if that would count as a book. Those are the story of me, and egoist that I am (aren't we all, really) they have much meaning for me.
2. Joy of Cooking---hey, it's full of information, even for preparing food on a desert island probably.
3. Ted Kooser's Winter Walks poems.
4. Ocean of Story (can I take all 10 volumes, though?)
5. a practical book of some sort on surviving in the wild. I know a lot of things but any help would be useful.

Steve said...

Now, the bottles are washed and sterilized and ready to receive the berries ripe for the whiskey. If I were to be deposited on a desert island I hope that I could have a bottle of whiskey with my BlackBerry.

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ronierichard said...

You can take a bottle of your favorite drink (see above) and you can take your hobby supplies (pencils and paper, paints and canvases, binoculars, etc.) and can take only 5 books. So here's the meme - the five books on their shelves that will take for that year? I have mine listed below to begin. I'll be fascinating to see what you all choose.

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