I started listening to a podcast recently from the BBC where the premise of the program is you’re stranded on a desert island and you are allowed 3 albums (comedy albums & audio books count as well), 3 books (the Bible is out of the running, the Gideons reach apparently extends to deserted islands), and 1 luxury item (purely luxury, it’s too easy to say a boat) and why. The desert island question isn’t a new one but I thought it was an interesting way to tackle interviews with notable people and I think it reveals a little more about people than normal question answer sessions. It also got me thinking, what I would bring on a desert island.
– The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien: I know it’s kind of cheating since they’re broken up into three books but Tolkien meant for them to be one book and it was the publisher’s decision to break them up so I’ll side with the author’s original intentions. I love these books. Tolkien created a world you could get lost in, the detail and attention he paid to the lore of Middle Earth is astounding. I read this series the first time and got lost in the adventure, I’ve re-read it multiple times since to study the nuances of the world Tolkien imagined.
– The collected works of William Shakespeare: Yes I know cheating again, but hey if they make it a complete one bound book edition I’m going to say it counts. I’m not an obsessive Shakespeare fan, but his command of words makes my heart swell with joy when I read/see/hear his work. My favorite tragedy is Hamlet and comedy is Much Ado About Nothing. I would entertain myself on the island by performing the plays and basking in his genius.
– Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen: I probably have most of it committed to memory already but my well worn copy of this book continues to get a lot of use. The scene where Mr. Darcy goes to tell Elizabeth that he’s in love with her never fails to make my heart beat quicken with girlish delight.
– Set List by the Frames: If any of you have seen the movie Once you’ll be familiar with Glen Hansard. He is currently touring with the girl from that movie as the Swell Season, but before that he was longtime front man to a band called the Frames. I prefer the eccentric rock and roll style of the Frames. They are so much fun to see live, it feels like you’re at a pub watching one of your friends play. Glen often introduces a song with a short story of what inspired it, most of the time it’s funny, sometimes sad but always entertaining. Set List reminds me of this experience.
– In Rainbows by Radiohead: I know I’d want to have some Radiohead thrown into the mix but it was tough choosing one album. Kid-A and Ok Computer are notable contenders. There’s just something about In Rainbows that makes me happy, a stupid grin is often plastered to my face while listening.
– The Beatles Anthology (1-3): I was obsessed with the Beatles in 7th grade. When the Beatles anthology came out and played on TV I used to sneak downstairs with my sister to watch it since my parents didn’t allow us to watch TV on school nights. My siblings and I still quote lines from the movie A Hard Days Night. This was such a fun time for my siblings and me. I would pick this album not only for the great music but also the nostalgia it provides.
1 luxury item
– Saturday NPR programming: This was a tough one but when I thought about what would most distract me from the loneliness of a desert island my first thought was NPR. Yes this is ridiculously nerdy but those power hours when Car Talk is followed by Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, then This American Life and topped off with Radiolab make me never want to leave my car. Yes my idea of luxury isn’t diamonds* it’s listening to Ira Glass and Carl Kassel on the radio. (*I’m not opposed to diamonds though)
So what would you bring to your desert island?