These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Monday, August 07, 2006

a book, a book, my sanity for a book

i've wondered what would happen if i got stranded on a deserted island. i'd probably go mad, eat lots of coconuts and get a good tan while there.

one thing i'd hate about being stranded on a deserted island is no abundance fo books to read and keep myself entertained. then i thought, what if i could choose the 10 books i'd like to be stuck with on that island. purely hypothetical, since if i was to be stuck on an island, any book i'd take with me overboard would be lost at sea.

however, here is a list of books i'd like to have magically appear on that island. i set the list at 10 books because otherwise i could go on forever.

here is a list in no particular order and a reason why i'd like that book.

1) Watership Down. yes i know it's a book fantasy book about the adventures of rabbbits as they try to find the perfect warren. i'm reading the book now and it's the third time in six years or so. every time i read it i get transported into the book and it makes me feel good.

2) Moby Dick. it's one of my all-time favorite books, both in literature and for pleasure reading. it's quite a tale and every time i read it, i find something new in it that i hadn't read before. great chapters on whaling and on the sea. plus, it's such a long book that i would take me forever to read it.

3) The Sun Also Rises. i enjoy reading most of hemingway's works. this is supposed to be his classic work. there is lots of intensity in it, bullfighting, love, fishing, drinking, betrayal. it's a stripped-down book based on real people and events in france and spain. it was a toss-up between it and "A Moveable Feast," which is a memoir written shortly before his suicide about the 1920s in paris.

4) The Stand. it's widely considered stephen king's best book. again, there are a few more i really enjoy reading and rereading, but i think the sheer volume of it and the storylines and imagination provide a great read. however, since it's about a plague that kills off most people in the world, there is a sense of loneliness about it and i might freak. still, it's in the list.

5) Roads. it's a non-fiction by mcmurtry. it's probably one of my faves from him. in it, he details drives he's taken throughout the country and talks about what he finds there. it's a nice travel bok. chapters are titled by interstates. he does travel up to michigan on I-75. with mcmurtry, though, i could have pickd any number of books. he's really good. his fiction and non-fiction alike.

6) The World Almanac. i'd like the latest version of the almanac. it pretty much has facts up the wazoo about anything you'd want to know from countries, entertainment, politics, all types of info. from the past and about the US. the book is about 1,000 pages and going through it at random could keep me going for a long time.

7) A World Atlas. i love looking at maps (either US or world maps of other countries). i like looking at places i've never traveled to and probably never will, looking at the proximity of one country to another, who makes up the country's population and everything there is to know about countries.i could easily spend an afternoon flipping through an atlas.

8) An Animal Book. i'd like a rally good detailed book about animals, all types, with pictures and descriptions about each, describing all characteristics anf facts. that way, maybe i'd know which are edible on the island for me to eat.

9) The OED. i figure i could leaf through it and randomly read up on any word in the english language and its origins. plus, it would keep my mind fresh. i could repeat the word aloud and make sentences out of ech word and keep my vocal ability alive. if not, i'd lose it in time for sure. it would also improve my mental capacity, which would be stimulating.

10) Vidoe Hound book. i'd get the newest version of the book, which contains thousands of entried on every movie ever made, who starred, directed, provided music for, wrote it and awards it one, year it was made and how long the movie runs. it has sections on movie stars, alphabetical, with every movie they've made. ditto for directors and composers and another section for awards. i figure i could run the movie in my head and provide entertainment that way. for the movies i haven't seen, i'd read the description of the movie that's in the book and create and make up my own movie.

i'm sure i could have picked other books. 'm sure some people reading thsi would scoff at some of my selections. but i think thse books would keep me entertained.

next time i'll try for the 10 albums i'd like to have on a deserted island (with an unlimited supply of batteries for the cd player, of course.) that will be a challenge.


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