One Island, Three Books

Ok here we go with the old stranded on a deserted island chestnut.
Now suppose you were stranded on a deserted island (not “desert island” as so many improperly say), and you could only bring three books with you, all fiction, all novels. Which do you choose?
I choose:

  1. Herman Melville, Moby Dick (1851)
  2. James Joyce, Ulysses (1922)
  3. Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow (1973)

Now have at it, mavens.

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11 thoughts on “One Island, Three Books”

  1. A huge book that teaches you a language and another book in that language. That could keep you busy. For example, a huge Russian textbook and a copy of war and peace in Russian. Just trying to think outside the box.

  2. zero books. people read books to have adventure. if you were on an island I would say that you were having an adventure. I didn’t read much in my life. being out in the boat or running my dogs in the swamp was great adventure and didn’t leave much time for reading. keep in mind that as soon as you stop moving on an island the crabs start to eat you like they did with amielia. I would say that the daily choirs for survival would leave you with little time. all of my iq is spent on mechanical devises. reading a magazine on how to extract water for survival from a popular mechanics would be all I needed. on gilligans island I would be the professor. if anyone had their pick of how best describes them in the old citcom gilligans island who would you be.

      1. 1 how-to guide on boat building.
        1 how-how to guide to living off grid.
        1 russian brides catalogue.
        That’s 3 . You would probably be better off starting to write your own books for entertainment, depending on how long y’all are there. I can imagine only 3 books would have you bored in a few days.

      2. I don’t remember Maryann looking like that. But I’ll bet after a couple if months it wouldn’t matter.

  3. You guys are not paying attention. He said,”…all fiction, all novels…”
    Difficult choice. I haven’t read James Joyce Ulysses (1922) or Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow. If I’m reading just for enjoyment I usually read Sci-fi. I don’t think you mean sci-fi so…
    1.Mark Twain-“The Innocents Abroad or The New Pilgrims’ Progress” I see this as a fiction book even though it’s supposedly a travel book.
    2.Charles Dickens-Great Expectations
    3.Lev Tolstoy – War and Peace (Gonna have a lot of time)
    I know you didn’t ask but Sci-fi
    1. Frank Herbert-Dune(The first three volumes I think you can get in one book)
    2.Larry Niven-Ringworld or maybe The Best of Larry Niven. Can’t decide.
    3.S.M. Stirling-Marching Through Georgia
    This is off topic but after running across this article I immediately thought of you and the long post you did with pictures of India. India. Yuck! Notice how the headline makes you suspect the Muslims as being the dirty ones.
    “Open defecation solves the child mortality puzzle among Indian Muslims”

  4. 1.) Luigi Serafini, Codex Seraphinianus (1981)
    2.) William Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus (1590s)
    3.) Marquis de Sade, Justine (1791)

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