Do you remember in the 90’s when everyone was really into icebreakers? For you younger readers, an icebreaker was a question asked in meetings, hangouts, and other social situations to prevent the awkwardness one feels from having to speak first or converse without a topic. The thing about icebreakers was the questions were usually ones that would take a lot of thought, but you only had a few seconds to come up with an answer.

If you HAD to give up one of your senses, which would it be and why? There is a little bit of analysis needed here, right? I mean, this is a really loaded question.

If you had a time machine that would work only once, what point in the future or in history would you visit? I don’t know about you but this question takes a lot of thought. The machine only works once, which means I won’t be coming home. I have to get this right!

Ok, so you get the idea. The icebreaker that I heard most often went something like this:

If you were stranded on a desert island, what one object would you bring and why? (Variations include, what food would you choose to eat FOREVER? and who would you want to be stranded with you?)

I’m not sure why, but this desert isle icebreaker popped into my head the other day while I was packing my books for our big move and I thought, hmmm…which of these books would I be willing to read over and over, potentially forever. And so, without further ado, my list of three books I would want with me should I ever become stranded on a desert island.

#1 The Secret History by Donna Tartt

The Secret History

I bet you guys are sick of hearing about this book. Too bad. It is my all-time favorite and, since I read it every year anyway, I’m bringing it with me. Not only will it entertain me in my loneliness, it’s pretty thick so I can use it to reach bananas from the tops of the tall trees that shade my palm branch lean-to.

#2 The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

the remains of the day

Another staple in my literary diet that would keep my mind off the scorching sun and terrible thunderstorms that alternately plague me in my new home. This book would encourage self introspection while I huddle away from the rays and the rain.

#3 The Failure of Certain Charms by Gordon Henry

the failure of certain charms

I think learning to exist alone on an island demands poetry. Something full of meaning and beauty and truth, that can be read in a relatively short period of time, between gathering kindling for my rescue bonfire and fishing for shoal fish with a safety-pin and some thread from the hem of my dress. This book will fit the bill nicely.

What about you? What three books would you take with you on a pleasure cruise, knowing they may be all that keeps you sane on a desert island?


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