Friday, April 26, 2013

Books for a Castaway Writer

Sorry to be late today. I'm in the middle of a symposium here at school 

As you may recall, I am now on Twitter (@FrankieYBailey). I am finding it rather fascinating -- not because I have picked up huge numbers of "followers" or become convinced that this form of social media is what I should focus on in my efforts to reach readers. But it is a marvelous place to both follow fascinating people (e.g., William Shatner -- I am still a Trekkie) and keep up with what's happening (e.g., PBS). Lots of writers are there. And sometimes people pose interesting questions that produce almost instant replies. For example, a recent question about five favorite crime films. I was among those who responded to that one.

That question got me thinking about another perennial favorite among such questions. What five books you would want to have in your waterproof knapsack if you were shipwrecked on an island? I admit that I have gone back and forth on this one over the years. But I think I may have finally settled on books that would keep me amused, occupied, inspired, and might help me survive until I'm rescued. Here are my five: (1) The Complete Works of William Shakespeare; (2) Alice in Wonderland; (3) The U.S. Army Survival Manual; (4) War and Peace; (5) Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide.

You're probably wondering about number five. Maltin's annual movie guide would remind me of all of the movies I've seen in my lifetime. I could replay them in my mind. And, who knows? Remembering what Tom Hank's did when he was strayed, in conjunction with my Army survival manual, might just get me off my island. If not, I can finally read all of War and Peace. And then I can settle down to re-read all of Shakespeare and use his work as inspiration for multiple plots for new books that I can write if I can improvise writing instruments and paper. If not, I'll write in the sand and read Alice in Wonderland as my words are washed away by the tide. But I will certainly survive. Sooner or later, someone will see my SOS. And I will be quite sane when they find me. . .

What five books would you want to have in your knapsack?


Shelia Clark said...

Wow, this is difficult limiting it to five. But I would have to have a compilation of Sherlock Holmes, "To Kill A Mockingbird," an Agatha Christie compilation and your "Lizzie Stuart" mystery series.

Yep, I would find these to have a calming effect for awhile.

Shelia Clark - VDay

j welling said...

_The Big Sleep_, _Commentaries on the Gallic Wars_, _Notes from the Underground_, _The Tragedy of Richard III_, _Roughing It_.

I'd be happy to have any five, really. A variety of things. Maybe _The Old Man and the Sea_ if just one. The prose, the story: it's enough to end my days upon.

Frankie Y. Bailey said...


Thanks for including Lizzie on your list! I thought of "To Kill a Mockingbird," too. I would be able to hear Scout's voice in my head.

Frankie Y. Bailey said...

j welling

I agree absolutely about Richard III.
Have to add "Commentaries on the Gallic Wars" to my TBR to see if it makes my list.

Charlotte Hinger said...

I'll have to think about that. Provided I ever want to get off the island--which is doubtful some days--there's a book called How Things Work. It tells you how to make anything you might need.

Frankie Y. Bailey said...

I have seen that book, Charlotte. In fact, I think I bought it because I remember looking through it (an indication that I have way too many books when I can't remember what i have).
It would compete with the Army survivor guide on my list. I'm fond of the Army manual because, Lizzie, my crime historian was reading it in my last book and it came in really handy in the end.

And, I'm with you. A few weeks on a deserted island might actually be relaxing.