Top Ten Tuesday: Desert Island Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. In it, each week there’s a new topic in which each blogger picks books that fit into that category for them. This week, I positively love the topic. Which books would I choose to have with me if I were stranded on a desert island? These are books I could re-read a million times and never tire of them. I might have some tough choices here to find just 10, but let’s get started.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Long held to be one of my all-time favorite classics, I love this book for its incredible story and for its important place in the literary canon as the first science fiction book. Mary Shelley is one of the most fascinating and awe inspiring authors, and I could read this book multiple times and never tire of it. The only thing I don’t like about this book is how much the Frankenstein concept is butchered in pop culture. What a travesty!

I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb

This may seem like an odd choice, because it’s a heavy book. But it’s a beautiful, human story that I could read so many times and glean something new each time. Whenever someone asks me to name a favorite book, this title springs to my lips more often than others. It’s positively incredible.

Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

This book is simply rich in so many of the things I love. It’s dark but incredibly lyrical and moving with a beautiful cast of characters. There’s murder and intrigue and, most importantly, a mystery involving old books. It’s a treat to read and I could never tire of it.

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

I have to have a Kingsolver book, and this one is her masterpiece. It’s an incredible piece of fiction. Thought it’s dark and more than a bit depressing, it’s one of the most amazing pieces of literature I’ve ever read and has long been considered a favorite. I would need to return to this book.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Another classic that I wouldn’t want to be without. This is one of the quintessential books in the literary canon that everyone should read at one point or another. It’s dark and brooding but in possession of an incredible amount of lyricism. There’s so much truth behind Wilde’s words, and he’s a genius that’s nearly unparalleled.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

I will always love this book. Jane is my favorite literary heroine, and I never tire of reading this or seeing the various movie adaptations of it. I positively adore this book!

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

I have to have at least one Liane Moriarty book. She’s witty, snarky, but also a genius at crafting an amazing mystery. This book is my favorite of hers, but honestly I could have any one of them and be happy about it. This would be for those days I want something lighter but still incredibly compelling.

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

I need the fun books. Andy Weir has an incredible wit, and he’s amazing at writing believable and fun dialogue. This book was one of my favorites I read all year and I think I could read it a million times and not tire of the humor. Either this or The Martian I would be very satisfied with on a desert island.

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

This book really wowed me when I first read it in 2009. It quickly became one of my favorites. A modern gothic tale about an old house, a family mystery, and the ghosts of the past. It’s beautiful, lyrical and strange in all the best ways. I would love to revisit this book over and over.

And finally…

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

One of the most wonderful, detailed and thoroughly researched speculative fiction reads I’ve ever read. Russell has an incredible intellect, and she draws from her expertise in cultural anthropology to create an amazing story about our future contact with alien life. It’s a must read for science fiction fans, but it’s one I rarely see mentioned by sci-fi lovers, which is a shame.


About Amy @ A Librarian and Her Books

I'm a law librarian from the state of Missouri and a graduate of Missouri State University and the University of Missouri-Columbia. My real passion is in fiction, which is why I started my blog to share my thoughts with other bibliophiles. I live with my husband and two wonderful children and a collection of furry feline companions.
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20 Responses to Top Ten Tuesday: Desert Island Books

  1. Fabulous list! I’ve read them all except The Thirteenth Tale, which has been on my to-read list for ages now. I do need to re-read Frankenstein — I think I read it originally as a school assignment and didn’t really appreciate it at the time (sadly true for so many require reading books). Regarding The Sparrow, not only is it great science fiction, but I also find that it’s one of the few science fiction books that I can share with non-sci-fi readers and they’ll connect to it as well.

  2. I agree with you about Frankenstein! I actually avoided reading it because of pop culture, so I’m so glad I gave it a chance.

    Jane Eyre is such a great choice. I’ll always love that one.

  3. Angela says:

    Your list is fantastic! So many great titles.

  4. Great list! I really want to read The Thirteenth Tale and The Shadow of the Wind.

  5. I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, and Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty are excellent choices for a desert island! I really need to read Frankenstein… It’s been on my list of books to read for years!
    Here’s my list!

  6. Susan says:

    I’ve read BIG LITTLE LIES and THE THIRTEENTH TALE. I loved the former (and most of Moriarty’s others as well), but I really can’t remember the latter. I think I liked it?? Anyway, great list!

    Happy TTT!


  7. stefani says:

    The Shadow of the Wind is a brilliant book. Happy reading. My TTT

  8. Cindy Davis says:

    I’ve only heard of a couple of your books, but Jane Eyre is a childhood favorite of mine. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Adira says:

    I’ve been wanting to read The Shadow of the Wind and The Poisonwood Bible for years.

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