Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d Want With Me While Stranded on a Deserted Island

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Arial shot of waves gently lapping against a large sandy beach. Someone has scratched the world aloha into the sand. I’m taking a fairly practical approach to this week’s topic because we don’t know what kind of deserted island this is!

Are all of the necessities of life somehow provided there?

Will our cellphones, tablets, laptops, and other electronic devices work if we remember to pack solar recharging units for them? Let’s assume WiFi won’t be a problem either.

Is the temperature moderate enough to keep you fairly comfortable throughout the day and night?

Are there many dangerous animals, plants, or other features of the island?

If we were travelling together, I’d be the sort of person who had some spare sunscreen, shelf-stable food, medication, and first aid supplies to share if anyone needed them.

What can I say?

I enjoy life and vacations more if I’m prepared for the unexpected. Some of these answers are honestly pretty self-explanatory, but I will go into detail about the rest.

1. Outdoor Medical Emergency Handbook: First Aid for Travelers, Backpackers and Adventurers by Spike Briggs, Campbell Mackenzie


2. Complete Guide to Fresh and Saltwater Fishing: Conventional Tackle. Fly Fishing. Spinning. Ice Fishing. Lures. Flies. Natural Baits. Knots. Filleting. Cooking. Game Fish Species. Boating by Vin T. Sparano



3. Edible Plants of the Hawaiian Islands and Tropical Regions by Tyler Harris

This wouldn’t cover every island or biome out there, of course, but at least it would give an idea of what to look for when seeking out edible wild plants in tropical climates which I’m quite unfamiliar with.



4. How to Invent Everything: A Survival Guide for the Stranded Time Traveler by Ryan North

I suspect this would be mostly good for entertainment, but it might have some good advice for building things I needed on the island, too.


5. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

There’s nothing about islands or survival in this story. I chose it because I enjoy rereading it every few years and it’s long enough not to get through too quickly.


Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir book cover. Image on cover shows an astronaut floating through space while tethered to their ship. There is a large sun or planet in the background.


6. Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir (My review)

I adored this daring adventure and rescue tale. It seems perfect to revisit it while on a deserted island.


7. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

I DNF this book a few months ago. Maybe this would be the perfect time to try it again? So many people have loved it.


8. The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson

9. The Collected Poems by Langston Hughes

10. Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver by Mary Oliver

My final three selections are all poets I really loved back when I was more into this genre. Sometimes I’d read their poetry when I didn’t have the attention span to read a full-length novel.

It seemed like a good idea to include short, easy options in this list. This is especially true since all three of these poets excel at writing things that can feel more meaningful when read out loud.


Filed under Blog Hops

85 Responses to Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d Want With Me While Stranded on a Deserted Island

  1. Great list! A book on edible plants would be VERY useful.

  2. Poetry was a great call! Short (sometimes) but that take time to digest!

  3. Great list! Books on fishing and edible plants would be perfect to take along.

  4. Great choices! I like that you went for some really useful ones.

  5. Your nonfiction picks are amazing! That didn’t even occur to me 😂

  6. Perfect choices! I only included one survival book, but I like your practical approach of thinking about all necessities. The fishing book is a brilliant choice!! And I’d bring Jane Eyre too. 🙂

  7. See, you were way more practical than I was! You will likely survive and I will starve. 😂

  8. How-to books would be very helpful, I think. And poetry would definitely be appreciated.

  9. Amy

    Sadly, I probably won’t make it too long because I didn’t think to include survival books! Oh well, at least I’ll have enjoyable reads before I die!

  10. Why didn’t I think of those survival handbooks!?!? Good call!

  11. Haha, I love your approach to the topic. I’d bring a few survival guides and a bunch of thick classics. If I don’t like them, I can burn the pages to stay warm!

  12. I’ve seen a couple people that have been smart and spent half their choices on practical books. I went with books I loved all the way around. Jane Eyre made my list, too!

  13. Great and practical list. I also really love Jane Eyre.

  14. Very practical list! And I love the addition of poetry… after all, being stranded on a desert island would give you lots of time to memorize your favorites!

    My TTT

  15. I love your list! Definitely some great choices there. I like the practical approach and the options you picked for pure entertainment value were top-notch as well.

  16. Poinsettia

    I love how part of your list is very practical and the other is fun! Jane Eyre is a great choice!

  17. Very practical list, if anyone survives this island it will be you! If you have actually read this books you would be a very helpful person! I have been recommended Hail Mary a few times, looking forward to reading that (after loving the Martian). Kat x

    • Thank you.

      I haven’t read those specific survival books, but I have read others on the same topic. I know how to handle a medical emergency.

      Just don’t ask me if any mushrooms or berries are safe to eat. I’m still learning how to safely identify them. LOL.

  18. Ah ha! Very practical! And Project Hail Mary is inspirational for problem solving! Great list!

  19. Love the combination of practical books and books for enjoyment 🙂

  20. You should make it till the ship comes! Good choices.

  21. I definitely thought about the kinds of books I’d NEED on a desert island versus the ones I want. But I’m pretty sure I’d perish even with a good survival guide, so I went with books I love. It’s daring of you to bring a DNF with you! I liked Mexican Gothic but it’s not a genre I love. I liked Gods of Jade and Shadow better. I love your idea to bring poetry, which I don’t read nearly enough.

  22. You’re definitely the kind of person I’d want to be trapped on a deserted island with – you’re so prepared! Although I’m not sure I’d be willing to bring a DNF as one of my books lol.

  23. Jo

    Ooh you went very practical here. I definitely did not!

  24. ooo that medical emergency handbook would be a good one to have!

  25. You were a fair bit more practical then me, but I’m not surprised, lol. I really need to get around to reading Hail Mary, the reviews have been good so far, and if you liked it, that gives me hope I will too!

  26. I love how you found those survival books! And I should have thought about Jane Eyre. Great choice!

  27. Solar powered devices – now I never thought of that! I think you’d be lucky to get wifi though (nice try however)

  28. Those practical books are a very good idea!

  29. It seems I wasn’t too worried about surviving, just enjoyment. Nice choices.

  30. To be honest, I should probably have chosen something like this – I’m definitely not cut out for life on a deserted island.

  31. I’m pretty prepared in general, but I have no survival skills whatsoever, so I wouldn’t be very helpful on a deserted island where finding food and shelter and staying out of danger were an issue. If it were a totally stocked island and I didn’t have to do anything but relax? I’d do awesome! Ha ha.

    Happy TTT!


  32. I love how you came up with so many practical books for your list. 🙂

  33. Stefani

    I read Project Hail Mary this month, one of my most anticipated read of the year. The audiobook is fantastic also. Happy reading! My TTT

  34. Nice choices!I was more worried about being entertained than surviving like you lol

  35. Great picks, I love the mix of practical and entertaining. Always a smart idea to pick some beloved books to reread.

  36. Well done, Lydia. Being the book nerd I am, I never even thought about survival books, just that I’d have all the time in the world to read. LOL

    My TTT.

  37. I loved the practical books you picked! It makes perfect sense. 🙂

  38. I love that yo chose some practical books to take with you … going to be honest, that never even crossed my mind! Probably doesn’t bode well for my survival out there.

  39. Jane Eyre is a great choice! And I love all of your practical selections as well. I also really want to read Project Hail Mary and Mexican Gothic. Great list!

  40. Never bad to have some practical choices, too! Unless it’s a “fun” stranded island situation, I probably wouldn’t survive. 😛 Thanks so much for visiting Finding Wonderland last week, Lydia.

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