I had a plan for this week’s post.
The plan was this. Here in the UK there’s a radio show called Desert Island Discs. It’s been running for decades – literally; the first one was in January 1942, and it’s now on its fourth presenter. The premise, for those not in the know, is that a celebrity with an interesting past chooses the eight records (it dates back before the days of vinyl) they would want with them if they were cast away on a desert island. Don’t ask me why it’s eight, and definitely don’t ask me how they’re going to play them. It’s just a radio show.
Music doesn’t do it for me; if I was choosing my eight discs they would include things like the original recording of Under Milk Wood with Richard Burton, and a wonderful long-player I’ve owned since I was fifteen (I think it’s only available in vinyl), of excerpts from Hamlet, also with Richard Burton.
So rather than discs, for purposes of this week’s post, I was going to choose my eight desert island books. Which in one way is far more practical than discs.
Except now I’m on the spot, and forced to make the choice, I’m finding it difficult bordering on impossible – OK, just impossible – to pare the list down much below twenty. And even then, I want Complete Works compendium versions of so many authors’ books that it’s pretty clear how I’m going to end up on the desert island in the first place: the ship will sink under the weight of all those books. And no, I don’t want them on an e-reader, thank you very much; my usual objections aside, there’d be nowhere to recharge it.
So, to give myself more time to consider the extremely important issue of which eight books am I totally unable to live without, I’m sending out a challenge.
Which eight books, or failing that which eight authors, would you want to find on your desert island?
No prizes or giveaways. Though maybe I’ll get some titles to add to my book wishlist.