As we headed into the weekend, a post from A Great Book Study and Marian drew my attention to a little survey or game created by Classic Reader, called “Treasure Island”.The premise is that you are stuck on a Treasure Island for a year, marooned by a parasailing accident. On the island, however, are books to spend that year with! The books are made up of the following:
8 books you have read of your choice
1 books which you have never read before.
1 ‘the complete works of’.
So, what can I come up with?
1. Eight books of my choice
Reflections on the Psalms, C.S. Lewis. This is a twofer: my favorite Jack and the Bible.
The Meditations, Marcus Aurelius. If anyone can make me feel better about being trapped on an island by myself, it would be the lonely stoic.
40 Nights to Knowing the Sky, Fred Schaaf. I assume this treasure island will be in a dark-sky site, giving me the opportunity to stargaze – something I can never really do now, since even in the country there are blasted orange-amber lights spoiling things.
11/23/63, Stephen King. My favorite King novel, and an interesting mix of historical fiction, metaphysical creeps, and a beautiful love story.
The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien. Alone on an island, I suspect I would crave adventure, a rich world to escape in, and a reminder of the good, true, and beautiful.
The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. I’ve loved this book since 2003, but I was torn, torn, torn between this and P.G. Wodehouse. Wodehouse is funnier, more innocently joyful — but for years and years this book was the top of my “The house is burning and I can only grab one book” list, so I have to include it here for tradition’s sake. It was, prior to Wodehouse, the funniest one-volume set of stories I’d ever read.
My list of eight is very lowbrow compared to the others I’ve seen, but I figure — I’m an island by myself. I need to find what joys I can!
2. One book I’ve never read before
The Shahnameh, because it’s huuuuuuuuuuuuge. I’m hoping to read it this year across
several months, and had planned on kicking off on March 19 (the New Year celebration in Persian & broader Iranian culture), but I’m also developing a Lent mini-series that it might conflict with, not to mention Read of England.
3. One “complete works of”
This one was the easiest, as I pick Isaac Asimov. Asimov wrote hundreds of books, in a staggering variety of subjects. Mostly known for his science fiction, Asimov penned scores of science and history books, as well as books on various bits of literature, from Bible commentaries to poetry evaluation. He also wrote mysteries a-plenty. I’ve read almost all of his fiction, but his science essays are so great in number that I suspect I could build a nice shelter for myself just from them!