Great Books Week- Monday’s Topic

The National Association of Independent Writers & Editors is sponsoring the Great Books Week Blog Tour by posing a series of questions for thoughtful discussion about Great Books.

Since we like nothing more than talking about books… well, except for reading said books, we were happy to jump into the discussion and hopefully our readers will too.

So here we go with the first Great Books Week Topic:

Monday’s Topic
If I were stranded alone on a deserted island with only seven books to read over the next few years, I would like to have…

    Well… I can tell you, my list will not be the traditional list of classics. You know- those books that people love to claim they’ve read because it makes them appear more worldly or better read than their conversational companions. To me, the books you love are a very personal thing, on the same par with the music that moves you and the art that inspires you. It’s a very subjective thing and unique to each individuals taste.

    With that said, I will offer my own list and encourage all of you reading this to think about the question and post your own list in the comments section below. Remember… be honest.

My List of Seven ‘Stranded on a Deserted Island Books’ :

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell – Yes, it’s probably a fairly common choice- at least among southern women, but it’s a great story. It has all the elements of an epic read: death, destruction, romance, tradition ( both the dark and good side), family, war, poverty, the transition of a society. Not to mention- it’s as thick as a brick and will occupy me for a good little while.

It by Stephen King – Of all of Stephen King’s books, this has always been my favorite. Not The Stand or The Shining as many King fans say, but It. I’ve been a fan of his for a few decades, and I’ve noticed- that with the exception of The Green Mile– the King books I like best center around his writing about kids. I love this one because it’s not just your standard horror story. It taps into our basic childhood fears… the ones we never entirely leave behind. It is also a great story of misfits and loyalty and honor and keeping a solemn vow… no matter how much it scares you. I’ve read this one a dozen times over and it still gets me.

The Tiger’s Woman by Celeste de Blasis- Yes, a romance novel. Tell me one woman who would complete this list truthfully and not include at least one romance novel, and I’ll wonder a bit about her honesty. I love a great story and a great romance is always nice, and this has both. It also has some interesting historical references, beautifully described locations and some of the most interesting and multi-dimensional characters I’ve ever read.

South of Broad by Pat Conroy- I was never a huge fan of Pat Conroy. Some of his books I liked, others… no so much. This one, I really loved. The characters were beautifully drawn and incredibly diverse, but it was the central character- Leo , that really made me fall in love with this story. Of course, the other central character of the book is Charleston itself and there is no one who reveals this beautiful and complicated city better.

The Winner by David Baldacci- This book ( his third) was my first introduction to Baldacci- who is from my hometown. It remains my favorite of all his books. It taps into all those elemental emotions; greed, desperation, power, honor, and it makes you ask yourself what you would do if you were given the choice LuAnne was given. It’s a great ride and a wonderful read.

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman- One of the best books I have ever read- especially by a debut author. This is a breathtakingly poignant story of a twelve year old girl who has spent the majority of her life caring for and coping with a mother who is largely absent from reality and a father is just mostly absent. When her mother dies in a tragic accident, her father sends CeeCee to live with her aunt in Savannah. While CeeCee sees this anything but good, it turns out to be her saving grace. CeeCee goes from being virtually motherless to being surrounded by mothering figures. She transforms from a shy, ostracized child to a caring and courageous friend. Set in Savannah of the sixties, we see the changing times and attitudes through this wonderful girls wondering eyes. When you get to the end, you want to start the journey all over again.

    And for my seventh selection, I choose….

Okay, I confess- I couldn’t decide. There are just too many books I love. Plus, there’s always that one book you’re dying to read that hasn’t come out yet. So, I’m going to go with the house on fire rule and mention a few that made the short list, but I couldn’t decide on for the really short list of seven. For those not familiar with the house on fire rule, it goes like this: It’s the very last thing you grab as you run out the door. That last grab could include any of the following:

  • A Good Man by Larry Baker
  • Any of the 10 Sookie Stackhouse Novels by Charlaine Harris ( especially the one coming out next year)
  • Any of the Montgomery novels by Jude Deveraux ( especially Saving Grace or The Raider)
  • Any book by Molly Ivans, who spoke truth to power and made you laugh while she did it.
  • Nine Lives by Dan Baum ( because it’s on my list of “really want to read” books


That just about sums it up. I could go on longer. Much, much longer, but you get the general idea. Now… let’s hear your list.

Tuesday’s question is: When I was a child my favorite book was…. because…



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7 Responses to Great Books Week- Monday’s Topic

  1. Theresa says:

    I think that I would first grab some books that I would have ample time to read on a deserted island, those books you’ve always meant to read but never got around to.

    #1 War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

    #2 The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin

    #3 The Art of War by Sun Tzu

    Then a couple favorites:

    #4 The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

    #5 Scarlett by Alexandra Ripley

    And then the more obvious: 😉

    #6 Guide to Wilderness Living: Surviving with Nothing But Your Bare Hands and What You Find in the Woods by John McPherson and Geri McPherson

    #7 How to Build a Wooden Boat by David C. McIntosh and Samuel F. Manning

    • simplepleasuresbooks says:

      I love the diversity of your choices! From the very serious to the fantastic and whimsical to the purely practical. I totally missed the practical boat with my choices.

  2. Stacey Cook says:

    This is such a hard question. You could be stuck there for years.

    Well first, I’m going to have to say those few favorites I tend to read over and over again. The ones I just never get enough of:

    1.) Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
    2.) The Complete Works of William Shakespeare
    3.) It, by Stephen King
    4.) The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien
    5.) Secret, by Julie Garwood
    6.) Black Swan, by Day Taylor
    7.) The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostava
    8.) Once in a Lifetime, by Danielle Steel
    9.) Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie

    And last, I guess I would take Theresa advice about the survival book, but I would choose:

    10.) SAS Survival Handbook: How to Survive in the Wild, in Any Climate, on Land or at Sea by John Wiseman

  3. Stacey Cook says:

    Okay I thought it was ten, then looked up and … guess I was wrong. I guess I will have to leave 7,8, and 9 behind. I certainly couldn’t bare to go without the others.

    • simplepleasuresbooks says:

      So you understand why I copped out on that last choice and had to resort to the “house on fire” picks 🙂

  4. Beth Hoffman says:

    I’m tickled that SAVING CEECEE HONEYCUTT is on your list! Thanks so much for your kind words. Oletta is waving hello to you from the kitchen.

    • simplepleasuresbooks says:

      Beth, you’re quite welcome. It was hard choosing- but I knew I would have to have it. Very re-readable and that’s the essential ingredient for a “stranded read” . I’m waving back at Oletta and dreaming of that good cooking. 🙂

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