Desert-island Books

Posted by: Raj B Thakuri

The question is simple – “If you were marooned on a desert island with no hope of rescue, what five books would you take with you?”

Below are my current desert-island choices for anyone who is interested, in no particular order. And since time is more and more of the essence, hence the question – with the hope of finding other friends for life from your responses:

SHOGUN – James Clavell
A epic historical novel of adventure, intrigue and other machinations of the human mind based in 17th century Japan. It takes the outsider deep within the complex Japanese society and the Bushido: the way of the warrior. A masterpiece.

KANE AND ABEL – Jeffrey Archer
Pulp-fiction with soul. A soaring saga of ambition and power but ultimately human. Set in the depression era, it tells the tale of two business men and their quintessential quest of the American dream. Ruthless at times but endearing – the author takes us into the heart of what drives the protagonists. Read it if you haven’t already.

A PASSION FOR EXCELLENCE – Tom Peters & Nancy Austin
I have learned now that singular leadership is usually not enough to create a great organization but this is the single most exciting, inspiring, transforming book ever published for people who want to get ahead and lead. Hundreds of real-life anecdotes that have been corroborated time and again in my personal life and career.

THE ESSENTIAL NERUDA: SELECTED POEMS – Pablo Neruda
A poetry collection, yes, but with lines like –

“… a stroke of water with remnants of the sea, beats on the silences that wait for you.” and
“… Give me the struggle, the iron, the volcanoes.” and yet
“ … I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul.”

- how can one not help but love it?

I-CHING: THE BOOK OF CHANGES
An ancient Chinese treatise, based on the ideas of the dynamic balance of opposites and acceptance of the inevitability of change. Contains the central idea that all (yes ALL!) of life’s situations can be encompassed in 64 representations with the progression from one to another defined by the choices we make. Regarded mostly as an oracle for divination, but is much more to those who are given to occasional contemplation:

“Mountains standing close together:
KEEPING STILL.
Thus the superior man
Does not permit his thoughts
To go beyond his situation.”

Deep.

Desert-island Books was last modified: September 11th, 2013 by Raj B Thakuri
 

Blog Comments

  1. Lava Kafle

    I would love to read Hardware Bible, Network Bible, Java Bible, Oracle Bible, CSHARP Bible, .NET Bible, PERL Bible, EthicalHACKING Bible, Learning SQL in 21 days, Learning PL/SQL in 21 days, Learning Swimming in 21 days, Learning READING in 21 days, Learning Writing in 21 days, PERL for Dummies, JAVA for DUMMIES, ORACLE for DUMMIES, .NET for DUMMIES and many more as much as I could carry on the desert if storm would not flow the books away.

  2. prashantfan

    Prashant, creative illustration on writers and books. Greg, I remember the Ernest Hemingway ‘s Farewell to arms book that we read during childhood.

  3. Prashanta

    My five choices would be (in very particular order).

    1. Boring for Water in the Sands – A do it Yourself Guide by Drill Barrymore.
    2. From Lizards to Cactii – Easy Recipes for Desert Delicacies by John Cook.
    3. How to Survive a Desert Storm by G W Bush.
    4. Learning to Fly by Rogers Waters.
    5. Layman’s Series: Managing your Life Insurance Policies by Tim Broker.

  4. Greg

    In truth, I would need about 50 books to keep my sanity, but here are 5 that come to mind (in no particular order):

    -East of Eden by John Steinbeck

    -A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

    -Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

    -The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

    -Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

  5. LG

    Some of the collections of books that I would like to take with me in case I had to be in desert-island are as follows:

    1. Angela’s Ashes – Frank McCourt
    It was a starter for me to explore books other than Enid Blyton and Nancy Drew while I was 7th or 8th grader; Angela’s Ashes is based on the memoirs of Frank McCourt. As such, the story is told from his perspective. Angela’s Ashes opens in 1935 Brooklyn, where Frank’s family is struggling to ward off poverty and disease. The primary foe is not religious intolerance. Instead, it is one of the oldest enemies of humanity: poverty and hunger. Yet, while the story contains lengthy stretches in which the characters are subjected to ever more demeaning spates of pain and abject misery, the story as a whole turns out to be a quietly triumphant experience – a testimony to the fortitude of the human spirit under even the worst circumstances.
    2. Cup of Tea – Osho
    A compilation of letters written by Osho to his friends and presented in the beautiful poetry. The cup of tea is filled with awareness and love which enlightens those who are thirsty for a spiritual life.
    3. The God Father – Mario Puzo
    The Godfather is an insightful sociological study of violence, power, honor and obligation, corruption, justice and crime in America. A turn-of-the-century Silician immigrant, “Don” Vito Corleone who is the head of one of the five Italian-American “families” that operates a crime syndicate. The ‘honorable’ crime “family,” working outside the system due to exclusion by social prejudice, serves as a metaphor for the way business (the pursuit of the American dream) is conducted in capitalistic, profit-making corporations and governmental circles.

    As for the remaining two, I would like to take THE ESSENTIAL NERUDA: SELECTED POEMS – Pablo Neruda and “Siris Ko Phool” by Parijat or “Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown.

  6. dovan

    My first five picks would be:

    1. A little Prince- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry any child or a child within an adult can relate to. Damn the adults who cannot understand our drawing of elephant and boa constrictor.

    2. The second Sex- Simone de Beauvoir : Monumental book on feminism: shows, through history, how the women have been assigned the role of the ‘other’ …the denial of transcendence and the prison of immanence

    3.Sirishko Phool -Paarijaat : once u pick it, u cannot leave it till u get to the end. is it the language that flows, the conversations that explode or beautifully woven self destructive nihilist tendencies…the first time (a day before my eigth grade final) to the fourth time I read, I equally feel it’s hypnotic grasp. This book is my all time favorite though the writer herself denounced it in her later marxist life.

    4.Ghumne mech maathiko andho manche – Bhupi Sherchan
    bitter deep truths in sharp and sweet language with such imaginative witty allegories.. bhupi is simply unbeatable… i guess he is one of the most quoted nepali writer

    5.Bimba Pratimbimba-Shankar Laamichaane : 50 years ahead of his time. U can call him pompous. but his sharp judgment and humorous self satirical ways make him a desirable company..at least for me.

    these three nepali writers have taught me how powerful and beautiful nepali language can be.

  7. NovelLover

    I would carry all 5 as I am an extremely fast reader. i had finished Anna karanina, War and peace Original volumes in one week each. I would also carry all Sherlock holmes, and Agatha Christie Series. One could not miss HG Wells time Machine. Similarly, hollywood word attached novels and the novel like “The Firm”. I prefer Harry potter Series to accompany me containing the upcoming October release.
    After i read all those, I would be rescued. EVEN the FIVES of the Author is sufficient to rescue. Either a buried city would be found or some Chopper would come across. Else the SindBad Eagle would tie myself to its leg and take me to its Nest from where I would run. Possibilty of finding a Desert River and making a boat and flow away is not too remote.
    Finally, THE BEST IS:
    Tom Peters & Nancy Austin.

  8. GBG

    Sweet! Kane and Abel was my first novel and it had me hooked on for weeks. I-Ching? I haven’t read it but, my my, Tao Te Ching rocks:

    In Tao the only motion is returning;
    The only useful quality, weakness.
    For though all creatures under heaven are the products of Being,
    Being itself is the product of Not-being.

    I wish I could get hold of Neruda one of these days.

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