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:
Thus the superior man
Does not permit his thoughts
To go beyond his situation.”