Friday, July 15, 2011

Desert Island Comforts

RHYS: When I worked for the BBC one of the first programs I was assigned to was called Desert Island Disks. It involved asking celebrities which music they would choose to take to a desert island with them.Since I'm off to Hawaii next month my thoughts have turned to desert islands and I'm going to ask my Jungle Red Sisters the following questions:If you were marooned on a desert island:
1. Which 3 books would you choose to take with you?

2. Which one piece of music (and the Ring Cycle is cheating)

3. If you could bring one person with you--from history, from the present, who would it be?

ROSEMARY: Oh fun..I love these things...and I'll probably think of other answers as soon as I write these but here goes...Pride and Prejudice- because I can read it over and overThe Bible - because I've never read itMy WIP - obvious
Brandenburg Concertos
My husband.

HANK: Oh, I can never ever choose.Three books--Winters' Tale, by Mark Helprin. (gorgeous) Bonfire of the Vanities. (maybe? hilarious. Laughing is good.) And yeah, my WIP. Got to.
Music? The Beatles White Album? (I guess it's not fair to say--some huge Mozart compilation.)
And yes, of couse. Jonathan. If husbands don't count, in this situation at least, I'd say--Shakespeare? And if you don't think he existed, then I guess..Paul Simon. (The songwriter, not the senator.) That's a tough one, though. It would have to be someone fun to talk to, right? Oh, maybe I should have chosen a doctor. Or a cook!

DEBS: Rhys, what brilliant questions!
Do the Bach cello suites count as one piece of music? (Can I have Torvill and Dean skating to them as well?)
Hank, I LOVE Mark Helprin's A Winter's Tale! Must go on the re-read list . . .
Three books? Oh my gosh, only three? Does Lord of the Rings count as one? That would keep me occupied for a while. #2, waffling between Possession by AS Byatt and Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruis Zafon (and I can think of a hundred others, but am restraining myself mightily.) #3, WIP, as I would hate not to finish it, even if I had to scribble in sand . . .
And the one person, if we don't count husbands . . . I see we're having a bit of a male bias on this. How about Amelia Erhart? I'll bet she'd have some good stories to tell, and would be useful to have around on a desert island in a pinch.
(Of course, if we're not limited to real people, I might go for Sawyer on LOST. Very handy to have around on a desert island, and looks quite nice without a shirt as well.)

ROBERTA: I'm definitely choosing my husband. You need someone you can get along with over the long, long haul, right?
As for books, something about boat-building would be a good choice. and Gone with the Wind. And okay, I'll bring my WIP though Rhys did not say anything about computers or even legal pads.
For music, I'll go with The Messiah or else La Traviata. Though I hate when I listen to something too much and it gets stuck in my head like an earworm...

HALLIE: Books--Amanda Hesser's compilation of NY Times recipes in The Essential New York Times CookbookInto Thin Air by Jon KrakauerGhost Light: A Memoir by Frank Rich
Music--Heaven help me: Carole King's Tapestry. Or Mozart's Eine Kleine Nacht Musik
Person: Husband aside, definitely Julia Child.
DEBS: Hallie, love Into Thin Air. Have read it multiple times and will probably read it many more. And why didn't I think of Julia Child?

RHYS: Wouldn't it be torture to have a cook book and Julia Child if all you had to work with was coconuts and clams? Or are you picturing a lush and abundant desert island?
It's amazing how much we are soul sisters. I would definitely choose Lord of the Rings, even though I have read it so many times, but I'd find its essential message of good triumphing over evil, of the small and weak being able to conquer inspiring. I also adore Pride and Prejudice, although I'd choose the Colin Firth TV version if I could...
And Debs, I also adore Possession. I could take the time to read all those poems and marvel at their cleverness.But now I'm starting to think I might need the Dummies Book of Desert Island Survival as one of my choices.
And for the third: maybe Winnie the Pooh to remind me that life is funny and touching and simple.And if not that, then maybe a book on Einstein's Theory of Relativity or on String Theory so that I'd finally have the time to understand them.
For my music: (why did I ever start this thing. How can one choose one piece of music?) Something to make me happy and uplifted. Probably Die Fledermaus.
I'm impressed that everyone wants her husband there. I'm sure mine would be a nuisance and want me to treat his sunburn and coral scratches and the bumps from falling coconuts. Is it cheating to ask for Jesus so that he could inspire me and then teach me how to walk on water? Yes. Okay. Probably Peter Ustinov because he had so many good stories.


  1. Rhys said "Wouldn't it be torture to have a cook book and Julia Child if all you had to work with was coconuts and clams?" - Ha ha! Reminded me: I was on a long foodless flight in coach on some airline and they were running the Food Channel on the movie screens. (And the smell of steak was wafting out of first-class.) Talk about "cruel and unusual..."

  2. ..Into Thin Air, that's a big surprise. At least it wasn't Into the Wild.

    If I can't bring my husband, can I have George Clooney?

  3. Yeah, a good cook and no food--that's bad. Maybe we'd want, you know, a survivalist. Or an Eagle Scout.

    But this has got me really thinking, sadly. Peter Ustinov? That's funny. How about Stephen Sondheim? We could play word games...

    I'm still thinkin' a doctor would be good.

  4. RHYS:I suppose there are two schools of thought here--one is to survive well and get off the island, the other is to make the most of paradise. Maybe a book like Shopaholic to remind one that there used to be a Bloomingdales?

    For my person I would want a good conversationalist and not one who had the same three stories. Then I'd have to kill him and use him as a plot for my next mystery that I'd write on dried seawead...

  5. The Bible. The Collected Works of Georgette Heyer (there is no such thing and it would be a really fat book with tiny print, but if we can imagine the desert island, I can imagine this book). A fat poetry anthology since I'd have time to finally read and ponder poems and they might help me see the desert island in a new way.

    Definitely hubby. Or my daughters. Music? I'd almost hate to take something I loved because I suspect I'd grow to hate it if I were trapped on the island for a long time.

  6. Husband seems to me a wise answer, in case you don't get to that island.

    On Hawaii, pictures to entice:

  7. Books: Pride and Prejudice, a Sherlock Holmes collection, and a Dilbert compendium (for the laughs).

    Music: A collection of Antonio Carlos Jobim (I figure I could listen to that forever).

    Person: If I can't have my husband (he's an engineer and would build and fix things), I'd want Oprah, because she could tell me stories of crazy and inspiring personalities.

  8. Sorry for dropping in so late. I've been nose down in writing today.

    Three books: JD Robb's NAKED IN DEATH (my chicken-soup read), a compendium of Shakespeare's plays, and...Louis L'Amour's compendium of the Sackett family saga.

    Music: Soundtrack to Last of the Mohicans (the Daniel Day-Lewis version). I've already killed two casestte tapes, and a CD of it.

    Person: A Navy SEAL would be nice to have, and I think my husband might forgive me for wanting one along. Whoever said someone who didn't tell the same three stories, have you met my husband or something? *gigglesnort* I swear, as soon as he says, "To make a long story short..." I just...well, I haven't killed him yet.

  9. Aso late, writing with blinders on.
    BOOKS: Fiona MacCarthy's William Morris, a 600-page biography I will never finish unless I'm stranded somewhere

    Deborah Crombie's Dreaming of the Bones, because it's setting inspired me (and I'm not looking for brownie points, it's just that I've lost my copy so I've always wanted to reread it.)

    Sandra Scoppitone and Louise Fitzgerald's Suzuki Bean (because I'm never without it)

    Of course if I could just take my Kindle, I'd take all of our Jungle Reds' books that are available. Ok, go ahead, give me the brownie point.

    MUSIC: Carol King's Tapestry, James Taylor's Sweet Baby James and Santana Abraxas (ok, that's cheating, but I can't have one without the others) oops, and the Gypsy Kings

    COMPANIONS: In the present: my husband (because of course!), from the past: Actress Helen Hays I met her once and she just naturally shared marvelous storiesl.

  10. The first ELVIS album, the Complete Stories of Sherlock Holmes, and Shania Twain. She doesn't have to say a word.

  11. Austin, I want to be on that island,too. NICE.

    Everyone has such great ideas!

  12. For books: Sacajawea, it has something like 1385 pages if I remember so it would take me a while to read and I’ve only read it once. Convincing Alex by Nora Roberts. It’s one of those books I could read over and over. Nora’s Chesapeake Series. They put all four novels in one book so it’s not a cheat.

    For music: Rubble Doll, Pat Scialfa’s, (Bruce Springsteen’s wife) first album. Love the songs.

    I’d take Hubby because he’s an engineer and could probably get me off the island eventually and I could just enjoy it in the mean time. But if not Hubby, then the late Stephen J. Cannell. For two reasons, Stephen could entertain me with all his plot ideas and because he’s the only man besides Hubby who took my breath away when I met him in person. Sorry, Marcia (his wife.)

    Reading all this made my day today. I was feeling a little under the weather and you all made me laugh.

  13. Debs: Sawyer = good choice. :)

    Rhys: As much as I love mysteries, The Lord of the Rings would also be my first choice. I love and need the "hope" theme.

    Great topic!

    Cathy Akers-Jordan