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Time for the last instalment in our long running Desert Island Books series. The grand finale comes from ex UWTSD library Assistant, Hannah Meiklejohn, who now works for the Faculty of Art and Design. We hope you've enjoyed reading our book choices as much as we've enjoyed sharing them with you!
If you were stranded on a desert
island which 4 books would you like to have
with you and why?
My first choice would be The
Water Babiesby Charles Kingsley because it brings back memories of bedtime
reading with Dad. I have it on my Kindle but I would love
to get my hands on either a first edition (1863) or an original 1916 version,
which included beautifully illustrated coloured plates by Jessie
The second book would be Catch 22 by Joseph Heller. The first time I read it I didn't want it to
end, so I started to read each chapter twice before moving on (a fitting
tribute to The Soldier Who Saw Everything Twice, I think!). I'm sure I'll
have plenty of time to read and re-read it on the island.
The third book would be The Complete works of Shakespeare. As a
single volume it would be huge - no need to worry about running out of reading
material for a while. I would start with The Tempest as
the characters were trapped on an island for twelve years so I would
probably be able to relate - I may even pick up a few tips! Viola was
also found shipwrecked in Twelfth Night,
so I would move on to that next. Hamlet is my
favourite of Shakespeare's plays, but I have never read some of the
classics like King Lear or Merchant of Venice so as well
as old favourites I will have plenty of time to discover some new
Finally for my fourth book I would bring a blank notebook.I would use it to journal my adventures,
write letters that I can never send, record my dreams, doodle, compose poems
and make notes for story ideas. If I'm on the island long enough, I might
even finish writing a novel (one can dream…)
If you could bring one of the
characters to life, for company, who would you choose and why?
The Water Babies has some wonderfully named characters (such as Mrs. Doasyouwouldbedoneby)
but I would without a doubt choose somebody from Catch
22. While a doctor would come in handy, I wouldn't get much
use out of Doc Daneeka. As well as being selfish and unwilling to
help others, he is also officially dead (he even gives up telling people he’s
alive as no one believes him).It would
not be Milo Minderbinder. Using flawless, circular logic he would no
doubt convince me to do all the work on the island, and let him take all the credit.I would love to spend some time with
Yossarian, but I think the obvious choice, given my setting, would be Orr.Orr is a genius at constructing apparatus.
We'll keep warm, cool, dry, clean and eventually when I'm bored
of the island we'll build a boat and row all the way to Sweden.Good ol' Orr.
You can have one luxury item on the
island with you…what would it be?
A camera and a HD card with the largest memory capacity you can have.
It would need to be operational for my whole ‘strandedness’ so maybe it
will be a wind up or solar powered one. I'm assuming this island gets
plenty of sun. Can I also have a good zoom lens for getting shots of
insects and animals?I’d love to do a
time lapse of the islands’ movements.I
have to take pictures everywhere I go. #DesertIslandSelfie - that’s a thing, right?
You are rescued and can only take one
book back with you…which one would
If I did manage to find a first edition of The
Water Babies I wouldn't want to leave it behind, but as precious as that
would be, my notebook would be irreplaceable