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Desert Island Books

Desert Island Books

Jill Bowie —

Our first castaways for 2019 are three staff members who work in a variety of different locations throughout the City library.

These three are avid readers, which will be apparent by the diversity of the books they have chosen. As usual each castaway has been given a virtual copy of the SAS Survival Guide and asked to choose just five books to keep them company. Here are their choices:

Fiona - Lending Services Supervisor

The English Patient -  Michael Ondaatje 
Left alone and awaiting rescue - it's a relatable situation but I'm hoping for a better out come. On a more serious note, it is a book I can read over and over and never tire of.

The Lord of the Rings (trilogy in one volume) - J. R.R. Tolkien 
It would be like hanging out with old friends and would keep me busy for hours.

Garfield - Jim Davis
 Any of the Garfield comics as I will need to maintain a sense of humour and I no doubt will be feeling a bit sarcastic and cynical after a few days too.

 Room - Emma Donoghue 
It will remind me that inanimate objects can be friends - and that if I'm smart enough escape might be an option.

Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine - Gail Honeyman 
I choose this because it is funny, sad and beautiful. Much like being stuck on a desert island I imagine.

Colleen  - Senior Library Assistant Information Services

Sea Room: An Island Life - Adam Nicolson
When Adam turned 21 his father gave him the Shiants, three lonely islands located in the Minch off the coast of north west Scotland. Adam, grandson of Howard Nicolson and Vita Sackville-West, writes with passion and poetry about the culture and wildlife of the islands. This is a book about islands to read while on an island.

Hypatia: The Life and Legend of an Ancient Philosopher - Edward J Watts
I decided I would like to know more about Hypatia after reading about her in another book about the rise of Christianity and its destruction of the ancient classical world. She was a highly intelligent philosopher and mathematician who taught pagans and Christians in her home city of Alexandria during a turbulent time in history. The ultimate fate of this amazing woman was to be flayed alive by a crazed mob of Christians.

A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
This book has been sitting on my bookshelves for more than 20 years, so now I will have the leisure time to read it (it is over 1400 pages long). I will be able to pass the long slow island days immersed in a story set in post-independent India about a mother’s efforts to arrange a marriage for her daughter to a “suitable boy.”

Pompeii: The Life of a Roman Town - Mary Beard
Mary Beard, Professor of Classics at Cambridge University, is well known as a feminist and debunker of myths in her field of expertise. I love to read about history, and this book, which won the Wolfson History Prize, will enable me to revisit the ancient town in my mind, with the wonderfully irreverent Mary as my guide.

Montalbano’s First Case: And Other Stories - Andrea Camilleri
I am a fan of Camilleri’s stories about Inspector Montalbano, and this is one of the few I haven’t read. Set in Sicily and featuring a cast of colourful characters, his stories are always entertaining. Camilleri is now 93, and his latest Italian Montalbano title was published in 2018, while 4 titles are waiting for translation into English – long may he continue to write!

Irene - Senior Library Assistant Mobile and Home Services

Mistress of the Empire - Raymond E Feist
This is the final book in a trilogy. I have read this book several times and thoroughly enjoy the writing styleand becoming attached to the main characters as they fight their way through the story.

Cooking for geeks - Jeff Potter
Discovering the science behind cooking is something that fascinates me. This is a book I keep meaning to take out but always forget when I am looking for new books to read.

Across the nightingale floor - Lian Hearn
Another favourite book, this is the start of a trilogy (but a prequel and sequel were also written creating a quintology). Set in feudal Japan (with a bit of magic thrown in) it involves warring tribes and a young boy seeking revenge for the slaughter of his tribe.

What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions - Randall Munroe
This book is just for a bit of light entertainment. It includes great questions such as “How fast can you hit a speed bump while driving and live?”

Footrot Flats - Murray Ball
A bit of lighthearted fun to give me something to laugh about, while reminding me of my childhood.