Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I'd Want on a Desert Island

Ha, that was so almost a Dessert Island - which I'd far rather be stuck on, to be fair *grins* Here we are in the second week of Top Ten Tuesday, and the topic this time round is 'Books I'd Want on a Desert Island'. I have interpreted this to mean really really big books that I enjoy reading - they'd keep me occupied so that I don't realise I'm slowly starving to death (unless it really is some dessert island...) You're going to see a list of my most favourite LONG books! This fun meme is created by The Broke and the Bookish, remember? Links and love back to them if you join in!

1) Kushiel's Dart - Jcqueline Carey

This beautifully written book is one that I picked up through curiosity more than anything else. I saw a number of novels by Jacqueline Carey on the bookshelves in my local library and figured that if I liked the first I'd be kept supremely busy reading the rest of the series. To my delight, I adored the tale of Phaedre - the politics, the love, the adventure, the magic. The Kushiel series is just spectacular.

2) Deadhouse Gates - Steven Erikson

I've cried over a few books - none of them fantasy. For some reason, either the fantasy I was reading didn't involve enough tension or I didn't care enough about the characters. This all changed with Deadhouse Gates. I read certain chapters of this with tears streaming down my cheeks. In addition to this, it was the first time I "got" Erikson and his Malazan series and could understand why the fans were so very fervent in their love for the series.

3) The Little Country - Charles de Lint

Music and magic wrapped in stunning prose and sympathetic characters. My first Charles de Lint novel - and still my favourite.

4) The Shadow Rising - Robert Jordan

You might not know it from a singular lack of mentions on this blog to date, but I'm actually a big fan of the Wheel of Time. Sure, there are some repetitive characters; yes, the prose is often beyond purple; hmm, is that bearing a remarkable similarity to other fantasy novels? There is a lot wrong with the series, but I've been reading it since I was 14 years old or thereabouts and have a fierce love for it. My favourite of the series is The Shadow Rising - huge and sprawling, with some wonderful scenes out amongst the Aiel and at Rhuidean.

5) Cross Stitch - Diana Gabaldon

Have you not encountered Jamie and Claire? What a treat in store if you haven't! These novels are SO hard to classify, with elements of historical fiction, romance, science fiction (loosely - there is time travel), adventure... It's amazing to realise that Gabaldon wrote this novel as a way to practice writing the "real thing".

6) River God - Wilbur Smith

Wilbur Smith was one of the first adult authors I read as a young teen. His adventure stories are riproaring fun, and this is the one I return to the most. It involves Egypt, one of my favourite historical eras, and a wilful Egyptian princess. Worth picking up if you want a fun historical adventure that keeps the pages turning long into the night.

7) Pandora's Star - Peter F Hamilton

My first "proper" sci fi novel, as recommended by my housemate. What I love about Hamilton's sci fi is that it is incidental to the story. Sure, much of it is set on spaceships and settled planets in the Commonwealth universe, but, at its heart, Pandora's Star is about the people we meet. Their lives, their loves, their losses. Hamilton has an incredible eye for the intricacies of human relationships, and in this sprawling novel, brings all that to bear in spectacular fashion.

8) French Relations - Fiona Walker

There had to be a bonkbuster somewhere in this list *grins* The first tale of Tash and Hugo is by far my favourite - a long summer spent in the luxury of a French chateau. Drink, good food, horses - and more than a few people falling in love. It's sprawling, decadent and very entertaining.

9) The Sunne in Splendour - Sharon Penman

The best historical novelist bar none. Sharon Penman is just supreme at bringing humanity to those people long gone. Here we are presented with a very sympathetic Richard III as he struggles with the idea of taking his brother's throne, and then has to suffer the mystery of the princes in the tower. Penman brings it all to vivid life, and this is a novel that will stay with you long after the last page has been turned.

10) The Lies of Locke Lamora - Scott Lynch

This is mostly to give me a man to drool over in my thoughts as I spend those lonely days on the desert island. Locke Lamora is the perfect male protagonist - suave, clever, mocking and, to be, very sexy!

So those are mine - and they also provide a good insight into some of my favourite genres. Which books would you want if you were stranded on a desert island?


  1. Well, I think I could live with your choices lol Though I think I'd swap number 4 for Raymond E. Feist's Magician and book 8 for A Wise Man's Fear as I still need to read that one and it is nice and fat as well ;-)

  2. Good list. I love Sharon Penman. I've read quite a few of her books and absolutely love how she brings history to life and makes it interesting and passionate.

  3. Oh, I so agree with you about The Sunne in Splendour! That is a great book. I've added the de Lint novel to my list of books I need to read. Thanks!