Thursday, 16 February 2017

Goodreads: The Desert Island Books I Absolutely Cannot Live Without


A few months ago, I wrote a little post talking about the books that I love more than anything else: this post isn’t entirely dissimilar to that but more of a desperate “which books could I absolutely not live without?” kind of list. Narrowing it down to five books did actually prove difficult, although I doubt anyone’s particularly surprised by that.

NOTRE DAME DE PARIS BY VICTOR HUGO
This is one of those books that takes a pretty large amount of investment. The writing style is complicated yet intricately beautiful and it’s one of those that you just fall in love with. Obviously I’m incredibly biased towards the French language (and I MIGHT have included another one originally written in French further down in this post…) but if you haven’t read the novel behind Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame then honestly, you’re missing out.

NORTHERN LIGHTS BY PHILIP PULLMAN
Okay, this one MIGHT have been included in my favourites list, but it’s probably the first trilogy that I read as a child that really ignited that reading spark into me. It was one that my granddad introduced to me and since then I’ve had a certain love for it that hasn’t quite been met by any other book or series. The entire His Dark Materials series is magical beyond words, dark yet romantic and everything that I could possibly ask for in a book.

THÉRÈSE RAQUIN BY EMILE ZOLA
If you’re interested in European Literature, or French Lit in particular, then this one is the one for you. Not quite as heavy as Flaubert’s Madame Bovary (although please read this, too!), this book introduces the gothic amongst naturalism and tells the tale of Therese, a woman forced to marry her sickly cousin who embarks on a passionate love affair with one of his friends. It’s not for the faint hearted – the ending is particularly shocking but it’s THE book that, honestly, made me fall completely and utterly in love with the French language. I’m still searching for a beautifully bound copy of this in French, but for now my cheap 2-euro copy will have to do.

1984 BY GEORGE ORWELL
This is another I studied at college and probably didn’t appreciate as much as I should have. I’ve reread it recently and found that if nothing else, it reminds me that things really could be a lot worse.


What books would you have with you on a desert island? Why? Let me know, I’m always interested!

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