My 8 Desert Island Books! #BAMB 2015

Books Are My Bag is a nationwide campaign to celebrate brick and mortar bookshops, because they are beautiful, magical places full of wonder. Books Are My Bag week happened a few weeks back (I know this post is a bit behind the times, but it’s been a hectic month!) and I got myself some nifty swag, including this adorable tote bag:


This year, the folks at Books Are My Bag challenged us to come up with our ‘Desert Island Reads’, ie. the eight books we would take to a desert island. In the spirit of approaching things like a grown-up, I will not go with my first answer of “Seven Harry Potter books and the script of the new play” and I will make an actual list:

1) Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, JK Rowling
I couldn’t very well *not* include a Harry Potter book, now, could I? Prisoner of Azkaban is my favourite, because it features my lovelies Sirius & Remus, WHO ARE BOTH FINE AND DANDY, don’t you dare!

 2) Dragonsinger, Anne McCaffrey
This is my favourite Dragonriders of Pern book, although it does have problematic things in it, because well- PERN. I re-read it about once a year.

3) His Dark Materials Omnibus, Philip Pullman
I am totally having the omnibus edition of all three books, because it isn’t cheating since it’s all in one physical book. Also I’ve not re-read these since my teens & I really want to.


4) Ship of Magic, Robin Hobb
This one was harder to choose: it’s the first in The Liveship Traders trilogy, which I dearly love, but I also haven’t re-read it in years, so I feel like I’d be dissatisfied when I was done with this one book & didn’t have the other two. There’s no omnibus – you better believe I checked.

5) Of Noble Family, Mary Robinette Kowal
The final book in the Glamourist Histories & my favourite of the lot. It has some really cool study-of-magic-as-science aspects, especially relevant to my interests because they discuss the language they use a lot, and I LOVE that. Kowal also makes each book can stand alone, so it wouldn’t matter so much if I could never re-read the first four.


And now, because I’m greatly daring & possibly very foolish, I pick three books I haven’t read yet to come with me on a desert island forever.

6) The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K LeGuin
I know from other works I’ve read of LeGuin’s that I enjoy her sparse style and that I’m engaged with the themes she chooses to focus on. So many people whose opinion I trust love this book, I’m confident I would like it too. Honestly the only reason I haven’t read it yet is that I’ve not really felt like I had the time/brain space to properly concentrate on it. I bet that’ll be a big problem on the desert island.

7) Hogfather, Terry Pratchett
I’m slowly catching up with the Discworld after making a late start into the series. I’d pick Hogfather because,as far as I know, it’s one of the more stand-alone ones. It might also be nice to have a book that’s a bit more festive (although it might just upset me if I’m all alone on a desert island…).

8) Fevre Dream, George RR Martin
I love Martin’s writing, but I can’t pick one of the Song of Ice and Fire books. I love them but we have two more books to go & I wouldn’t want to spend my desert island days being reminded that I have no idea how the series wraps up!

Fevre Dream is one of Martin’s earlier novels, it’s a standalone about vampires & it’s very well regarded, so I’d go for that one.


Let me know what you think of these picks in the comments below, would you choose any of the same books or just a completely different list?


The Last Ten Books That Came Into My Possession


Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is all types of differently acquired books which I think is really cool because I don’t normally include audiobooks or books lent to me by friends in my book hauls and this list has both!

1. The Fire Sermon, by Francesca Haig

A friend of mine lent me this book after we went to an event together where we heard the author read from it. The book sounded great but as this was still before my house move, I couldn’t buy any more books! I haven’t started it yet.

2. Seveneves, by Neal Stephenson

I got this one as an audiobook after I got into a bit of a Sci-Fi kick. I’d never read any other Stephenson books but this came highly recommended and I listened to it very quickly (for such a big book anyway!). I very much enjoyed it and I’ll do a video review of it soon.

3. The Tropic of Serpents (Lady Trent 2), by Marie Brennan

I’m currently reading the first book in this series and loving it so much that I’m having to make myself slow down so I can enjoy it more. I had to own the next one, I want to have it on hand as soon as I finish A Natural History of Dragons.

4. The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place, by Julie Berry

I kept hearing about this book, which is about a group of proper young ladies trying to hide a murders and figure out whodunnit in a Victorian boarding school. It just seemed like it’d tick a lot of my boxes so I picked it up from my local book shop.

5. Uprooted, by Naomi Novik

I love Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series, so I was so, so eager for her next novel. Uprooted is a standalone fantasy with a folk fairytale setting and atmosphere inspired by Novik’s polish roots. It’s also got the most beautiful cover! Having read a few pages, I can’t wait to get more time to dive into this one.

6. The History of Medicine: A Very Short Introduction, by William Bynum

Yay, novel research! One of the main characters in my WIP is a doctor in Victorian London. I needed to figure out that period of time a bit better within the wider historical context of the development of modern medicine, so I thought this would be a great place to start.

Victorian Pharmacy7. Victorian Pharmacy: Remedies and Recipes, by Jane Eastoe

I also got the companion book to the BBC Victorian Pharmacy TV series, which is excellent and well-worth a watch if you’re interested in history or you’d like to see some gross remedies and steampunky implements in action. The book itself has a lot more on the perception of doctors and health during the period, as well as great pictures of the reconstructed pharmacy from the show (it’s so useful to have visual references!).

YA fiction8. Get Started in Writing Young Adult Fiction, by Juliet Mushens

The last physical book I bought recently was a writing book by agent Juliet Mushens, who represents a few people I know and is very wise & funny on twitter. I’m a teensy bit obsessed with writing books and I’ve heard great things about this one from my writing group buddies. It’s supposed to be full of practical tips and exercises which I can’t wait to try!

9. Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch 1), by Ann Leckie

I failed to read Ancillary Justice before the Hugos last year, so I got the audiobook now in order to catch up with the series! I’ve already listened to it and really loved it!

10. Ancillary Sword (Imperial Radch 2), by Ann Leckie

And of course, I also got Ancillary Sword to read in time for this year’s award season. I haven’t started this audiobook yet but I want to get to it soon. I’m pretty excited to continue the story, especially as a few friends have said they liked this installment better than the first.


Let me know in the comments what books you’ve acquired recently & if you’ve read anything from this list. If you do your own list, please link back to The Broke and the Bookish, who created and hosts Top Ten Tuesday.