Desert Island Discs

The book blogging community is eagerly awaiting the release of The Island by M A Bennett, a modern-day Lord of the Flies. I’ll be reviewing it on the blog soon, but in the meantime the publishers are asking us for our Desert Island Disc selections.

I’ve never actually listened to Desert Island Discs – I’ve tried to listen to Radio 4 several times over the years, but the lack of diversity grates and I end up switching channels. A quick google however has told me the premise of the show: imagine you’re marooned on a desert island. You have a limited number of objects you’re allowed to take with you. You are allowed: 

  • Eight recordings (usually eight songs)
  • One book
  • One luxury item

You’re automatically given the complete works of Shakespeare and either the Bible or “another appropriate religious or philosophical work”, according to Wikipedia. The inclusion of religions other than Christianity is pleasing, but I wonder why they don’t have a similar option for replacing Shakespeare? ‘The complete works of Shakespeare or another literary author’, for example, would allow people to choose someone from their place of origin, or just someone whose works they preferred over Shakespeare’s. Given the choice, for example, I would choose the complete works of Edgar Allan Poe.

Anyway. That’s not the rule. So, I get Shakespeare, plus another religious or philosophical work. And a luxury item, which again according to Wikipedia “must be inanimate and of no use in escaping the island or allowing communication from outside.”

So, here goes. My selections.


Shakespeare, I guess, since I don’t have a choice.

I’m hoping that for my ‘appropriate religious or philosophical work’ they’d give me Fear and Trembling by Søren Kierkegaard.

I’d be very torn about the other book. Should I choose a novel, something I wouldn’t mind re-reading? Should I choose more philosophy books, to keep my brain active? I’d probably go for the latter. The complete works of Plato, perhaps.

Luxury Item

Notebooks. A stack of them. That probably counts as more than one luxury item, and I’d also need pens, but maybe they’d let me take one of those notebooks that has a pen attached?


Hmm, eight tracks. OK. Well, Renaud obviously.

Je Vis Caché, the song which gave me all my usernames and whose title is tattooed on my right hand, would have to be on there.

Plus a couple from his latest album, which is excellent: Toujours Debout (again tattooed on me), to remind me I’ve been through shit before and can deal with this whole desert island fiasco.

And Les Mots, because it’s beautiful.

Something from Bowie would have to be in there, of course. Hmm, what though? Dollar Days, maybe.

Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit, for those days when I wanted to rock out on the island by myself.

Leonard Cohen’s So Long Marianne (I’d settle for anything by Cohen, actually, but since I can only pick one I’ll choose that one.)

Ocean Gypsy by Blackmore’s Night, to remind me I love the ocean even when I’m going a bit crazy being constantly surrounded by it with no way out.

And finally, Like A Rolling Stone by Bob Dylan, because it never fails to cheer me up.

The Island by M.A. Bennett comes out on Thursday 16th of August 2018. 

What would you take to a desert island?


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