If I’m ever really stranded on a desert island, the books I want to have with me must have titles like Raft Building for Dummies, 500 Ways to Cook Coconuts, Getting Along with Your Invisible Friends, and of course, How to Escape a Desert Island.
For that desert island visit with a small working sailboat, I want these four books instead.
Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino
This book introduced me to Calvino, one of the great fabulists of the 20th Century. Reading more like a prose poem than a novel with a plot, it is essentially a dialog in gestures and signs between Marco Polo and Genghis Khan as the explorer describes the empire of cities to its emperor. Brief and beautiful.
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
To me, this is one of the greatest love stories ever told. Two men love the same woman, and when one dies, the other one steps up to take his rightful place. But will she have him?
Ulysses by James Joyce
Joyce recreates 1904 Dublin in such detail I could reread this a hundred times and find new alleys and old friends each visit.
Mason & Dixon by Thomas Pynchon
My favorite historical buddy novel. Mason and Dixon create the line that divides north from south in the American colonies, meeting some of the stranger Founding Fathers, a Learned English Dog, a mechanical duck and the French chef who chases him… you get the idea.
How about you? What are your desert island books?