Firstly: before you ask, no, my dissertation has not been submitted yet. Deadline is looming (8th September) but spirits are high! I am taking a day off today to do some planning and applying, and am currently attempting not to get sun-burnt on this lovely bank holiday weekend. An application I have submitted today is for work experience at Penguin RandomHouse, and one of their questions was one I have seen before but never fully considered: what three books would you take to a desert island and why?
This was it: my chance to wow them with my creative mind. But after a while I found that I was thinking about it very literally, using my ‘read’ category on Goodreads for reference (link in sidebar 🙂 ). I decided that I would take books with me that reminded me of what life is like, good AND bad, away from the island.
The first one is High Rise, by JG Ballard. This book, although short, packs a punch and really makes one consider what is wrong with class systems and feelings of superiority in society. It also focuses on humans’ survival instincts, which would be helpful!
The second book is Swing Time by Zadie Smith. I read this recently and loved it. Smith always creates a very vivid image of London, and this book switches between there and Africa alongside the protagonist’s upbringing, creating a kind of modern bildungsroman. The protagonist’s journey can serve as a surrogate for my lack thereof, being on an island.
Finally, I would take We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson for two reasons: she is my favourite author and there are always many layers to her work which I would have the time to unfold, and also this book is a great gothic, supernatural treat with an element of nastiness to it.
So there we have it. I would love to hear others’ ideas about this! What would you take?