Wednesday, May 21, 2008

books to take for my lifetime on a deserted island...

where my homemade brewery pumps out beers to improve my writing. It's manned by Friday, my wizened Tibetan guru who has spent his life on the island alone.

Fakt time: In a Buddhist monastery, after a monk completes his 25 years of study on the five major subjects (the perfection of wisdom, philosophy of the Middle Way, valid cognition, phenomenology and monastic discipline), he has up to six years of examinations before receiving the degree of geishe. Then he can choose to continue his studies, teach younger monks, go into the world to spread Dharma (the truth) or disappear from the world completely to live out the rest of his life in seclusion, praying for all sentient beings.

So with no further ado, the five books I would take with me to that island:

1. The Brothers Karamazov - of course

2. Catch-22 - my Dad made a vow with a friend to read this every year for the rest of his life which he managed to keep for quite awhile. I already read it twice on my first trip to India and Nepal five years ago and a few times since then. The funniest book I have ever read.

3. The Complete Works of Isaac Babel - the
bespectacled Jew who rode with the hard drinking and hard living Cossacks as they invaded Poland after the Russian Revolution. In writing, he's like Hemingway. In life, he was a misfit with the Cossacks like Hunter S Thompson with the Hell's Angels (who seem to be same people as the Cossacks, just 50 years later and with motorcycles).

4. Complete Mark Twain - my Dad's red
leather bound edition with the gold pages and the knife hole I put in the back cover

5. The Collection of Native American Mythology - hey, between this and the Illustrated Encyclopedia of Greek Mythology, these had my early masturbation years covered and should do me just fine on the island

Feel free to add your five books in the comments. I'll post them on the main page.

David Goligorsky:

1. Hemingway - The Sun Also

2. Woody Allen- The Complete Prose of Woody Allen

3. Fitzgerald - The Beautiful and the Damned

4. Dali - The Diary of a Genius

5. The script to Castaway starring Tom Hanks! (Travel light)

the Old Man:

1. the Bible

2. Crime and Punishment

3. War and Peace

4. Les Miserables

5. Harpo Speaks - (from lex: the autobiography of Harpo Marx, a great portrait of growing up poor and Jewish with a crazy family on the Upper East Side, Harpo's book has the heart and the good stories while Groucho's "Groucho and Me" has all the great one-liners)

his unrequested list of movies that matches mine except I would replace number 4 with Casablanca:

1. Captain's Courageous

2. It Happened One Night

3. Life is Beautiful

4. Walk on Water - Israeli film

5. Cool Hand Luke

He adds much to my despair: "Though if there was any way possible to have all the seasons of the Gilmore Girls, I might be willing to trade a testicle or something" (And if you know the pride and joy of pelger men, you know that's saying a lot)

Megan McDonald and a truly english major list I might add:

1. A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters--Julian Barnes

2. The Complete Sherlock Holmes--Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

3. Women in Love--DH Lawrence

4. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

5. Moll Flanders--Daniel Defoe

Astrid Gordon with a list that's pretty good for an engineer:

1. Great Expectations - Dickens

2. Through the Looking Glass - Carroll

3. Love in the Time of Cholera - Marquez

4. Shantaram - Roberts

5. Complete collection of Dahl

Wen-Jay Ying who's doing movies because "I'm ignorant":

1. eternal sunshine of the spotless mind

2. wet hot american summer

3. rushmore (also so i can listen to the soundtrack over and over)

Stephanie Shih:

1. hem - a moveable feast

2. ted hughes, the collected poems of

3. faulkner - as i lay dying

4. the bible

5. joy luck club (really?)


PS: Sorry to be away so long. We've been sitting by a river for days because there's a few hundred policeman waiting up the road for us. The Internet is three hours away but I decided to come back to this town for convalesce.

Rule of the day: Don't drink out of monsoon swollen rivers with fresh monk poop washed in and bodies being cremated just a kilometer upstream

8 comments:

.david said...

1. Hemingway - The Sun Also Rises
2. Woody Allen- The Complete Prose of Woody Allen
3. Fitzgerald - The Beautiful and the Damned
4. Dali - The Diary of a Genius
5. The script to Castaway starring Tom Hanks! (Travel light)

Anonymous said...

My list:

A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters--Julian Barnes

The Complete Sherlock Holmes--Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Women in Love--DH Lawrence

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

Moll Flanders--Daniel Defoe

Megan

Astrid said...

Great Expectations - Dickens
Through the Looking Glass - Carroll
Love in the Time of Cholera - Marquez
Shantaram - Roberts
Complete collection of Dahl

Anonymous said...

Volumes to Go Before you Die
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/23/books/23read.html

wen-jay said...

im going to do the movie one cause im ignorant:
1. eternal sunshine of the spotless mind
2. wet hot american summer
3. rushmore (also so i can listen to the soundtrack over and over)

i'm only going to do three because that's what most people get on deserted islands and i'm not spoiled like some of you.

Astrid said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Astrid said...

to wen-jay, on movies to take:

"Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind". It confirms all my ultra-romanticized views on love and relationships.

"Closer". It crushes all my ultra-romanticized views on love and relationships.

see, you need them both :)

s said...

5 books in no order, because who needs order?

1. hem - a moveable feast
2. ted hughes, the collected poems of
3. faulkner - as i lay dying
4. the bible
5. joy luck club