Books, General

Bout of Books – Day 7


8:30am: I’ve just put the oven on for croissants, a very civilised start to Sunday morning. Not so much can be said in High Rise, which I continued to read last night. It’s still strange. I still don’t get it. I still don’t really think I like it. I am over 150 pages in, of a 208 pages book, so I think the narrative is just going to be lost on me. Oh well.

5pm: I am precisely no further on with High Rise, but I have purchased a couple of new reads, and have decided that from now until I travel at least (and maybe whilst I am on the move) that I am going to do a weekly TBR. I seem to get more reading done when there is a goal. Maybe I should put less than 4 books on it though. I’ve also said goodbye to my friends for the next 12 months. That’s not the most pleasant thought.


Today’s post-apocalyptic challenge has a desert island discs feel to it and comes courtesy of Falling Down the Book Hole, and goes like this (anyone else read this and hear it sung by Adam Levine. Moves Like Jagger is such a tune):

It is 11:00 PM on a Sunday night. You are laying in bed thinking about all of the things you must do the next day. Tasks of the coming days consume your thoughts and while your mind is somewhere else you are caught off guard by a flash in the sky that is followed by a large wailing screech that pierces the air and shatters your bedroom window. Slowly you move to the window and what you see catches your breathe and causes you to stumble back a few steps. The aliens (at least you think they are aliens) have began to enter the city and destroy everything that is in their path. Through the window your view is consumed with destruction, screaming people and large flames that are dancing across the city at a fast pace. You notice that the creatures are heading in your direction and you realize you probably have about fifteen minutes before they reach your home. That means you have only about ten minutes to gather your belongings and escape before you are caught in the attack from the aliens invading the city.

Given the short amount of time you are only able to take 5 books with you. What books would you pick to take with you as you escape and prepare for the end of the world. Would you choose books that would help you survive in the post-apocalyptic world ,books for pleasure that would make you happy and take you to a fantasy reality or books that you can’t live without?

I can 100% say it would never cross my mind to take a survival/helpful book with me, well unless you consider The Hunger Games, but I am not sure whether Suzanne Collins wrote that strictly as a survival guide. I do enjoy a good book so I would definitely take 5 books that were for pleasure reading, what else are you going to do in a post-apocalyptic world.

  1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows J K Rowling: This is not my favourite Harry Potter book, which is the Chamber of Secrets, but it is much longer, so I thought in the event of an apocalypse, I’d compromise and take my second favourite Harry Potter book. Plus, there is sort of survival in it right? Well OK, I would need a wand, and Hermione’s bag, but now we are just talking technicalities.
  2. To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee: This is my favourite book. I read it when I was 12, and although I may not have understood a lot of the subtleties I could appreciate the brilliance of the book. I love the collective short story feel that the narrative carries, the naivety of the children, and the issues that the book takes on, and to some extant conquers from start to finish. It has influenced many things I have done, from the name of my car to my first phone password, and would have to be on my list.
  3. The Lord of the Rings J R R Tolkien: There is no feeling like getting lost in an author’s imagination, when a world feels so real that, no matter how unrealistic many of the components are, you accept every creative character and narrative as plausible and enjoyable. Tolkien achieves this in a way many don’t, and would the perfect way to unwind and get lost in a world apart from the suffering in the post-apocalyptic destruction.
  4. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Arthur Conan Doyle: I love a good detective/mystery story, and the daddy of them all has to be Sherlock Holmes. I have to confess I haven’t read any of the long stories/books, but I have read all of the short story collections, and the one that remains my favourite is this. It contains my favourite 3 short stories, The Adventure of the Red-Headed League, The Man with the Twisted Lip, and The Adventure of the Engineer’s Thumb. 

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