The Reader's Survival Guide: Books You'd Take to a Desert Island

    From Jesus Christ to Jamie Fraser—this is the reading material that would pull you through.

    Last week, we asked you to pick your "desert island book"—the Wilson to your Tom Hanks in a Cast Away-style disaster.

    As usual, we loved reading your responses, and it was especially interesting to see how you approached the question. Some chose their favorites, or whoppers like War and Peace to finally take a crack at their bucket lists. Team Practical championed the trusty guidebook. “How to Build a Boat” was a popular answer, while others mentioned bringing their fully-loaded Kindles. One Early Birder took it a step further with “a book of matches.” Honestly, you guys are too clever for your own good!

    We've compiled your responses to create a list of 14 essential reads for a desert island exile. Think of it as the reader's survival guide in the off-chance you're stranded somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle. Just don't let the books float away.


    Buy The Bible at Amazon

    The Bible

    By King James Version

    “I guess I should say the Bible because I would be doing a lot of praying. There are so many good books out there. And to choose just one is impossible.” —Beth Collins Harrison

    “It has everything. Inspiration, poetry, stories, drama, and history.” —Harriest Foshee

    “The Bible because it contains every genre known to man.” —Becky Scarberry

    “No matter how many times I read through it I learn new things every single time and it feels like a new experience. AND it takes about a year to read all the way through so it would never get old!” —Cherie Drewes Silas

    The Bible

    By King James Version

    Buy Outlander at Amazon

    Outlander

    By Diana Gabaldon

    “I would bring Diana Gabaldon's Outlander Series because I would then have time to read them all and I could also get some tips about surviving in wild areas.” —Barb Lavell

    Outlander! All the books in the set!” —Melanie Nordquist

    “The Outlander Series. 1400+ pages per books, 8 books. I'd be set for a long time.” —Janet Kortright

    “Just one?! Oh the humanity!!!! Lol. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon if I have to choose.” —LeeAnn Race Sunderlin

    Outlander

    By Diana Gabaldon

    Buy Testimony of Two Men at Amazon

    Testimony of Two Men

    By Taylor Caldwell

    “I used parts of this book in five different college papers and just recently read it again on my Kindle and found things that are helpful in today's society.” —Rebecca Farrar

    Testimony of Two Men

    By Taylor Caldwell

    Buy Middlemarch at Amazon

    Middlemarch

    By George Eliot

    “That's what it may take for me to finally read it!” —Pam Spicer

    “Something like Middlemarch that I have never finished. Maybe then I could wade my way through it.” —Linda Holt

    Middlemarch

    By George Eliot

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    Buy The Lord of the Rings at Amazon

    The Lord of the Rings

    By J.R.R. Tolkien

    The Lord of the Rings, a long epic that would take up my time to read and explore, but also entertaining!” —Brittany Lyles

    The Lord of the Rings

    By J.R.R. Tolkien

    Buy Complete Works of William Shakespeare at Amazon

    Complete Works of William Shakespeare

    By William Shakespeare

    “The complete works of William Shakespeare—I love Mr. Will, or Badass Survival Secrets by James Henry!” —Penny Carter 

    “Laughter and tears.” —Michele Hamilton

    “I’d finally get to read everything.” —Cynthia Boyd

    Complete Works of William Shakespeare

    By William Shakespeare

    Buy War and Peace at Amazon

    War and Peace

    By Leo Tolstoy

    Gone With the Wind or War and Peace because of their length. Maybe by the time I finished reading someone would've found me.” —Mary Anne Maxwell

    War and Peace. Maybe I could finish it.😀” —Debbie Sikes

    War and Peace

    By Leo Tolstoy

    Buy Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Askaban at Amazon

    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Askaban

    By J.K. Rowling

    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban—because if I'm trapped on an island I'll need a magical book to ‘take me away.’” —Sarah Mangiola Finneran

    And also...

    Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. This book is one of the best books I read as a child...and as an adult if I'm being honest. 🤓” —Kelsey Bigler

    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Askaban

    By J.K. Rowling

    Buy Beautiful Disaster at Amazon

    Beautiful Disaster

    By Jamie McGuire

    “It is true love story that is powerful and touching with enough angst to keep you on the edge and wonder how they are going to make it. Both the main characters are strong and beautiful but they are better together than they are apart. They give hope to their relationship.” —Celest Schisler Weast

    Beautiful Disaster

    By Jamie McGuire

    Buy The Erma Bombeck Collection at Amazon

    The Erma Bombeck Collection

    By Erma Bombeck

    The Erma Bombeck Collection because if I died, I would die laughing.” —Bonnie Smith King

    The Erma Bombeck Collection

    By Erma Bombeck

    Buy Acheron at Amazon

    Acheron

    By Sherrilyn Kenyon

    “Sherrilyn Kenyon's Acheron or Styxx. They are super thick and have so much story and backstory that I could probably find something I've missed every time I read it.” —Deborah Dryden Walls

    Acheron

    By Sherrilyn Kenyon

    Buy Life After Life at Amazon

    Life After Life

    By Kate Atkinson

    Life After Life by Kate Atkinson because I find it endlessly fascinating.” —Rosemary Halligan

    Life After Life

    By Kate Atkinson

    Buy Les Misérables at Amazon

    Les Misérables

    By Victor Hugo

     “Because maybe I would be bored enough to finish it. LOL.” —Lisa Rooks Rusmiselle

    Les Misérables

    By Victor Hugo

    Buy Winter's Tale at Amazon

    Winter's Tale

    By Mark Helprin

    “It's a magical journey that never gets old.” —Larry Lanier

    Winter's Tale

    By Mark Helprin

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    Featured still from "Cast Away" via Twentieth Century Fox

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