A.L. Brooks's Desert Island Books
Based on the BBC radio programme ‘Desert Island Discs’, we’ve adapted this idea to ask castaways to list up to eight books, one song and one luxury item that they couldn’t do without on a desert island.
The rules are fairly simple, any type of book can be selected, but we ask that at least half are lesfic. Choices should be justified in a paragraph or two. Any type of music is allowed. The luxury item must be inanimate and of no use in escaping the island or allowing communication from outside.
Chronicles of Alsea by Fletcher DeLancey
This whole series, from the very first page to the last, is extraordinarily good sci-fi/fantasy writing. The fact that it has lesbians at its heart is a gorgeous bonus. I get lost in these books every time I read them, and they’d probably be the first thing I’d dip into once I was stranded, as a way to take my mind off my predicament.
The Belgariad by David Eddings
The first proper fantasy series I read, back when I was seventeen and working in a small independent bookshop. Loads of people would buy one or more books from the series every week, and I was wondering what all the fuss was about. After the first three or so chapters of book one, I totally understood, and my love of fantasy was born.
Backwards to Oregon by Jae
Oh my word, SO hard to pick a favourite Jae book to take! I honestly could have listed my whole eight books as works by her. But, for depth of story, beautiful slow-burn romance, and wonderful ending, this one squeaked into first place.
Just Jorie by Robin Alexander
One author guaranteed to make me laugh out loud, with actual snorts, and this book in particular. I’ve read it so many times and it never gets old. Definitely one for any time I’m feeling sad in my isolation.
Jericho by Ann McMan
Such an easy pick – wonderful characters, gorgeous slow-burn romance between the two leads, loads of humour and pathos, and it’s another long read too, which I love.
The X Ingredient by Roslyn Sinclair
So, um, the subject of this interview will be on this island on their own, right? They might need something to, um, spice things up on their lonely nights? Asking for a friend…
Finding Jessica Lambert by Clare Ashton
I read this book twice in 48 hours when it first came out – it was so brilliantly written I literally couldn’t breathe in certain chapters, and I read it wayyyyy too fast the first time round. Clare’s an awesome writer, but this one was just on another level. Couldn’t imagine being stranded without having this available to read whenever I liked.
where i’m going now, i don’t know by missparker
This is a fanfic based around the crossover between The Closer and Major Crimes, and features Brenda from the former (played by Kyra Sedgwick) and Sharon from the latter (played by Mary McDonnell). It’s the most fantastic enemies-to-lovers story with a good splash of toaster oven thrown in. Not to mention it’s women in their late fifties/early sixties, an age group sorely under-represented in wlw fiction. And it’s just SOOO good, I know I’d want to fall into it over and over again while awaiting my rescuers.
My song choice
Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey
Yes, I have indeed chosen a rock anthem. Don’t @ me, haha! Why did I choose this? Well, rock and heavy metal played a big part of my life in my late teens and into my twenties. I still have a huge fondness for a lot of the music from that time, even though I know a lot of the bands and the image that went with them were very sexist etc. But there’s just something about rock anthems that really get me singing out loud and air guitaring like a pro. And this one in particular, and it always has since I first heard it back in 1981. I figure there’s no one on the island to see me rocking it out, so I can go full tilt and scream it out as much as I like! Plus, of course, I’ll be believin’ every day that someone will rescue me, and I won’t want to Stop Believin’ that, so…
My inanimate object choice
Ooof, this was hard! I got it down to three pretty easily: (1) a humungous tub of sun screen, because I have skin that burns in about three seconds flat without it, and I’m assuming this desert island is somewhere hot and sunny; (2) a permanently-chilled, endless supply of dark chocolate, because if I’m stranded I’m not going to give two hoots about my cholesterol anymore and will need all the comfort eating I can get; and (3) an internet-less MacBook with my Scrivener software installed so that I can keep writing all the story ideas that are bound to fill up my brain in my isolation. I guess the MacBook wins because I can always sit in the shade and eat coconuts, right?
About A.L. Brooks
A.L. Brooks was born in the UK but currently resides in Frankfurt, Germany, and over the years she has lived in places as far afield as Aberdeen and Australia. She works 9–5 in corporate financial systems and her dream is to take early retirement. Like, tomorrow, please. She loves her gym membership and is very grateful for it as she also loves dark chocolate. She enjoys drinking good wine and craft beer, trying out new recipes to cook, and learning German. Travelling around the world and reading lots and lots (and lots) of books are also things that fight for time with her writing. Yep, she really needs that early retirement.
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My next book comes out on October 22nd from Ylva Publishing – The Club Revisited is the sequel to my award-winning debut, The Club.