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.
My Book Choices
Curious Wine by Katherine V. Forrest
One of the original (and still one of the best, in my humble opinion) sapphic romances. Re-reading it on the island would remind me how electric and utterly consuming sexual chemistry can be with the right person. You never want to leave the bedroom! I also love books driven by excellently drawn characters; especially strong, impressive, complex women who aren’t afraid to show their vulnerable side. I definitely have a weakness for those. And, in Lane Christianson, Forrest gifted us one of my enduring favourites.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
This is probably my favourite YA action/adventure novel, so I’d want it with me. Katniss Everdeen is such a great teenage heroine. She’s independent, brave, clever, selfless and pure – all traits that bind you to her and the situation she finds herself in. You simply can’t stop reading her narration until the very end…so it would be nice to lose myself in those pages for a day or two. Plus, I’m sure I’d pick up a few survival tips along the way!
The Target by Gerri Hill
I love a bit of action and adventure and this one comes with a dramatic backdrop, a strong cast of female characters and a sizzling sapphic love story. What’s not to like?
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
This book hit me around the chops like a bout with Mike Tyson. The language is so economical and sparse, but, somehow, McCarthy builds the tension and emotional trauma up to almost unbearable levels. It’s an astonishing piece of work. For an author to appear to be writing ‘simply’, but still create something that carries such emotional clout is so, so difficult. It blew me away and broke my heart. I cried like a baby at the end. It will stay with me forever. I’d want it by my side on that island, that’s for sure.
Strawberry Summer by Melissa Brayden
I’m a total sucker for a first-person narrative, and this one is another excellent example. There are also a lot of young adult elements to the story, which obviously appeals to me. Young love is so wonderfully innocent and pure. How I wish it could stay like that forever…before heartbreak inevitably leaves its scar.
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Ugh, another wonderful, heartbreaking, first-person novel with two main characters who you can’t help but completely fall in love with. I mourned the loss of them for several days after putting the book down. Lou Clarke, in particular, is a superbly rounded girl-next-door who can make you laugh and cry within the space of a paragraph. She has a special place in my heart. I’d be happy to hear her voice in my head every day, especially if I was all alone.
And Playing the Role of Herself by K.E. Lane
Yes, I know, I know…yet another first-person narrative featuring well-built, strong female characters…with excellent sexual chemistry. Hmm, I think there’s a common theme here! Listen, at least I’m easy to buy Christmas presents for… if you ever find me on this bloody island. HELP!
Well, I can’t very well spend all day and all night without writing crap down, can I?
My Song Choice
Normally I’d say Gravity by Sara Bareilles, but – no matter how much I adore it – it would probably become a bit depressing day after day when I’m starving and lonely on an island.
So, I’ll say Heavenly Day by Patty Griffin. With that playing 24/7, I probably wouldn’t want to leave any time soon. It’s lovely.
Well, if you hadn’t already asked me for a single song choice, I’d be taking a solar-powered radio. I just couldn’t live without music. In lieu of that, I’d take a lifetime’s supply of Chardonnay, please and thank you. Cheers!
About Kate Castle
Kate Castle is the author of the Amazon.com best-selling novella Born of the Sea. Her double Goldie-winning debut novel, ‘Girl Island’, is out now.
Kate is passionate about representing young queer females in mainstream literature and writes stories about fierce, independent young women – the kind of characters she wished she could have read more about growing up.
Find out more at www.kate-castle.com or follow my nonsensical nattering on all socials @katecastlebooks