Monica McCallan’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.
My Books Choices
I was told only half needed to be lesfic novels, but who are we kidding… I love lesfic books, and besides the occasional non-fiction book (behavioral economics, anyone?), I read them exclusively. Like sure, I’ll read an article or a news piece about something important, but I want what I want, and at this point in my life, I’m unapologetic about it.
Those Who Wait by Haley Cass
I will never stop talking about this book, and at a whopping 160k words, it feels almost like getting a twofer! A friends-to-lovers story set amidst the high stake world of politics? Count me in. I’ve already read this book countless times, and I think I’d find it soothing to have with me.
Alone by EJ Noyes
Maybe a little masochistic, but this book is so good! And sometimes, you just want to lean into the melancholy of your current life, and stuck on a deserted island, this book would be the perfect fit.
Some Part of Me Is You by Adrienne Marsh
This book feels like it could be Taylor Swift fanfic, AND I LOVE IT. I am usually very into books having well-developed sex scenes, but the plot was so well developed that I didn’t even mind that it was mostly fade-to-black.
Casting Lacey by Elle Spencer
You had me at celebrity fauxmance with witty banter and a whole lot of flirting. This was Elle Spencer’s debut novel, which came out within a week of my own debut. I read it and was like… goddamn this is a good book. I’ll never write a book this good. It’s sharp and sexy and funny and all the things that would make me happy to get lost in for a few hours.
Poppy Jenkins by Clare Ashton
I have said it before on Twitter, but Poppy Jenkins is my jam! There’s so much depth and nuance to this book that you can reread it multiple times and still have new feelings about it. I love a good second chance romance, and this is peak execution in my opinion.
Waiting in the Wings by Melissa Brayden
How Sweet It Is was a close, close second for me when deciding which Melissa Brayden book to pick, but Waiting in the Wings was one of the first lesfic books I ever read. It kind of ends up being a bonus second chance romance, since they part ways for years and come back together, and the separation and how their lives have changed made them coming back together oh-so-satisfying.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
I waited 4 years after this book came out to read it. I think I knew, on some subconscious level, that it was going to mess me up pretty badly. And it did! It’s the type of book that you can’t just gush about, there are decisions that warrant discussion and dissection, so it would be a good way to occupy my mind when I’m feeling a little restless.
The Conquest by Yxta Maya Murray
I have never met another person in real life (of which I include Twitter) who has read this book. I found it at a used bookstore when I was sixteen, and it absolutely blew my mind. There are two stories being told in parallel; the story of the protagonist, and the story of the rare manuscript that she’s restoring as part of her job at The Getty.
And even though it’s not stated on the synopsis anywhere, it ended up being pretty queer!
My Song Choice
My first reaction was to say Mr. Blue Sky by Electric Light Orchestra because studies have been done and find that it’s quantitatively the most upbeat, happy song. But, if I’m trapped on a desert island, I would likely want to knock myself out with a coconut (god, I hope there are coconuts) after hearing it too many times.
So, I picked an instrumental song that I am absolutely in love with. I always think about it when I’m writing, because it’s the perfect song to feel like you’re existing in a time-passing montage. And let’s be real, if I can survive, I’ll probably have a decent amount of time to think about new book plots.
I liked G Benson’s answer about sunglasses, but I’ve already decided I will be fashioning a sweet visor out of palm fronds so they won’t be necessary.
The one thing I truly won’t be able to salvage, forage, or build is comfort. When I was little, I was in the hospital over my first Christmas and was given a stuffed bunny that I later dubbed Sir Bun Bun. So, he’s coming with me, because he hasn’t failed in comforting me yet. I’m kind of a snuggly sleeper, so I need something to cuddle up with on the cold, lonely nights.
About Monica McCallan
Monica McCallan was an enthusiastic fan of romance novels long before she began writing them. She lives in Philadelphia with the best dog in the world, cannot parallel park to save her life, and enjoys playing pool a few times a week.