Milena McKay’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
Initially, I thought this would be easy… Ha, think again, Milena! I scrolled through my kindle for almost 45 minutes thinking which books I’d take. It was like trying to pick between my favorite Cate Blanchett movies. Although, I have to say, I do have an absolute favorite there, so I guess I will start with the story that is my Carol.
Truth and Measure by Telanu/Roslyn Sinclair
I devoured the 270,000-word saga in two days and had the world’s worst book hangover. Nothing compared. Nothing came close. It’s perfect. It takes DWP canon and then runs away with it. Just commits the biggest story heist of all time. Because it does not just expand on the well-known story, not simply gives a continuation and a love story to beloved characters. It becomes canon. Every single detail of the fic becomes canon. Where Miranda is from, who Andy’s parents are, their lives before and after becoming a couple. Canon. Simples. So this story is my Carol. One and only.
Finding Jessica Lambert by Clare Ashton
This will absolutely surprise you all, but I am a total goner for a misunderstood, deeply wounded, aloof older woman in sapphic fiction. What? Shocking, I know. Anna Mayhew just stole my heart. And the power of that character and her absolute perfect counterpart in Jessica Lambert–whose own vulnerability and bravery and strength were breathtaking–is something that I love to revisit. And I revisit it often. Moreover, it was the first paperback I bought for my budding sapphic paperbacks collection.
Breaking Character by Lee Winter
Another misunderstood, vulnerable, and wounded aloof sapphic? No! Say it isn’t so! It absolutely is! And no, I cannot call Elisabeth Thornton an Ice Queen because she is not. She is a cinnamon roll that needs to be protected at all cost. The book itself is perfect. From the delicious premise to the angsty conflict to the beautiful resolution. Another paperback in my collection.
Gold by E.J. Noyes
When E.J. Noyes is mentioned, it is oftentimes for her amazing Ask, Tell series (another book coming in 2022 and I cannot wait! Rebecca Kean FTW) and for her outstanding book Alone with its original and chilling premise. Noyes is an author whose voice I will always recognize on paper. It’s evocative and special and different. And for me, it’s her book Gold that shines the brightest. There is something special in stories about second chances, not so much at love, but at life itself. At redemption when you did nothing wrong, at winning when the loss wasn’t your fault, to begin with. And Abby Craden’s narration is simply perfect for it.
This Must Be The Place by chilly_flame
It’s not a secret that fanfiction is my first love. I read sapphic fanfiction before I read sapphic fiction, I wrote fanfiction before I wrote fiction. And in days of trials and trouble, I always turn to fanfiction. What am I saying? I turn to fanfiction on any day! Chilly_flame is the author who has given me hours and hours of comfort. Their stories are simply wonderful and This Must Be The Place is such a dear safe space for me and isn’t it wonderful when a story can give that to you?
Separate Like Stars by Diana Kane
Actually, any book by Diana Kane. Not only because her novels are wonderful, but also because of what they mean to me. They inspired me to write. Well, Diana Kane inspired (read, pushed) me to write. But it all started with her wonderful book Separate Like Stars and I wish more people would read it. Also on the island, it would keep reminding me that I need to keep writing.
Pride and Prejudice by The One And Only Jane Austen
This book is everything. Jane Austen is everything. I have a dream of one-day retelling this story but making it SAPPHIC. I will never be able to do it justice, obviously and it will forever remain a silly dream. But what a story! What a woman! Jane, every time I re-read this book, I always raise my coffee mug to you, you wonderful wonderful author.
My Song Choice
One song? What? This is even more difficult than the book! After all, I have only about 500 items on my Kindle, but I have over 5,000 songs in my music library, and I’m not even counting the two massive binders holding probably 200 CDs (those were the days! Carting around the black leather binders holding your whole life in them along with your trusty Sony CD player. Ah, memories.)
Still, after long deliberation, I felt that I kept coming back to the song that has been with me since perhaps 1999, but somehow the last two years have made it even more relevant. It’s a song from an Australian TV series, Water Rats. Goldie’s Theme sung by Cathi Ogden. It can’t be found anywhere, to my knowledge, and its video on Youtube is just a picture of the main characters, but give it a listen.