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Five Books for A Deserted Island

Have you ever played that ice-breaker, Five Books You’d Want to Have With You on a Deserted Island? Right away, my mind jumps to trying to answer the more practical aspects to this question: How did we crash? Do I get to take anything else with me? Does this mean I need to pack 5 books every time I leave for vacation just in case? I usually use this time to delve into new literature⎼should I be packing a few tried and true volumes to tide me over? And so on….settling on favorite books to take when I am missing so much information is a difficult task. I always feel tremendous pressure to come up with the perfect 5 volumes to sustain me under dire circumstances.

Lord willing, this will never play out in real life (although uninterrupted reading time wouldn’t exactly be unwelcome!) but I am ready just in case!

River of Doubt – This book chronicles the journey of President Theordore Roosevelt’s exploration of the Amazon jungle. Fresh off the defeat of his bid for reelection to a third term, good ol’ Teddy copes with his disappointment, as one does, with a harrowing expedition to one of the most dangerous places on earth. I love biographies and adventure, and his manner of dealing with defeat is inspiring. If anything, I won’t feel alone, battling mosquitoes and capsized boats, with Teddy facing disease, murder, and starvation to keep me company.

Ann of Green Gables -“It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.” Oh Anne. You say it well. I am sure, trapped on a deserted island, I am going to need repeated doses of cheery optimism, and who better to dish that out than Anne herself?

Harry Potter (Book IV) – If Harry can survive near death, defeat Voldemort and win the House Cup, surely I can survive a deserted island. Also, there is less talk of feasting in this volume, and I am pretty sure reading up on treacle tart will do me no good when my diet will surely consist of tree bark and roasted insects (anyone else spend their college years watching Survivor?)

Any Tana French novel. – I love gritty mystery novels with deeply developed characters. Tana French knows how to pull you into a character marked with flaws that poke holes in their strengths and make you fall in love with them. She weaves a plot that is layered and never reveals the ending until the appropriate time. I also love the Irish vernacular in her writing, hearing the dialect in my head, each character with its own voice narrating the story. I am not sure how it will help me survive on my island other than to let me dip into a story other than my own for a bit.

The Bible – I probably should have put this one at the top of the list. There are times this creative entrepreneur gig can feel a lot like a deserted island. Or just a desert for that matter. It has been hard to see where God is leading me, when often times, it feels like it is in the opposite direction of where my industry friends are going. But here’s the thing⎼this business is HIS. He has always provided. When I wasn’t booking weddings for a season, God showed me just how much he was in control of my business by bringing more than my target number of bookings. When I longed for another creative venture to pursue that would allow me more time at home, writing became an avenue that He opened.

Isaiah 43:19 – See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not see it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

This is my life verse. Even when the desert feels vast, my God provides. He has drawn me to a place of rest, and when I wait in Him, I am gifted the peace of knowing that I don’t have to do it all. I guess if I am stuck on a deserted island, I will rest in the peace that God has my rescue all figured out as well!


Now, it’s your turn to play! Tell me your 5 books so I can see if my list needs some tweaking!


Amber Lea Russell, Copywriter for the creative entrepreneur.Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash


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