Ed. Note: This is the 7th in our series of books we’d take with us on a deserted island if we could only pick ten. Today’s list comes from Kristin Milks, a librarian and Collection Development Analyst with OverDrive.


Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – Yeah I admit it, I’m a basic white girl. Whatever #sorrynotsorry. I love this story and Elizabeth Bennet is a female protagonist who I highly revere. Plus, who doesn’t have a crush on the brooding, well-mannered, if not prejudice, Mr. Darcy?

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling – I need some magic on this island and who better than The Boy Who Lived. I love Azkaban! The introduction of Sirius Black and a further explanation of HP’s family history is one of my favorite parts of the series. The only problem with this book is it’s not 700 pages.

A Room of One’s Own – Virginia Woolf’s essays on writing, independence, and finding a small amount of success as a female is a piece of literature I can read and reread to find inspiration and wisdom.

Collected Poems 1901-1962 by TS Eliot – Eliot’s poetry is melancholy and hauntingly beautiful. I could reread the Four Quartets over and over again and feel like I’m reading a new piece each time. I will never get bored of his poetry and am astounded by his mastery. A must for a long stay in an isolated location.

Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh – I will need to laugh if I’m expected to remain sane on this island and I can always find good giggles in Brosh’s autobiographical piece with amazingly terrible drawings she made on her computer.

The Awakening by Kate Chopin – Everyone hated me in high school English while I fiercely defended Edna, the protagonist of this masterful piece of feminist literature. I loved the deeper story about a woman struggling for independence and self-actualization. It spoke to me in a way no book had until that point in time and I love it to this day. What now AP English class! I’m stuck on a deserted island and am all independent-like!

City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg – I haven’t read it yet and it’s a stout 900+ page book that is supposed to be the next great American novel. I think I will finally have time to read it while marooned.

The Ultimate Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook by David Borgenicht & Joshua Piven & Ben Winters – A survival guide…..yeah no duh I want this while trapped on a deserted island! Plus the ‘Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbooks’ series are pretty funny and will also provide entertainment.

The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien – Yes the whole series. An epic fantasy seems like the perfect companion to the boredom and potentially hopelessness of lonely island dwelling. Frodo and the gang will give me hope for a better world and Golem will remind me to stay away from deep dark island caves *shudder*.

The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction – Yes I am cheating here, but no one said I couldn’t choose an anthology! Now I get a little love from a whole lot of spectacular authors. What can I say, this girl knows how to get the most bang for her buck.


Kristin Milks is a librarian and a Collection Development Analyst with OverDrive