Here's a list of thirteen books I would take with me to a deserted island. As I perused my shelves, I realized that only some of these were "reading" books. Some of them are books that I just love to read, but others are books I love to look at, and others are "comfort books," like comfort food.
1. Little, Big by John Crowley One of my most beloved books, ever. Being swept up by characters who are part of a Tale that is much larger than they are. Renewed my belief in magic.
2. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. Enough said!
3. Etty Hillesum: An Interrupted Life
4. Runaway by Alice Munro It was really hard to choose which of her books I would take, but I think she just keeps getting better and better, so I'd probably choose her latest.
5. The Hours by Michael Cunningham
6. Franny & Zooey by J.D. Salinger. This is a tossup with Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters.
7. Ithaca: A Book of Photographs by Andrea Fleck Cardy I've carried this book around from move to move, across the country, since 1981. A wonderful reminder of a place I love a lot.
8. Time, by Andy Goldsworthy All of his books are stunning, but I love this one the most because it contains photographs from Ithaca.
9. The Feast of Love by Charles Baxter A wonderful, feel good about love book.
10. Shelter by Jayne Anne Phillips This is a very dark, intense and kind of violent book, but the language just blows me away and I keep returning to it, over and over.
11. A Little Princess illustrated by Tasha Tudor, written by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I must have read this book a hundred times between the ages of 8 and 12.
12. The Country Under My Skin: A Memoir of Love and War by Gioconda Belli
13. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Another deeply moving "comfort book."
Hmm, what is with these prince and princess books?