Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Monday, February 26

Gapers Block

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Niki / September 16, 2003 3:33 PM

(in no particular order)
1. High Fidelity - Nick Hornby (in keeping with the Top 5 Desert Island theme)
2. Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook (might come in handy)
3. Different Seasons - Steven King
4. Where the Wild Things Are - Maurice Sedak
5. Some sort of big book of puzzles

Shylo / September 16, 2003 3:45 PM

1. Infinite Jest - David Foster Wallace (no, serious.)

2. These Happy Golden Years - L.I. Wilder. This is the volume of the Little House series where Laura weds Almanzo, but before the one where their house burns down.

3. Circle of Friends - Maeve Binchy. It's nice to read about chunky Irish girls in the middle of the 20th century. On a desert island.

4. The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald. Fuck those East Eggers.

5. Gravity's Rainbow - Thomas Pynchon. Because you might want to kill yourself.

Andrew / September 16, 2003 3:53 PM


- The Complete Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams (hey, I've got it all in one volume, that counts as one book)
- The BFG, by Roald Dahl
- American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
- A dictionary
- A blank sketchbook

A lex, x, x / September 16, 2003 3:53 PM

1. "Lolita" by Vladimir Nabokov

2. "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" by Milan Kundera

3. "She's Come Undone" by Wally Lamb

4. "Me Talk Pretty One Day" by David Sedaris

5. "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret" by Judy Blume

Andrew / September 16, 2003 3:54 PM

Actually, scratch the dictionary, add The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. A good book to occupy the mind for a good long while.

Niki / September 16, 2003 3:56 PM

My #5 is, of course, only if I have a pen as well, cuz, man, suck having a puzzle book & no pen.

If no pen is present, then my 6th choice was, Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume.

Lisa / September 16, 2003 4:18 PM

Only blank books. It sounds like a good opportunity to write that novel. In fact, where do I sign up?

Brenda / September 16, 2003 4:19 PM

Brothers Karamozov, Fyodor Dostoevsky -- 'cause it will take weeks to read

Time Enough for Love, Robert Heinlein -- because Lazarus Long lives for a thousand years

The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster -- 'cause Milo escapes his boring life with just a cardboard box and an active imagination

Anne Rice's Sleeping Beauty series -- 'cause a girl's gotta have her porn

The Collected Books of Blood, Clive Barker -- just 'cause

Naz / September 16, 2003 4:29 PM

1) Microserfs - Douglas Coupland
2) The Immortal Class - Travis Hugh Culley
3) Kitchen Confidential - Anthony Bourdain
4) The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
5) is a toss up between The Complete Tales of the Unexpected or Going Solo both by Roald Dahl.

Brenda / September 16, 2003 4:33 PM

Roald Dahl... of course. Add a 6th to my list: My Uncle Oswald

daisy / September 16, 2003 4:46 PM

1) Please Kill Me - Legs McNeil & Gillian Whatsherface
2) The Portable Dorothy Parker
3) Pride & Prejudice - Jane Austen
4) The Most of PG Wodehouse (or similar omnibus)
5) Stories - T. Coraghessan Boyle

stephen / September 16, 2003 5:27 PM

1> Lord of the Rings, Tolkien
2> Secret History, Tartt
3> Power of Myth, Campbell
4> The Complete Poems, Sexton
5> Neuromancer, Gibson


Wiz of Odds / September 16, 2003 5:41 PM

1. Critique of Pure Reason - Immanuel Kant
2. The World as Will and Representation - Arthur Schoepenhauer
3. Gravity's Rainbow - Thomas Pynchon
4. A History of the Twentieth Century - Martin Gilbert
5. Principia Mathematica - Bertrand Russell

Wiz of Odds / September 16, 2003 5:43 PM

#2 might be too depressing. Switch in Seneca's Consolations or Desiderius Erasmus' The Praise of Folly

Onid / September 16, 2003 7:34 PM

1) Dante's --Inferno

2) Fyodor Dostoevsky --Crime and Punishment (Brothers Karamazov is good also)

3) Erik Larson --The Devil in the White City

4) William Dalrymple --From the Holy Mountain

5) Gus Russo --The Outfit

miss ellen / September 17, 2003 7:50 AM

hmmm, that's tough.

i'd definitely bring these along:

1) the alchemist, paulo coehlo

2) the solataire mystery, jostein gaardner

3) the confederacy of dunces (maybe i'd finally get around to reading it)

4) jitterbug perfume, tom robbins

5) island of the sequined love nun, christopher moore (obviously, for subject matter, and sheer humor alone)

if i'm stranded on an island, i want amusing, uplifting stuff....

Alice / September 17, 2003 8:27 AM

1. David Copperfield--Charles Dickens
2. Hamlet--Will Shakespeare
3. Lord of the Rings--JRR Tolkien
4. The Empty Mirror--Janwillem van der Wetering
5. Beowulf or The Canterbury Tales--Geoffrey Chaucer

Phineas / September 17, 2003 9:22 AM

1. Oscar and Lucinda - Peter Carey
2. Byzantium - John Julius Norwich
3. Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut
4. Franny and Zooey - J.D. Salinger
5. My big catalog of Francis Bacon paintings.

Wendy / September 17, 2003 9:40 AM

1.) Collected Poems -- Elizabeth Bishop.

2.) Plainwater -- Anne Carson

3.) The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay -- Michael Chabon

4.) Jane Eyre -- Charlotte Bronte, and

5.) Richard Scarry's Best Word Book Ever. So I wouldn't forget what stuff looked like.

brian / September 17, 2003 9:43 AM

There's a scene in one of Don DeLillo's books where a character is being tortured by terrorists. His escape is to try and think of a woman undressing, of something beautiful.

So that's what I'd probably try to do. I'd be bored to tears with novels and such. On a desert island, you want imagery and the idea of companionship. If I were really on a desert island, I'd want something to ignite my fantasy, not something that I'd read before.

Oh, and a book of e.e. cummings poetry.

mark / September 17, 2003 9:50 AM

1. Vida - Marge Piercy
2. Amped - Jon Resh
3. Making of Black Revolutionaries - James Forman
4. Union Dues - John Sayles
5. The Zinn Reader - Howard Zinn

stephen / September 17, 2003 10:17 AM

Excellent! Good to see Zinn showing up in the lists..People's History of the US should be standard in High School US History classes.

Audrey / September 17, 2003 2:00 PM

The Collected Dorothy Parker
The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn -- Betty Smith
100 Years of Solitude -- Gabriel García Marquez
Gardner's Art Through the Ages

paul / September 17, 2003 2:21 PM

Tom Brown's Guide to Wilderness Survival. Essential skills on shelter building, food gathering etc.

Charlie Trotter's Seafood. While you may not be able to prepare 'spiny lobster with potato gnocchi, wilted spinach and saffron-infused mussel infusion' on your island, the photos alone might get you past your daily ration of grilled albatross.

The Island of the Day Before, Umberto Eco. Not only is Eco's writing dense enough to read over and over, but it's about a guy who's trapped on an abandoned ship, near a desert island.

Far Tortuga, Peter Matthiessen. For sea-faring literature, I'd pick this one over Moby Dick.

Kon Tiki, Thor Heyerdahl. While I might pick more technical books on boat building or navigation, this one would give me more inspiration to try to get home.

Jim / September 17, 2003 2:25 PM

Guess I have a lot of time to get some reading done. Five off the top of my head:

1. Lizard - Banana Yoshimoto
2. Basic Works of Aristotle - Richard McKeon
3. Short Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald
4. The Civilization of Europe in the Renaissance - John Hale
5. Microserfs - Douglas Coupland

susan / September 21, 2003 4:00 PM

My list, chosen by looking for the most broken-spined books on my bookcases

1. Ada--Vladimir Nabokov, with notes by Vivian Darkbloom.
2. The Satanic Verses--Salman Rushdie.
3. East of Eden--John Steinbeck (and I'm quite irritated at Oprah for stealing my book).
4. The Confessions--St. Augustine, translated by the charmingly named R.S. Pine-Coffin.
5. The Golden Ass--Lucius Apuleius, translated by Robert Graves.

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