Desert Island Reads (a Wyrd & Wonder tag/challenge/prompt)

Wyrd and Wonder: Celebrate the Fantastic 1st to 31st May 2021
Image Credit: Svetlana Alyuk on


This is a very special Wyrd and Wonder tag/challenge/prompt created by our one and only imyril, because she’s the frigging BEST!! I’ve quoted the rules directly from her post, below, and while I can’t force anyone to do this, I will hunt you down if you don’t.


Just kidding. *snorts with laughter*


The Rules:

Desert Island Discs – the classic BBC radio show that inspired this post – allows players to take eight musical tracks (not albums!), a single book (plus the complete works of Shakespeare and the Bible or a more appropriate religious/philosophical book of choice as a freebie) and a random ‘luxury’ item to make island life bearable.

For Desert Island Reads, I’m switching things up. Castaways may have:

Eight (audio)books – your Desert Island Reads float ashore in a watertight chest, phew!

If you want to take a series, each book in it counts as one of your eight unless a collected edition has been published.

No, you can’t have a fully-loaded ebook reader. Nice try.

A podcast, TV show or movie – for when you really can’t read any more.

One thing you just can’t do without.

A favourite food, something comforting, a touch of luxury – this can be pretty much whatever you like, so long as it’s inanimate, can’t help you escape or communicate with the outside world, and doesn’t require electricity or internet connectivity.

Bonus: you can listen to audiobooks/podcasts or watch your TV show/movie (on some magical waterproof device that doesn’t need power and has very limited storage, shh).

Don’t worry: you already have access to any medication you require to manage medical conditions, plus a well-stocked first aid kit.


My Desert Island Reads…


This volume collects together the first three books of Brust’s epic Vlad Taltos series. The story isn’t told in chronological order, but by gum this is a great introduction to Vlad and Cawti, Loiosh and Rocza, Kragar (my dude!), Noish-pa, Morrolan and so many others. All great company.



The more I hear about this book the more I know I’m going to love it (and it’s being published in the UK tomorrow, which is just perfect timing for my imminent stranding).



I know it’s a predictable choice, but this will ever be one of my comfort reads, so it’s coming with.



Another comfort read, and one that I think could bear up under multiple rereads with its nicely unpredictable plotting and fun characters.

(It was a toss up between this and Tam Lin by Pamela Dean – I hope you all appreciate the sacrifice I’ve made for you here by picking a book I haven’t gone on and on about previously!)



I have to agree with imyril’s choice here. And I don’t have this beautifully illustrated edition (I’ve got a bunch of ratty paperbacks, but I love them and can’t swap them out for this visual delight), but I think Charles Vess’ images will give me some added joy in the solitary years ahead.


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I enjoyed this vicious tale when I read it first and have kept it for rereading. Seems like a good one to take with me for when I’m feeling stabby.


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I’m really including this for its size. I loved a lot of it, although I found the odd chunk a little less than riveting, but heck, I’m going to have all the time in the world to appreciate this slab of story all over again.



This is on my TBR stack. I have it on very good authority (*cough* imyril again *cough*) that it’s awesome. I think I’m going to need some awesome on my desert island, and I definitely need to meet the Chathrand and her crew.


TV, Movie or Podcast…

Hmmm, what to pick … The Princess Bride? Labyrinth? Stardust? Ladyhawke? Willow? The Neverending Story? Lord of the Rings? Spirited Away? The Dark Crystal? Legend? I think this is the hardest choice. I’m just not strong enough to make it.

Then again, maybe I do have the strength after all…

It’s Princess Bride all the way! Because I am Inigo Montoya, and you did kill my father, and you should prepare to die! *lunges with imaginary rapier* (Personal note: I see it as a terribly flaw in this movie that Buttercup has nothing interesting to do and pretty much all the action is performed by the men, and as a younger woman I used to get very angry about this, but it is still my most often quoted, referred to and rewatched film. I am an awful hypocrite).

Inigo Montoya sword raised to shoulder height and pointed directly at the camera


I Can’t Do Without…

Don’t judge me. It’s between my panda toy, who is exactly the right size and weight to cuddle up to when I can’t sleep, and my notebook. Comfort versus stimulation. And I think it’s got to be panda. But I’m really going to miss my notebook.

Finally, my item of food is a big bar of Tony’s Chocolonely (dark chocolate with almond and sea salt). Because I can make one of these last for ages. And also nom.

A bar of Tony's Chocolonely, Almond and Sea-Salt flavour

So much fun! Now tell me your choices!



  1. Inigo Montoya is a master and we all should follow his perfect way to introduce yourself: 1. polite greeting 2. name 3. relevant personal link 4. manage expectations

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  2. I’ve read three of your titles (the Tolkien, the Le Guin, and the Clarke) and have also watched (and read!) The Princess Bride, so I can only applaud these choices. The Cho sounds really interesting too! If I can post about my choices before the end of the month I will but there’s so much else I want to fit in…

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    • 😀
      Fitting things in this month IS something of a difficulty isn’t it? For the first time ever I find I have too many things I want to post about, and the month is fair sailing away!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hands-down agreed on Jonathan Strange being a desert island read, it’s just brilliant and long enough to last us through many days. 🙂 I’ve heard great things about Jhereg and College of Magics, but not read either one of those, something I need to correct. But I’m surpised there’s no Jo Walton here. 🙂 Happy #WyrdAndWonder
    ~Lex (

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