Desert Island Books

The Dean at my school started an awesome email chain where faculty described in surprising detail their top 10 favorite books.  My school is incredible.  One of our Literature teachers is taking the semester off to go on her book tour.  Shout out to Virginia Reeves and Work Like Any Other: A Novel.  I started to get really intimidated by all the literacy going on.  I’m not illiterate but I don’t read as much as my peers and I definitely didn’t read much in high school or college.  But I couldn’t resist chiming in.  Below is my email to the faculty at my school.

Top 10 Favorite Books

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Uncle Dudley has a secret. What’s that secret you say? Harry is a Wizard?! His parents were wizards? He’s famous in the Wizard community and doesn’t even know what a Snitch is. This classic young adult novel sets the stage for the total of 4,224 pages of magic that will change your life.

What’s the sorcerer’s stone? A thing that helps you live forever. He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named wants it but Harry says “I ain’t bout dat”.

Who dies? No one. At this point everyone is still a child and everyone can sleep soundly.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Part two of this terrific series establishes our three young heroes as budding adventures. They aren’t 11 years old anymore. It’s time to break some rules. Let’s have some drinks kids. But these drinks will make us shape shift into pimply preteens and cats.

Want to get rid of your embarrassing teenage journal? Just stab it with a basilisk fang (re: crazy huge snake tooth).

Who dies? Still no one but Ginny almost dies and that’s enough to keep your 12 year old self up an hour later in fear.


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

So this crazy dude named Sirius Black escapes from Azkaban and everyone is terrified. This dude is straight up crazy! He can also turn into a big scary dog (not a werewolf those are different) WOAAAHH I didn’t know I was reading Twilight. Harry is pretty sure Sirius is in cahoots with Voldemort and is busy fearing for his life.

Meanwhile Harry is getting wicked good at Quidditch and is starting to get a bit too famous.

Ever want to know how Iphone got the idea for “find my friend” or “share location”? Well they straight up stole it from Maurader’s Map.

Turns out Sirius is actually Harry’s Godfather and is a good guy. There’s nothing to fear from this Godfather.

Who dies? No one because it’s still a kid story. Come on guys.


Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

This book is the first of the long books. They only get longer. This is great for island living.

In this one Harry is chosen by Hogwarts to compete in a wizarding tournament against the world’s other wizardry academies.   This book starts with a spark of romance. Does she like Cedric?! What?! WHY?!?! She doesn’t like him for long because he dies.

Who dies? Cedric Diggory.

Who is still alive? Everyone that matters. Move on.


Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Wanna feel the agony of learning that your hero is flawed? Oh get ready for this book. It turns out Harry is a real teenager and is super annoying. He’s also having weird dreams that connect him to his dark past. It’s kind of a Luke vs Darth vibe up in here. Is your attempt to prevent what happens in the dream the thing that makes the dream come true? I DON’T KNOW MAN THIS IS DEEP.

What’s the Order of the Phoenix? Think the Rebels in Star Wars. If you don’t know that then you are hopeless.

Who dies? Sirius Black.

True story. Senior year of high school my friend Jenny was reading the part where Sirius dies and I started laughing at her. It was the fourth time she had read the book. She kicked me real good right in the, well, just don’t make fun of people for crying when Sirius dies.


Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

This book gives me kind of a Orwellian 1984 feel. The Voldemort followers are starting to slowly take control of the government and everyone is letting it happen. The easiest way to feel safe is to give up your rights. But what if your government is behind all of it so that you voluntarily comply?! I don’t know man. Times are hard these days.

Harry tries to learn to control his thoughts because otherwise Voldemort can connect with him and manipulate him. I wonder if Hogwarts had a wellness class taught by Dave Wofford then Harry could have centered away all his worries.



Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Harry dies.

JK he is risen.

Voldemort is all worried about the Prophecy “and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives… ”   This sounds like an IB Math logic problem.

Who dies? Like half of everyone else in his epic showdown between the good guys and bad guys.   The scene looks like a group of frat boys got their hands on some roman candles on the fourth of July. Most importantly Voldemort dies. Harry is the best!!


1984 – George Orwell

I don’t need a Big Brother.


Kafka on the Shore – Murakami

Because sometimes we try to escape from a past to find ourselves, only to help someone else on their journey. And some things are more beautiful because they have an expiration date.

Eat and Run – Scott Jurek

Scott Jurek is America’s greatest ultramarathoner and the best part is that he’s not a self serving dude trying to get famous. His book tells his story of developing mental toughness through helping his mother battle MS. Also at the end of every chapter is a tasty vegan recipe to fuel you on your long runs.

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