Books Miscellaneous

Summer Reads: 16 Books for Stay-at-home Adventurers (Part Three: Isolated Islands)

It's part three of the "I can't travel but reading books are the next best thing" recommendation! Today, we're going to travel to some deserted islands.

In case you’re just tuning in: one of the side-effects of the current pandemic is being forced to stay indoors, and as a result, not being able to travel as much as we might want to. I have found that reading about far-off places can be almost similar to actually being there. So far, I’ve discussed literary city trips and imaginary worlds, and today we’re going to visit some deserted islands. Interested? Read on!

Islands stand for adventure. They are places cut off from the rest of the world, which means that the things that happen there, might very well stay there. Islands are always the last countries to go along with the changes of the rest of the world, and therefore, it might feel like time stands still. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Firstly, of course, there’s the island of Neverland in J.M. Barrie’s Peter and Wendy. I know I am cheating a bit, because there is hardly any place in the entire collection of literature that’s more made-up than Neverland, making it more fit to have been included in the previous post, but I felt like its “islandness” stood out more to me. Please forgive me. It sounds too good to be true, really, this island where you will be a child forever, fighting pirates, visiting mermaid lagoons, and where you can fly. I only read Peter and Wendy when I was secretly too old to really enjoy children’s literature, but something about Neverland made me feel like a little girl again. Read this one if you don’t only want to go to a great magical island, but also want to return to your childhood.

If you’d like some more realism and some more action, then you could always consider reading William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. It’s about a group of boys who are stranded on an island – and sure, that really sounds like fun doesn’t it? Soon, there are two separate groups, the barbarians who only follow their basic needs, and the more rational children who try to keep everyone together. Which group would you join, and would you be strong enough to stand up to those in charge?

You can always travel to Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, if you’ve always felt like you wanted to be a pirate. Come join Long John Silver and his boys if you want to pillage, steal gold, and travel the seas! I must admit I haven’t read this book yet, but somehow, because it’s so famous, I feel like I’ve known it forever. It’s been in my bookcase for ages, so I should definitely pick it up sooner rather than later.

Finally, if you feel like you didn’t mind the entire lockdown –because, to be honest, you are perfectly happy with just your own thoughts to keep you company – you might also like Annie Proulx’ The Shipping News. It takes place on the remote island of Newfoundland, and nothing much happens. Ever. Just make sure you pack your warmest clothes, bring a few books, observe the local community, and I can assure you, you’ll never want to leave.

Which island book is your favourite? Did I forget any? Please do let me know in the comments! Also, don’t forget to follow me fore more book-related posts!

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