The Bible and Ten Favorite Classics
A friend at a dinner party once suggested a game—if we were marooned on a desert island, which book would we want with us and why. Then she looked directly at me and said, “And don’t choose the Bible, Hope.” At the time, I was a little irritated—and yes, if I’m honest, maybe a bit embarrassed—that she singled me out as one of the few Christians at the table. I was also a little disappointed in myself that I hadn’t even considered the Bible before she pointed her finger at me. As a former English major, teacher, and voracious reader, I’d already thought of several books to choose from before her caustic comment.
That night, I didn’t have a comeback. I just swallowed my exasperation and played along. Later, however, after replaying the night in my mind several times, I realized that the Bible would be the perfect book to have on a desert island. It contains every kind of story a reader could want—romance (Song of Solomon and Ruth and Boaz), history (the entire Bible), humor (Balaam’s talking donkey), magic (several stories including the sorcerers in Pharaoh’s court), adventure/action/shipwrecks, giant men and giant fish.
Those are a tiny bit of the stories found within the books of the Bible. What about the admonitions against fear and for strength and the many, many verses of encouragement throughout the Old and New Testaments? Wouldn’t the Bible would be the perfect book for a shipwrecked person?
So, yes, I’d choose the Bible. Then—if I could grab a few more before the ship sank, these are my ten favorite books I’d choose to carry with me (in no particular order):
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
- Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons
- The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler
- My Antonia by Willa Cather
- Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
The tenth choice is purposely blank. I like to keep my options open.