Sunday, July 09, 2006


You're stranded alone on a deserted island. You've built a decent shelter, and you've found reliable sources of food and water, but it looks like you're going to be there for a while.

A water-proof, standard-size suitcase comes floating on shore. You open it and discover that it contains one item and five books that you most want to have with you while you're stuck on the island.

What is the item, and what are the titles of the five books in your suitcase?

Answer in comments to this post by midnight EST on Monday, July 10, 2006. I'll draw three names at random from everyone who participates and send the winners an unsigned hardcover copy of Linda Howard's brand new novel, Cover of Night. Giveaway open to everyone on the planet, even if you've won something at PBW in the past.


  1. A full cake of oatmeal soap and the following books;

    Dantes Inferno
    Paradise Lost
    Death in Venice
    Seize the Day
    The Other Boleyn Girl


  2. Anonymous12:25 AM

    A solar powered Macbook Pro and:

    The Deeds of Paksenarrion
    Otherland, Books 1 - 4

  3. Anonymous12:32 AM

    Item: A portable mini fridge powered by solar energy.

    The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay
    Mr Perfect by Linda Howard
    Assassin's Quest by Robin Hobb
    Bitten by Kelley Armstrong
    Three Hundred "Song Ci" Poetry

    Thanks, PBW, for the chance!

  4. Anonymous12:46 AM

    A working replicator from the Star Trek universe (unless the reliable sources of food and water include a Starbucks and a Panera Bread, in which case I would bring a high-limit credit card).

    No, but really, my allergy medication.

    The Bible, KJV
    Little Women -- it'd be like taking old friends with me
    Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier
    Angel of Darkness by Caleb Carr
    Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

  5. Anonymous1:10 AM

    Totally impractical, but surely needed in a time of stress:

    my childhood 'blankie' to curl up with while reading my books :)

    1. Corazon by Edmundo de Amicis
    2. The Black Jewels Trilogy, Omnibus Edition by Anne Bishop
    3. Dreams Made Flesh by Anne Bishop
    4. Dark Lover by J.R.Ward
    5. From This Moment On by Lynn Kurland


  6. Anonymous1:30 AM

    I believe an edible, regenerating plant containing all the nutrients needed to sustain the hunam body would be a very useful item to have. (If such a plant existed. ^_~)

    1. Over the Edge by Suzanne Brockmann
    2. Dream a Little Dream by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
    3. Kiss An Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
    4. Bio Rescue by S. L. Viehl
    5. Huntress by L. J. Smith

    Thanks for the opportunity, PWB. Linda Howard's one of my favourite authors! =)

  7. I'd like a pillow, you always need a good pillow.

    My Books:

    - The Bible
    - Bitten - Kelly Armstrong
    - The Hero and the Crown - Robin McKinley
    - Blade Dancer - By you
    - ah ah, LOTR, in one volume! Ha, that'll keep me busy for...a day.

    That would be terrible...I think I'd sit around with a piece of charcol and some bark writting as much of my books as possible from memory

  8. Anonymous2:17 AM

    My item would be a comfortable, cushy chair.

    My five books would be:

    1. A book on how to survive on/get rescued from a deserted island.

    2. Poisonwood Bible - by Barbara Kingsolver

    3. New Moon - by Stephenie Meyer

    4. Sunshine - by Robin McKinley

    5. Lover Awakened - by J.R. Ward

  9. Wow! Great contest idea. Let me see...

    My item would probably be a nice, thick notebook accompanied by a pencil. I wouldn't want to stop writing...even while stranded on an island.

    And my five books would be:

    1. The Lady and the Unicorn - Tracy Chevelair

    2. Blade Dancer - S. L. Viehl

    3. Chasing Shakespeare - Sarah Smith

    4. Cordina's Crown Jewel - Nora Roberts

    5. Childe Harold (The complete Cantos) - Lord Byron

  10. I don't think I've read Linda Howard yet.

    Hmm... my item would be a magnifying glass, so I could light a fire. From there, I'd have the charcoal for pencils and dried leaves for paper.

    And the books...

    1. The Honor Of The Queen - David Weber
    2. Sympathy For The Devil - Holly Lisle
    3. The Complete Works of Shakespeare - Shakespeare
    4. Eternity - Maggie Shayne
    5. Conspiracy in Death - JD Robb

  11. Hmmm....

    A flare gun to signal passing ships?

    Books are tough, but I find myself regressing:

    1. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
    2. The Wrinkle in Time series by Madeline L'Engle
    3. The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander
    4. The Bible
    5. Bet Me by Jenny Crusie for when I need to laugh instead of cry at my predicament

  12. I'm trying to decide between practical and "but I want it!" ... and "but I want it!" wins:

    Similar to Jordan, my item would be a laptop that ran off solar energy -- because I can write, play, and while away the hours with it.

    The 5 books:

    - Son of the Shadows, by Juliet Marillier

    - Sabriel, by Garth Nix

    - Anne of the Island, by L.M. Montgomery.

    - Under the Tuscan Sun, by Frances Mayes

    - The Fire Rose, by Mercedes Lackey

  13. So, S. All these books are fascinating choices, but what would be yours? And your item? What would that be?

  14. Anonymous7:06 AM

    A survival/first aid kit

    Cordelia's Honor and Miles, Mystery, & Mayhem by Lois McMaster Bujold
    The Deeds of Paksenarrion by Elizabeth Moon
    Valor's Choice and Uncommon Valor by Tanya Huff

  15. Anonymous8:41 AM

    The solar powered laptop, hands down. Wow.

    1. The Bible NKJ
    2. Lord of the Rings in one volume -- Tolkien
    3. Draw Squad -- Kistler
    4. The War of Art -- Pressfield
    5. The Annotated Sherlock Holmes

  16. Anonymous8:52 AM

    Ooh yes, a solar powered laptop!

    Lightning by Dean Koontz
    Talyn by Holly Lisle
    Seventh Son by Orson Scott Card
    Red Prophet by Orson Scott Card
    Timescape by Gregory Benford

  17. Anonymous9:03 AM

    Jaye wrote: So, S. All these books are fascinating choices, but what would be yours? And your item? What would that be?

    My item would be a solar/windup transceiver.

    My books would be:

    The Bible

    James Henry Breasted's A History of Egypt, 1905 edition

    Stefano Zuffi's The Renaissance 1401-1610: The Splendor of European Art (2002)

    Holly Lisle's Talyn (2005)*

    Complete Poems and Selected Letters of John Keats with the intro by Edward Hirsch (2001)

    *I thought your choice of her Sympathy for the Devil was inspired. That would be my sixth book. :)

  18. Anonymous10:50 AM

    Hm. I'd want books I hadn't read yet, but that I could be sure would be fantastic. So:

    *The Dark Tower VII by Stephen King
    *Hart's Hope by Orson Scott Card
    *I See You by Holly Lisle
    *State of Fear by Michael Crichton
    *Rusty Nail by JA Konrath

    And the item: a cell phone that gets service on the deserted island so I can phone for rescuers.

  19. Anonymous11:01 AM

    I would like to say a notebook, but I have to be practical and I'd probably need more anti-allergies medicines. I love writing, but I love even more breathing.

    The five books are a bit more complicated:

    1. El último Catón by Matilde Asensi
    2. Any book by Caítlin R. Kiernan
    3. Any book by you (by the way, I've just finished Dark Need and loved it... and I want more!)
    4. Any book by C.J. Cherryh
    5. The Bible

  20. My item is a deck of playing cards because I anticipate it's going to be a long, long wait.

    A survivial guide
    Scarne's Encyclopedia of Card Games
    A dictionary
    Whitney My Love by Judith McNaught (can't leave out a romance book)

    A Harry Potter book because I've never read any of them

  21. a fully-functioning-without-the-glitches prototype of a lap top that has an internal, endless power source. It also very conveniently has pictures of all of my kids and the DH *G*



    SL Viehl's

    Nora Roberts
    Jewels of The Sun (the nifty hardback that has all three stories in it)

    Chesapeak Bay (same... the nifty hardback with all three stories)

    Lover Eternal by JR Ward

  22. I'm going to assume that my glasses are with me or none of the following would be possible.

    A Lap top with endless power supply, internet capability and a GPS so they could find me.

    The Wrong Hostage by Eliz. Lowell
    Cover of Night by L. Howard
    Angels Fall by N. Roberts
    The Red Heart of Jade by Marjorie Liu and
    The Bible

  23. item: a satphone with functioning GPS so I can tell someone to come get me


    2 blank books for writing
    Blood and Iron by Elizabeth Bear
    The OED (with magnifying glass)
    The Bible

  24. Anonymous1:42 PM

    God, this is a tough one. While I like the idea of a solar-powered laptop, I think I'd be spending too much time falling out of trees while trying to pick coconuts to be playing around on a computer all day...

    I'm going to assume that my allergies won't be too bad on a desert island (I don't have them in the Canaries) so I'm going for a glow-in-the-dark (like those stick-on things you get that are powered by sunlight) fully sealed tent for three reasons:

    i) it will keep out all the critters at night as I would get no sleep otherwise for worrying about being bitten/stung/crushed to death by giant snakes
    ii) it will allow me to read at night, which is likely to be my best chance of taking time out from all the 'survival' crap
    iii) it may help to attract the attention of passing aeroplanes (a long shot, I know)

    Bookwise, I'm going for pure comfort reads (and a bit of lighthearted comedy):

    Anne of the Island – L.M. Montgomery
    A Civil Campaign – Lois McMaster Bujold
    Friday's Child – Georgette Heyer
    Faking It – Jennifer Crusie
    The Once and Future King – T.H. White (omnibus edition)

  25. Item: IPOD w/fully charged batteries and LOTS of music

    1. Ombria in Shadow by Patricia McKillip
    2. Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
    3 - 5. The Mistress of the Empire trilogy by Raymond E. Feist & Janny Wurts

    Ok, I'm lame, huh? lol

  26. One of those bamboo sumi paint/caligraphy brushes,

    1. A good thick sketch book
    2. Beachcombers Diary by Euell Gibbons
    3. The Chemistry of Natural Dyes by Dianne N. Epp
    4. A book on useful plants for textiles
    5. A good text on the local birds and beasts.


  27. Anonymous3:15 PM

    Item: I don't suppose a hunky survival guide counts as an item, huh? Lol. Okay, I'd go with the others and the perpetual powered laptop. It'd have a writing program on it and my Sims2 game -- that'll keep me busy for days and make this slightly more bearable.


    Lion of Ireland by Morgan Llywelyn
    Jenny Crusie's thickest book
    Complete Works of Shakespeare
    One of Robert Asprin's Myth-adventure double or triple books in one.
    The William Butler Yeats Reader

  28. Several dozen bars of Lindt dark chocolate with hazel nuts. (I don't have to wear a bikini on this island, do I?)

    1. Motherless Brooklyn
    2. Talyn
    3. When the Sacred Ginmill Closes
    4. a vegetarian cookbook
    5. A Brief History of Time

  29. Anonymous5:50 PM

    Item: One of those multi-use pliers with tools in the handles.

    The Books:

    (1)The U.S. Army Survival Guide
    (2)The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
    (3)Baumeister & Marks Standard Handbook for Mechanical Engineers
    (4) The Complete Works of Edgar Allen Poe
    (5)The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway

  30. Survival/First Aid kit and
    1. Oxford English dictionary
    2. Popes Poetical Works
    3. Collected Rudyard Kipling
    4. Collected Shakespeare
    5. Survival manual

  31. Anonymous8:03 PM

    The item would be a first/aid survivial kit (with extra chocolate)

    1. Bet Me - Jennifer Crusie
    2. Bitten - Kelley Armstrong
    3. Dead Until Dark - Charlaine Harris
    4. Lord of the Rings - Tolkien
    5. Mr. Perfect - Linda Howard

  32. Anonymous9:47 PM

    Item: a Personal Locator Beacon, (PBS), one of the new models that has an integrated GPS, so it would broadcast on the emergency wavelength and they could find me within 100 meters because of the GPS (not cheating, they come in one unit now).

    The Secret Texts, by Holly Lisle (three volumes in one book)

    The National Audubon Society Field Guide to the Night Sky by the NAS

    The Light Years Beneath My Feet by Alan Dean Foster

    Music of the Spheres by Guy Murchie
    The Seven Mysteries of Life by Guy Murchie

  33. Anonymous10:26 PM

    The item: A good sturdy knife

    The books:

    Reader's Digest: Back to Basics
    SAS Survival Guide
    A leather bound journal (a bit of a cheat, so I'll title it, The Life of a Castaway)

    I don't imagine I'd have much time for leisure reading but if I did:

    The Collected works of Agatha Christie
    The Black Stallion

  34. Sunscreen (I know, boring but practical)...

    Complete works of Jane Austen (Modern Library version)
    Flowers from the Storm
    SAS Survival Handbook
    Great Expectations

  35. Anonymous1:08 AM

    Item: Mary Kay Satin Lips lip balm

    Books: The Bible, the Fionavar Tapastry (Guy Gavriel Kay), A Storm of Swords and a Feast for Crows (George RR Martin), Lord of the Rings (the three in one version).

  36. Anonymous2:35 AM

    A pen

    Malory's Morte D'Arthur
    A good dictionary
    2 field guides, one for sea life, the other for plants
    A blank notebook

  37. Anonymous9:25 AM

    - A nice big knife (food prep, defense, whittling, skinning, etc.)

    - Douglas Adams' Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy
    - E.P. Thompson's Making of the English Working Class
    - J.R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings
    - E.V. Gordon's An Introduction to Old Norse (might as well read sagas AND brush up on my old Icelandic at the same time!)
    - Benjamin Hoff's The Tao of Pooh

  38. a survival kit with meds,feminine supplies etc.

    survival guide
    Robert Frost poetry collection
    living of the land cookbook
    Sherrilynn Kenyon dark hunter novel

  39. Castagiveaway--love it!

    My item would be a classical guitar, so I could have music.


    The Bible, King James version, of course
    Immortal Poems--poetry anthology I particularly like
    Stephen King's The Stand
    Linda Howard, Now you See Her
    A book by one of my favourite authors, like Nora Robers or Linda Howard, or Karen Robards, for instance, that I haven't read yet!

    Harder than it looks, and I would probabl come up with a completely different list tomorrow.

    Good giveaway, thanks.


  40. Anonymous10:13 AM

    I've built a decent shelter? Go me!

    I'd like to find a good knife in that suitcase along with...

    1. The Bible
    2. The Complete Works of Jane Austen
    3. The Complete Works of Shakespeare
    4. The Dragonriders of Pern
    5. The Lord of the Rings

  41. the item -- a flashlight with everlasting batteries so I can read the books.

    The books... so I can pass the time.
    1. Watership Down, Richard Adams
    2. Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien
    3. Idlewild, Nick Sagan
    4. The Hungering Dark, Frederick Buechner
    5. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis

  42. My one item would be a knife. A girl needs to eat. :)

    As for the books,

    Norton's Classical Literature.

    Bullfinch's Mythology

    Juggling for the Complete Klutz (can you imagine how good I'd get after a while? And all that fun stuff to juggle! Coconuts, crabs.)

    The Stargazers Guide to the Universe by Robin Kerrod

    The Amplified New Testament.

  43. Anonymous11:00 AM

    Robinson Crusoe by R L Stevenson
    Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
    Around the world in 80 days by Jules Verne
    Leave it to Jeeves by P G Wodehouse
    The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

  44. Anonymous11:36 AM

    Because I anticipate a quick rescue with my brand new shortwave radio powered by a hand crank, I will not take five old favs with me. Instead I'd have the ARCs for:
    1. The Fourth Bear - Jasper Fforde
    2. Winter's Child - Margaret Maron
    3. A Stolen Season - Steve Hamilton
    4. Echo Park - Michael Connelly
    5. Grave Surprise - Charlaine Harris

  45. Anonymous11:38 AM

    A flare. =P Maybe a pack of flares.

    1.) The Complete Sherlock Holmes, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
    2.) The Complete Works of Shakespeare
    3.) The Jungle Books, by Rudyard Kipling
    4.) Transformation, by Carol Berg
    5.) my 20th century art history textbook

    That would be three of my favorites, something to remind me of artistic greatness, and some plays I haven't read yet all of. Failing a flare, a Swiss army knife would be good, or maybe a giant zip-lock baggie to keep my books dry. ;-)

  46. Anonymous12:55 PM

    A padded chaise lounge (how can I read books comfortably on a deserted island without a chaise?)

    1) Anne of the Island by LM Montgomery
    2) Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
    3) Dangerous by Amanda Quick
    4) Light in the Attic or Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
    5) The Prophet by Khalil Gibran

    That's a bunch of favorites, and enough differences to keep my interested.

  47. Anonymous3:52 PM

    Great question!

    A huge bottle of sunscreen.

    And books:
    1. The Smoke Thief by Shana Abe
    2. Lady in Waiting by Kathryn Caskie
    3. Warprize by Elizabeth Vaughan
    4. Big Hair and Flying Cows by Dolores Wilson
    5. London by Peter Ackroyd (plenty of time to do my research :)

  48. Anonymous5:49 PM

    The answers to this question have been very fun to read!

    Item: a good knife (although I desperately wanted to join the solar-powered laptop bandwagon)

    Winter Rose by Patricia A. McKillip
    Sunshine by Robin McKinley
    The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
    The Secret History by Donna Tartt
    The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

  49. Anonymous5:56 PM

    Nicole wrote: The answers to this question have been very fun to read!

    Agreed. I'm picking out people I want to be stranded with, just so I can read their books. :)

  50. Anonymous7:58 PM

    The item -- my Leatherman tool. It has a knife and pliers, and all sorts of handy things. I'd love a solar-powered laptop and a blankie, but the Leatherman would be v. practical!

    As for books... oh geeze. I can never pick just five!

    but... off the top of my head...

    1. a guide to edible plants and useful herbs, hopefully for the area where the island is...
    2. the joy of cooking (the older edition that has all of the funky recipes and instructions on cooking/skinning/preserving things...)-- not only useful, but fun to read!
    3. the king james bible
    4. tigana by guy gavriel kay
    5. a civil contract by lois mcmaster bujold

    but oh Damn, no georgette heyer, no terry pratchett, no carla kelly, no c j cherryh, not the rest of bujold's fantasy... no heinlein... no manning coles... i can't stand it!