40: desert island books

Forty days to go and I’m having thoughts about Great Floods and temptations in the wilderness and wondering how quickly this time is going to pass. FF hit her landmark date today, perhaps making her the white dove with the olive branch to my hulking Ark…

Regardless, speaking of deserts and journeys into the wilderness I have a dilemma. The question often gets asked, ‘If you were stuck on a desert island and could only take one book, what would you take and why?’ Although I’m not heading out to a desert island, I am trying to finalise what exactly I’m going to take with me on the Camino de Santiago since I reckon I can only be bothered to carry one book. One book for the full fortnight.

How and what to choose? I feel I ought to read something about a journey, or something that reflects the route in some way. Maybe a story set in Portugal or Spain. I want something I’ll enjoy so that I don’t feel disappointed, but I don’t want to enjoy it so much I race through it and then have nothing to read. I don’t want to carry an epic tome because it’ll be too heavy, but I don’t want to read something too short. Maybe I should read something spiritual, but will that distract me from my own experience of the walk?

CC suggested reading something I normally wouldn’t, like a sci-fi novel (which I had to point out, has not been that unusual for me in the past). B wants me to read some Jodi Picoult and wrestle with empathy and moral issues. One of my colleagues has lent me ‘The Pilgrimage’ by Paulo Coehlo and another friend very kindly sent me a copy of Ghosts of Spain by Giles Tremlett. Or maybe I should read a classic – lighter to carry, but harder to read like Shirley by Charlotte Bronte.

I’ve got five days to choose, so any and all suggestions are welcomed!


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