There’s a programme on Radio 4 which I have listened to, on and off, for my entire life. When I was a child I used to hear it in its weekend slot, and these days I either seek it out online when I know somebody I’m interested in has been on, or occasionally fall down the wormhole of all the past programmes to listen to blasts from the past. Most people, I think (hope?!) have heard of Desert Island Discs, but in case anybody hasn’t it’s a simple concept where the guest for the week picks eight records they’d take with them to a desert island.
Lots of people have their own desert island list of discs planned in their head all the time, in case they suddenly achieve something noteworthy enough to be asked on the show. I’ve always struggled. Sit me down on a particular day and ask me to choose eight tracks that sum up my life, and that I’d be happy to listen to exclusively for the rest of it, and I could probably come up with a list of 2 or a list of 50, but not a list of 8. But books? That I could do. A list of desert island books would be much, much easier. Continue reading