Authors to take with you on a desert island

Chris Schluep on April 08, 2020

Authors to take with you on a desert island

We're all practicing social distancing these days, which means we are either home alone or we are home spending all of our time with family or roommates. As the days turn into weeks and months, the mind starts to wander toward anywhere else but here. At least that's my experience, and the experience of every person I have talked to, texted with, or Zoomed with. Maybe not all of the time, but certainly sometimes.

With that in mind, here is a list of books written by people you might want to take with you to a desert island. You could take just their books, but since we're fantasizing, wouldn't it be better to invite the actual author?

These five have written funny, poignant memoirs that are insightful and funny. You'll notice I wrote funny twice. That's because, even if some of these authors might gripe or complain at times, and may even feel compelled to identify the darker edges to life, they are bound to give you at least one belly laugh a day—which means you will always have something to look forward to.

I have included quotes from their books to give you a sense of what you might wind up talking about on the island.

The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish

"I believe my purpose is to bring joy to people, to make them laugh, and to share my story to help them. To show people that no matter what, they matter, and they can succeed. No matter how bad things go, no matter how dark your life is, there is a reason for it. You can find beauty in it, and you can get better. I know, because I’ve done it. That’s why my comedy so often comes from my pain. In my life, and I hope in yours, I want us to grow roses out of the poop."

Medallion Status by John Hodgman

"'Thank you, Mr. Hodgman,' she said. 'Thank you for being Gold.' It took me a moment to process this. I guess I knew at that point that I had inadvertently racked up enough miles to qualify for Beloved Airlines Gold Medallion status. I guess I had noticed that, because of it, I got to board the plane a little earlier. But no one had ever thanked me for being Gold. If you are an only child who craves opportunities to follow arbitrary rules to prove that you deserve affection, then airports are already exciting places to be."

Wow, No Thank You.: Essays by Samantha Irby

"'Settling' is a coarse way of saying 'adjusting my expectations,' and I think that gets a bad rap. Dude, I would rather settle than be 'chronically unfulfilled due to my outsize desires.'"

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson

"You don’t have to go to some special private school to be an artist. Just look at the intricate beauty of cobwebs. Spiders make them with their butts."

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

"My father often accused my mother of having a lazy mind, while she in turn accused him of having a lazy index finger, unable to dial the phone when he knew damn well he was going to be late."

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