I'd like your desert island 5 on CD, DVD, and Books.
August 15, 2004 2:25 PM   Subscribe

I'd like your desert island 5 on CD, DVD, and Books. I know that's sort of a nonsense request, but I'm deploying to a desert island (well there is a small town), and I have extra room in my seabag for a CD/DVD wallet and a few small paperbacks (summer year-round, don't have to bring my winter uniforms). Help a sailor out, genre's not important, as long as they're your best selections!
posted by tetsuo to Media & Arts (24 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
CDs (well, I'd just bring my dPod but I'll humor you)

Masada - Alef
Songs: Ohia - Didn't it Rain
Smog - Knock Knock
Leonard Cohen - Best of
Bobby Birdman - Born Free Forever


Five Easy Pieces
Carnal Knowledge
The Hairdresser's Husband
Funny Games


Endless Love - Scott Spencer
The Dying Animal - Philip Roth
The Professor of Desire - Philip Roth
Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides
I. - Stephen Dixon
posted by dobbs at 2:42 PM on August 15, 2004

Beethoven's 9th Symphony
Stravinsky's Petrouchka
Miles Davis's Kind of Blue
A really good Swing Anthology
The Beatles: Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Copola: The Godfather (can parts I & II count as one movie?)
Kubrick: 2001
Kubrick: Barry Lyndon
Wilder: The Apartment
Bergman: Fanny & Alexander

Complete Shakespeare
Wharton: The House of Mirth
Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby
Salinger: Catcher in the Rye
The King James Bible (even though I'm an atheist.)
posted by grumblebee at 3:12 PM on August 15, 2004

Waste Books - Georg Lichtenberg
Essays in Idleness - Yoshida Kenko
Notes from Underground (presumably in a collection with other short fiction) - Dostoevsky
Tristram Shandy - Laurence Sterne
Collected Fictions - Borges

Doc Watson - Vanguard Years
Magma - Trilogie au Trianon
Richard Thompson - 1,000 Years of Popular Music
Hala Strana - s/t
Univers Zero - 1313

In the Mood for Love
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Yi Yi
and two others; I'm bad at the movies part.
posted by kenko at 3:12 PM on August 15, 2004

How about blank books to write in, a small instrument (harmonica?), and a camcorder?

Come back a renaissance man! : >
posted by amberglow at 3:24 PM on August 15, 2004

amberglow: maybe a melodica?
posted by Utilitaritron at 3:38 PM on August 15, 2004

Passport to World Band Radio
The Sailing Doctor
US Army Survival Guide
The Complete Fiction of Bruno Schulz
The First Man - Albert Camus

Sergio & Odair Assad - Saga Dos Migrantes
Future Loop Foundation - Time and Bassss
Guitar Wolf - Planet of the Wolves
Joe Lovano - I'm All For You
Willie Nelson - Milk Cow Blues

Alien Sex Fiend: Over-Dose
Dracula (1931 Spanish Version)
Once Upon a Time in the West
Samurai Jack: Season 1
The Seven-Percent Solution
posted by Smart Dalek at 3:55 PM on August 15, 2004

Future Loop Foundation - Time and Bass
Me needs to fix me keyboard.
posted by Smart Dalek at 3:56 PM on August 15, 2004

those are adorable...do they sound good, or like a toy?

and I second Smart Dalek's Bruno Schulz recommendation--mmm! (Did you ever see what the Brothers Quay did with Street of Crocodiles?)
posted by amberglow at 4:14 PM on August 15, 2004

Melodicas sound pretty cool.
posted by kenko at 4:39 PM on August 15, 2004

Bartok - 6 string quartets
Haydn - Quartets Op. 76
Bach - 6 partitas for harpsichord
Mozart - Magic Flute
Frank Zappa - Lather

My Neighbor Totoro (anime, Miyazaki)
Princess Mononoke (anime, Miyazaki)
Spirited Away (anime, Miyazaki)
Return to Oz (Fairuza Balk, Nicol Williamson, the Oz movie for people
who love Oz books. No treacle!)
Treasure Island (Charlton Heston, Long John Silver will never be done better)

Rose Macaulay - The Towers of Trebizond
Boswell - Life of Samuel Johnson
Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th edition
Fellowship of the Ring + Hobbit + Silmarillion + Harvard Lampoon, Bored of the Rings
U.S. Army Survival Handbook - for getting OFF the damned island
posted by jfuller at 4:41 PM on August 15, 2004


Young Men and Fire Norman Maclean
Nafanua Paul Cox
To Know as We Are Known Parker Palmer
Recollected Essays Wendell Berry
Blood Brothers Elias Chacour
Things Invisible to See Nancy Willard

Also, I would pick a mathematics book if you're at all inclined. If you're inclined but scared, try something by Keith Devlin (like Mathematics, the Science of Pattern) or John Paulos. You can really chew on a math book and squeeze out insights long after you've read the whole text.


Cry Cry Cry (Dar Williams, Richard Shindell, and Lucy Kaplansky)
Brandenburg Concertos Bach
Rose and Charcoal Marissa Monte (only if you can stand to listen to stuff that's not in English, though)
Grand Canyon Suite Grofe
A Few Small Repairs Shawn Colving
Something popular, like a U2 or Toad the Wet Sprocket or John Mayer album.

Actually, I'd probably just dump the entiretiy of their collections onto a big hard drive or iPod. Desert Islands and recordings aren't the same dichotomy they used to be.

There aren't many movies I can watch repeatedly, and those that I can, I have up to the point where I can't watch them again. Maybe you should see if Netflix does desert islands.

That said: Zhang Yimou's To Live is one of my favorites ever. I think I could re-view Big Fish and Dark City as well.
posted by weston at 4:45 PM on August 15, 2004

Er, Shawn Colvin, not Shawn Colving.

Also, Nafanua is an especially good book if you're going to be stationed on a Polynesian island.
posted by weston at 4:51 PM on August 15, 2004

CD's - I'd burn my own mixes
DVD's - One season of Sopranos, Usual Suspects, Apollo 13, The Full Monty, The Matrix (part 1)
Books - Cryptonomicon, Infinite Jest, a Dictionary, The Executioner's Song, The Best and the Brightest (all LLLOOOONNNNGGGG books)
posted by vito90 at 5:31 PM on August 15, 2004

Wow, what a great thread. Here's my list:

- James Joyce, Dubliners: probably the best collection of short stories ever written.

- William Butler Yeats, Collected Poems: Yeats's collected poems are bottomless and endlessly powerful.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Complete Prose and Poetry: Emerson's essays are some of the most complex, inspirational writing you'll find.

- Ambrose Bierce, Phantoms of a Blood-Stained Period: An incredible book, which contains everything Bierce wrote during (and after, if it's about) the Civil War -- short stories, newspaper articles, even maps of enemy encampments.

- And, in my opinion, the single best book anyone can buy: The Norton Anthology of Poetry. You will never tire of it.


- By Brakhage
- Cleo From 5 to 7
- Blade Runner
- Ran
- La Notte

And music:

- R.E.M., Lifes Rich Pageant
- Dntel, Life Is Full Of Possibilities
- The Clash, London Calling
- David Bowie, "Heroes" or Low
- and My Bloody Valentine, Loveless
posted by josh at 6:28 PM on August 15, 2004

Response by poster: Wow, I appreciate the time it took putting all those links in, thanks josh. And thanks to everyone for the suggestions, much work to be done checking out the choices.
posted by tetsuo at 7:42 PM on August 15, 2004

Hey tetsuo, here is an even cooler edition of Dubliners: it's filled with photographs of the actual places in Dublin where the stories take place, and has great notes that illuminate the stories quite a lot. It's out of print, but you can get paperback copies on Amazon used.

And also, best of luck on your deployment!
posted by josh at 8:00 PM on August 15, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks josh, much appreciated. Good choice, I'm definitely going to have to order it!
posted by tetsuo at 8:11 PM on August 15, 2004

Little, Big, John Crowley
The Riverside Complete Shakespeare
Watchmen, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons
There Is Nothing Wrong With You, Cheri Huber
posted by Zed_Lopez at 9:38 PM on August 15, 2004

Response by poster: Actually, I have Watchmen on .jpgs in the PowerBook, good stuff Zed, thanks!
posted by tetsuo at 9:48 PM on August 15, 2004

-= Books =-
Tao Te Ching
Mindfulness in Plain English by Ven. Henepola Gunaratana
Transformation & Healing by Thich Nhat Hanh
The Way of Energy by Master Lam Kan Chuen
The Art of Strategy by Sun Tzu; translated by R.L.Wing

Twin Peaks - Fire Walk With Me (David Lynch)
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (Terry Gilliam)
2001 (Kubrik)

Remain In Light - Talking Heads
Hybrid - Michael Brook
Apollo - Brian Eno
when in rome ... - Penguin Cafe Orchestra
The Equatorial Stars - Fripp & Eno
posted by Blue Stone at 3:05 AM on August 16, 2004

Digable Planets : Blowout Comb
DJ ShortKut : Blunted With A Beat Junkie
Burning Spear : 100th Anniversary
I.N.I : Centre of Attention
Thievery Corporation : The Mirror Conspiracy

Musashi : Eiji Yoshikawa
A Song of Ice & Fire (series) : George R R Martin
The Innamorati : Midori Snyder
Knowledge Of Angels : Jill Paton Walsh
The Deptford Trilogy : Robertson Davies

i'd trade the absent 5 DVDs on my list for umbrella drinks in half coconuts with the locals :)
posted by elphTeq at 4:17 AM on August 16, 2004

- DJ Shadow - Endtroducing
- Mr Bungle - Disco Volante
- Metallica - And Justice For All
- Boards of Canada - Geodaddi
- Radiohead - OK Computer

- Akira
- Battle Royale
- Scene by the Sea
- Donnie Darko
- Trust

- Choke
- Zen and the art of motorcycle Maintenance
- Psion
- Lonely planet guide to wherever I'm going
- blank sketchbook
posted by quibx at 7:12 AM on August 16, 2004

On The Road - Jack Kerouac
Blue Highways - William Least Heat Moon
Black Elk Speaks - John Neihardt
Ulysses - James Joyce
A Moveable Feast - Ernest Hemingway

Daybreaker - Beth Orton
White Ladder - David Gray
Pink Moon - Nick Drake
Linger - Jen Chapin
Pearl - Janis Joplin

The Bicycle Thief - dir Vittorio De Sica
Apocalypse Now - dir F.F. Coppola
The Breakfast Club - dir John Hughes
Blues Brothers - dir John Landis
Sunset Boulevard - dir Billy Wilder
posted by m@ at 7:18 AM on August 16, 2004

* Godel, Escher, Bach
I've read this once every 3 years or so since university. Everytime I read it, it blows my mind in a different way.

* Snowcrash
* American Gods
These are both basically candy, but really good candy, I can read these again and again, and can enjoy them every time.

* The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
I like comics

*How to survive and thrive on a desert Island
(I couldn't think of a 5th absoultely essential book for me)
posted by Capn at 8:13 AM on August 16, 2004

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