Epic Page Turning Novels (aka, Books I'd Want if Stranded on a Deserted Island)

The other day Megan over at Long Story Short shared her three must have books as part of a Stranded! link up with Mix and Match Family, and it got me thinking. Other than the obvious "how to survive in the wild" type books, there are two ways to look at this quandary: books that I consider important classics that are necessary to preserve, and those that will keep me endlessly entertained. In my mind, these are two totally separate lists and I went with the latter. If stranded on an island, I want a doorstop of a book that also manages to be an entertaining page turner. There are many authors that do beautiful and emotional long novels (Wally Lamb, John Irving, Richard Russo to name just a few), but I think that being stranded is already emotionally taxing. My methodology also included books that I don't read often, or haven't ever re-read. So, all of Harry Potter is off the list because I can pretty much revisit those stories in my head without seeing words on the page, having re-read them on my own and now with my kids. Lastly, they should not only span many pages, but great swaths of time, place and generations of great characters. Perfect for forgetting the details, thus making for a great re-read! 

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley 
This is one of my favorite books of all time and I haven't read it in over 15 years. This take on the legend of King Arthur from the women's point of view clocks in at nearly 900 pages, but is so engrossing and I remember being bummed when I finished it. There's much that's reminiscent of Game of Thrones - definitely worthwhile if you're a George RR Martin fan. 

The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough
Maybe I'm dating myself, but I remember the miniseries being on when I was little and my mom loving the show and the book having a prominent place on our massive bookshelves. I finally read it when I was in college and wondered what took me so long to get on board with this sweeping family drama and story of forbidden love. It's a grand chick lit tome, just shy of 700 pages.

Last, but not least, (certainly not in page count at almost 1000!) is on many favorite novel lists - including Oprah's: The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.
This amazing story that weaves together the lives of so many great characters around the building of a fictional cathedral set in the Middle Ages. It was also a turned into a pretty great miniseries with a standout cast - where I first discovered I had FEELINGS about Eddie Redmayne, playing the beloved character Jack Jackson. But, if you haven't already, do yourself a favor and read it first - it'd be a great one to savor over the summer. As with all these novels, it'd probably be best to get the Kindle version for easier handling...

I'm pretty staunch in my belief that my to be read list is too long to re-read books, but now I'm tempted, thinking on these great stories. Any I'm missing? If you have a favorite brick of a book, I'd love to add it to my list!


  1. OMG The Thorn Birds! Such a great book, and the Megan that I'm named after, although a different spelling.

    1. That is so hilarious that you are the SECOND PERSON to tell me this!!