John Derbyshire has identified his responses on for the BBC radio program Desert Island Discs. You get eight songs (not discs), a book, and a luxury. The Bible and the complete works of Shakespeare are provided. Derb picked eight songs from different genres, a handbook of math functions, and a telescope.
We are going to start with the luxury and the book. The discs come in the next post. For a luxury we would take the obvious: a four-wall handball court. Here are some serious four-wall players if you are not familiar with the game. If you are stuck on a desert island and you don’t play handball then you should learn. If you are stuck on a desert island and you do play handball then it would be crucial to maintaining sanity to be able to play. Some might describe needing to play as feeding an addiction. The latter might be a more explicit explanation.
We recognize that it would be even nicer to have an opponent but that doesn’t seem to be the point of being on a desert island. Also, don’t bother trying to train any of the local fauna to play. Apes can’t throw. If you were younger you might embark on an evolutionary experiment. It is possible that a handball court is too big a luxury. If it is then we will take a case of balls and start building the court after we land on the island. We should have time.
We really appreciate Shakespeare. In particular, we may start at the end chronologically because The Tempest is one of the few works of art that move us. Reading it at leisurely pace instead of the intense pace of the stage will be a joy.
The other book is a hard choice because you get only one. A Douglas Adams anthology would be an excellent choice because his books are so intensely funny that they can be read over and over again. They stood the test of time because the books were funny as we read them over the years. The TV shows were funny. The movies were funny, although as the review notes if you didn’t read the book you might be confused. We might say if you didn’t pay attention to the movie you might be confused but that might be our cynical version. There was even a radio show. We missed that but our money is that it is funny. We, however, agree with Derb that you want something that can help you learn and expand your horizons. We pick a world atlas. In particular, we go with the British theme and choose Times Atlas of the World.
The next post will have the songs.