A group of published UK-based authors and illustrators of picture books, children's and YA.

My Three Desert Island Reads by Emma Carroll

I hope beyond hope this is a nightmare scenario. I never have to face, especially after reading Olivia Levez’s superb ‘The Island’ last year. In any ‘Lord Of The Flies’ type situation I’d be the Piggy character, the one who has a few bright ideas but isn’t really much use when it comes to survival. The heat, lack of water, lack of food and worst of all only having THREE BOOKS to read- yup, I wouldn’t imagine myself lasting long on a desert island.

The three books I’ve chosen are all brilliant, consuming, transporting reads. I’d read them anywhere, frankly.

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

Often dubbed the first detective novel, this brilliant, twisty, multi-layered narrative is one of my all-time favourite classics. It uses multiple narrators extremely effectively to build mystery and atmosphere, so you never really know who to trust right until the final reveal. It’s also fairly lengthy – in a good way- so excellent for filling the endless hours (weeks, months) as you await rescue.

Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell

I’d take this book for its sheer beauty. It would be my pick me up, my fairy tale, a reminder to believe in the impossible. It’d whisk me away from empty beaches, strange jungles, long, lonely nights in the dark and up onto the rooftops of Paris. This book is full of life. There are characters you’d love to meet in real life, people you’d want as your friends. The only downside would be the frequent food references. After time on a desert island even the city pigeon Sophie and Matteo eat might start to seem appetizing.

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood.

If there was a very real possibility I’d never see another book, then I’d want one of my last reads to be a Margaret Atwood. This is my absolute favourite of hers. Based on the  true  story of a murder trial in 1850s Canada, its exquisitely told from the viewpoint of Grace Marks, the accused, and the young, impressionable doctor who interviews her in jail. It really is a haunting, bewitching story, and one that I’ve read countless times already but never tire of.

Emma Carroll writes MG fiction. Her debut ‘Frost Hollow Hall’, a Victorian ghost story, won the North East Book Award 2013 and was longlisted for the Branford Boase. Her second novel ‘The Girl Who Walked On Air’ has been nominated for the CILIP medal. Her latest book ‘In Darkling Wood’ is inspired by the Cottingley Fairies photographs, and publishes with Faber in July 2015. In another life she wishes she’d written ‘Rebecca’ by Daphne Du Maurier. Emma lives in the Somerset hills with her husband and two terriers. Continue reading…



3 comments on “My Three Desert Island Reads by Emma Carroll

  1. Emma Haughton
    February 17, 2017

    Listening to The Woman in White at the moment – my first introduction to Wilkie Collins – and I’m loving it, so The Moonstone is next on my pile. Loved Alias Grace too. A very powerful book.

  2. frosthollowhall
    February 18, 2017

    Dare I say it, The Moonstone is better? (in my opinion, of course!) x

  3. Our food system is also the leading cause of environmental
    impact on the planet.

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