Desert Island Reads

You may have heard of Desert Island Discs on Radio 4 where guests share the soundtrack of their lives: eight music tracks, a book and a luxury. If not, do look it up: it’s an engrossing twenty minutes and reveals much about the person – their background, their hopes and ambitions, and their reflections. We highly recommend listening to those of the fitness coach Joe Wicks, football legend Ian Wright (who cites The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time as his desert island book), poet Laureate Simon Armitage and writer Judith Kerr author of When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit and the Tiger Who Came to Tea. All recordings are available to download as a podcast to listen for free if you set up a BBC ‘Sounds’ account which is simple to do.

Its premise led us to consider the challenge of ‘Desert Island Reads’: a list of eight texts that provided the ‘text-track’ of your life. Each month, we invite a member of staff to share theirs.

Try it yourself: take a few minutes one day to sit down and choose the eight texts (books, poems, magazines, blogs, journals, song lyrics) you’d want with you or have access to if you ever found yourself stranded on a deserted island. It is really enjoyable exercise and not as easy as you might think! We’d love to hear about your ‘text-tracks’ – you can email yours through to or write it by hand and give to your English teacher. With your permission, we’ll publish it here.