Monday, June 30, 2008

LOST: Books, TV and Popular Culture

In full disclosure I am pretty anti-tv. Happily, I don’t really watch. A bit on vacation in hotel rooms and some stuff that I can watch via the internet. But I am really not a TV person- gave it up more than 15 years ago. I love books, movies, music, podcasts and lots of other media—but not tv. Watched more as a kid but the older I get the less interested I am.

When I was working for 8 weeks in Hawaii last year I watched a lot of TLC stuff, including my guilty addiction, What Not To Wear. But I am not a big, famous, series fan. I don’t get caught up in that kind of thing. There are simply not enough hours in the day, and not enough good writing for television. And besides I always wonder how many great inventions will not be invented, how many problems will not be solved as we sit and vegetate in front of the blue flickering light of the devil.

Having said all that though, I was impressed this week by a TV-BOOK crossover phenomenon. The extremely popular show LOST has spawned a new interest in reading! Really.

Apparently, though I have not seen it myself, there are people in the blogosphere, and in libraries and book groups who have documented the books that appear on the desert island show and are writing about, reading and discussing those books. The premise is that the stranded members of the cast go through the luggage on the crashed airplane for reading material to pass the time. The collection of books is quite eclectic.

Some from the list so far…

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass
by Lewis Carroll

Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret
by Judy Blume

A Brief History of Time
by Stephen Hawking [523.1 Haw]

The Brothers Karamazov
by Fyodor Dostoevsky

by Stephen King

by Joseph Heller

The Epic of Gilgamesh
by Anonymous

Evil Under the Sun
by Agatha Christie

The Fountainhead
by Ayn Rand

Heart of Darkness
by Joseph Conrad

by Walker Percy

Laughter in the Dark
by Vladimir Nabakov

Lord of the Flies
by William Golding

Of Mice and Men
by John Steinbeck

Our Mutual Friend
by Charles Dickens

The Stand
by Stephen King

Stranger in a Strange Land
by Robert Heinlein

A Tale of Two Cities
by Charles Dickens

The Third Policeman
by Flann O'Brien

The Turn of the Screw
by Henry James

Watership Down
by Richard Adams

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
by L. Frank Baum

A Wrinkle in Time
by Madeleine L'Engle
This book-tv phenomenon was pointed out to me last week at my regular monthly book group. (we were reading The Book Thief, which I enjoyed tremendously even though it is a young-adult novel) And I did some follow up research today yielding these web results;

This led me to muse on my own desert island lists—what 10 books would I want with me if I were lost? (will post mine later) How about your list?