The best desert island books you’ll want with you if you ever find yourself stranded

Margarita Gakis Author Of Trial By Fire
By Margarita Gakis

Who am I?

Like most people, I read a variety of topics and am interested in a lot of things. While I enjoy nearly all of what I read or see on TV, there are very few items that seem to stick with me for years and years after the fact. I really wanted to dive into the ones that have that stickiness – the ones I keep coming back to time and again. I hope to be the kind of writer that can create books that ‘sit’ with people. That they think about afterward. And maybe not everyone that reads my books will think or feel that way, but if at least one person does, then it matters. 


I wrote...

Trial By Fire

By Margarita Gakis,

Book cover of Trial By Fire

What is my book about?

Jade leads a structured life: Routine job. Caffeine addiction. No serious relationships. And now, she can spontaneously set things on fire with her mind. Well... perhaps “normal” was never in the cards for her. As she questions her own sanity and spirals out of control, a man appears on her doorstep and tells her that, like him, she’s a witch.

Pulled in all directions, her unbridled magic draws dangerous attention and Jade wonders if she’s made the worst mistake of her life by joining a coven, or if she’ll even live long enough to regret it.

The books I picked & why

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Jane Eyre

By Charlotte Brontë,

Book cover of Jane Eyre

Why this book?

Why did I choose Jane Eyre? I will always choose Jane Eyre. It has everything I ever wanted in a book and continues to deliver year after year. Jane is a complex heroine with deep feelings and a strong personality. She wants so much from life, is aware of her station, and yet demands respect and to be treated as an equal. 

I’m not gonna lie, the spooky atmosphere and romantic ideal of Edward Fairfax Rochester are huge draws as well! I read this book during my formative years and I loved the intrigue and the romance. I still do. I just keep coming back to this book over and over again. I will likely ask to be buried with one of my many copies.


All Systems Red

By Martha Wells,

Book cover of All Systems Red

Why this book?

Murderbot! OMG, everyone who reads this book loves Murderbot. I think we all identify personally with she/him/it. Since it hacked its governor module, Murderbot just wants to be left alone to watch its soaps but can’t because pesky humans keep almost getting killed. This sci-fi series does what a lot of our old faves do (Star Trek – I’m looking at you) and uses a non-human character to showcase what it is that makes us human. (If you can cheat on your desert island, try to bring the whole series!)


A Brief History of Time

By Stephen Hawking,

Book cover of A Brief History of Time

Why this book?

I assumed for a long, long time, that any non-fiction book by extraordinarily intelligent people must be impossible to read – I guess school textbooks got me in the habit of low expectations! But this book really opened my eyes that some experts not only have a gift to understand their subject, but also have a gift to share their knowledge in an easy, compelling way. If you ever looked up at the sky and wondered Why? What? How? Go read this book. 


Pride and Prejudice

By Jane Austen,

Book cover of Pride and Prejudice

Why this book?

It’s another classic but classics are classic for a reason! This one also showcases a lead (Elizabeth) who knows exactly where she is in life but also sees where she wants to be. I hesitate to use the term ‘strong female lead’ as it’s become a bit over-used in the last decade (or more!) and can often mean someone contrary or aggressive. But that’s not what Elizabeth is like. They are just themselves. Strong, opinionated, caring, intelligent. They also happen to be women. 


Fingerprints of the Gods: The Evidence of Earth's Lost Civilization

By Graham Hancock,

Book cover of Fingerprints of the Gods: The Evidence of Earth's Lost Civilization

Why this book?

I’ve read this book twice and have post-it notes jammed into it all over and will need to read it again before I tackle the sequel. This book is so good at asking questions. Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of answers, but that’s also what makes it so delicious to read. It just makes you think. Makes you wonder. The gap between the question and the answer is a magical place – like the anticipation of unwrapping a present on your birthday, but just before you figure out what it is. I want to live in that moment. 


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