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Nothing says "I Love You, Dear" like screaming lower back pain!

Sometimes Wrong but rarely in doubt!

16 November 2010

The Chuck Noland Challenge

The list is apparently incorrectly attributed to the BBC in my post "How Many Works of Literature Have You Read".  The list was apparently complied by the Guardian and was the top 100 novels that you couldn't live without.

However the this brings to mind a new list.  If you're of a mind list the books that you'd have to have in the following scenario:

The Chuck Noland Literary Challenge
You are the sole survivor of plane crash on a deserted island.  You are fortunate in that survival on the island can be guaranteed with a modicum of effort.  Fresh food, water, shelter and clothing are easily obtained from the flora and fauna of the island.  After a week or so of scrambling to erect a shelter you're finding time to be a bit long on your hands.  What do you do with the rest of your time until you're rescued? Fortunately, one morning you awake to see a large plastic shipping container at the high tide mark.  The container is addressed to Amazon.  Now you can pass your idle time by reading.
Complete the Chuck Noland Literary Challenge by specifying the the books in the container.  The contents of the container may weigh no more than 65 pounds.  The nominal weight (in pounds) of a book is given by the page count times .002 for a standard paperback. Alternatively use LxWxH/39 to give the nominal weight in pounds.  The goal of the selected books is to have you return to society in 12-48 months, sane, functional and literate.  You may select books from any genre.  Reference books, text books, and magazines all qualify for inclusion on your list. The book must be available commercially either used or new by December 24, 2010.

This is essentially the same situation that Chuck Noland, the Tom Hanks character in Cast Away found himself in but with books instead of a soccer ball named Wilson:

Some useful links for the Challenge:

The Internet Speculative Fiction Database -> Page counts for the books you select. ->  The shipping weight of your selected books is below the ISBN at Amazon


  1. You used to be more of a Chuck Norris challenge kind of guy.

  2. I've joined the over forty crowd.

  3. How about an electronic reader loaded with as much as its memory will hold, plus 60 pounds of batteries?

    I think this challenge would be better as "List the top N books you would want for entertainment and education" rather than trying to do it by weight.

  4. I like to see people thinking outside the box.

    If you want to list 100 books then feel free.

  5. I had Chris' thought, but I'd have a solar charger for the E-ink reader. And the reader would be ruggedized (weather/shock/sand proof), which might be the problem with the current crop.

    I'll work on my list. I'll have to find the 'pocket book' version of some classics.

  6. I'm about half way through my list (28 books, averaging about 1.5 pounds each).

  7. Just for fun I did the complete works of John Ringo. It took over 35 pounds IN PAPERBACK. I don't think I can include the complete works of David Weber in the 29.4 lbs left in the budget nor the 6 or 7 works by Kratman that don't have Ringo's name on the cover.

    Now this isn't necessarily the list I'd take but it was interesting as an exercise.


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