Ten Books I’d Take With Me To the Weird Beach That Ages People

While the prompt for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday is focused on the books I’d bring with me while stranded on a deserted island, all recent references to sand immediately result in me thinking about the new M. Night Shyamalan movie, Old. You know, the one about the beach that rapidly ages a group of tourists. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen the trailer approximately seventy times while watching the Olympics. It’s a beach. It ages people. Get it? Spooky.

So today I’m going in a different direction. Assuming I was trapped on a beach that was rapidly aging me, here are the ten short story collections I’d hope to have with me while meeting my untimely demise. Could I attempt an escape? Sure, that’d probably make for a better movie. But I know me. Reading a short story sounds like a better time and a lot less effort. Plus, short stories are about all I’d have time for.

Adverbs
by Daniel Handler

This is one of my favorite collections, and I regularly revisit its stories. This is a no-brain selection to take with me to the Beach of Doom, as I’m sure the locals call it.

Goodreads


All Aunt Hagar’s Children
by Edward P. Jones

If I’m going out, then a book featuring prominently featuring one of my favorite cities on earth, Washington, DC, is coming with me.

Goodreads


Bestiario
by Julio Cortázar

Sure, the beach is weird, but this collection features a story about a guy throwing up rabbits.

Goodreads


The Illustrated Man
by Ray Bradbury

No short story list would be complete without Ray Bradbury. Really, this beach wouldn’t be so bad if it was filled with his works.

Goodreads


CivilWarLand in Bad Decline
by George Saunders

One of the best short story writers working today. I bet George Saunders doesn’t have to worry about beaches that rapidly age people.

Goodreads


Jigs & Reels
by Joanne Harris

Joanne Harris has mastered the art of fiction that feels both lightly magical and utterly real—kind of the opposite of this beach that’s just thirsty for life.

Goodreads


Kentucky Straight
by Chris Offutt

These characters are perhaps the only ones on this list having a worse time than me on this beach … but it’s still a great collection.

Goodreads


The Lottery and Other Stories
by Shirley Jackson

Things are bad, but I guess at least I’m not participating in the Lottery?

Goodreads


Never Have I Ever
by Isabel Yap

Full disclosure: I haven’t actually read this one, but if this is the end, then I might as well clear out some of my to-be-read pile. Thankfully, this sounds fantastic.

Goodreads


The Traveling Bag and Other Ghostly Stories
by Susan Hill

In stressful times, I find a solid ghost story to be the best medicine. Can it cure the rapid aging, though?

Goodreads


Note: Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. Be sure to check out her weekly post to find other participants.

42 Comments

  1. I haven’t read any of these, but I would like to try that Susan Hill book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I love that one. And the cover is gorgeous, too. Great edition all around.

      Like

  2. Anne Bennett says:

    No scary books for me. Life would be scary enough. I’d want books I’d like to reread over and over…or super long books. My TTT is off-topic this week. My list

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    1. That’s a fair point! A good read that feels like an escape would be ideal in that situation.

      Like

  3. Great list! I’ve heard good things about Jigs & Reels, and Bestiario sounds pretty interesting, too.

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    1. Bestiario is amazing. I revisit Julio Cortázar’s work fairly often and it never gets old.

      Like

  4. happytonic says:

    What a great twist on the topic! Shirley Jackson is such a master storyteller. Love the cover for Never Have I Ever.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She’s so good. One of my absolute favorites. Basically everything she wrote is gold.

      Like

  5. katchambers says:

    I haven’t read any of these books, but I have seen the movie – Old and yeah its weird! Great twist on the theme. My TTT: https://readingwithkat.wordpress.com/2021/07/27/ttt-books-i-would-want-with-me-on-a-desert-island/

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    1. Thank you so much for reading! I’ve had that trailer stuck in my head since it was being played constantly on the NBC Olympics app, so I figured I might as well use it.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. lydiaschoch says:

    I love your twist for this prompt!

    Old freaks me out. I’ll probably watch it eventually…but only in broad daylight. LOL.

    My post: https://lydiaschoch.com/top-ten-tuesday-books-id-want-with-me-while-stranded-on-a-deserted-island/

    Like

  7. I put in some books I haven’t read, too. I sure hope they do not disappoint me!

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  8. Marianne Maurer says:

    Good idea to clear out some of your TBR piles. I only chose my absolute favourites.

    My TTT.

    Like

    1. After getting it under somewhat control, it’s growing again. Gotta find a way to trim it down somehow!

      Like

      1. Marianne Maurer says:

        Yeah, welcome to the club.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Aymee says:

    I love how varied your list is!

    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday. Thank you!

    Like

  10. Oh awesome! I’ve seen that trailer about a thousand times by now, and I’m still terrified. I like the idea of reading stories about people having an even worse time than you on that awful creepy beach!

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    1. After posting this I feel like it’s dropped off my radar a little bit. I was seeing it every single commercial break … sometimes twice!

      Like

  11. I haven’t read any of these, but they look like good reads to take with you.

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    1. They’re definitely great quick reads when you only have that little bit of free time to get through something.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I would definitely not like to go to a weird beach that ages you!
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2021/07/27/top-ten-tuesday-326/

    Like

    1. It wouldn’t be my first choice!

      Like

  13. Susan says:

    Old looks SOOO good. I haven’t been in a movie theater since before COVID, but I’ll definitely be there when this one comes out. It just looks amazing.

    I’m not much of a short story person. I don’t know why. If I was going to read short stories, though, I’d be all about that Joanne Harris collection. She’s a great writer.

    Happy TTT!

    Susan
    http://www.blogginboutbooks.com

    Like

    1. I was trying to think of the last time I had actually been to a movie theater and I’m pretty sure it was right at the beginning of 2019! I don’t see a lot of movies anyway, but COVID has really made me miss them.

      That one is a great little collection—a lot like her novels.

      Like

  14. Carla says:

    I have not read any of these Christopher, but I don’t read a lot of short stories. I chose a lot of my TBR list, ones that have been on there for a long time, but I haven’t gotten to yet. If I can’t go anywhere, I will finally read them.

    Like

    1. I go through spells with short stories. Sometimes that’s all I read and then it might take me six months to pick another one up. Being trapped definitely gives an excuse to finally get through the TBR pile!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Leah's Books says:

    That beach sounds super creepy, but short stories sounds perfect if you’ve got limited time left. Great twist on this week’s topic!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! Thank you so much for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I have no seen that but it sounds super creepy! Short stories are probably a good choice

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You can never go wrong with a good short story!

      Like

  17. Love your take on this week’s topic. I have not heard about this movie (but to be fair, we don’t watch television, so we don’t see the commercials!) but I am intrigued by both it and some of the books on your list. Happy Reading!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for reading! All I’ve seen is the one thirty second trailer over and over, but at this point, I feel as though I’ve seen the film.

      Like

  18. lghiggins says:

    I love your take on this theme!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I figured I’ve seen that trailer so much I might as well put it to good use! And it gave me an excuse to talk about short stories, which is never a bad thing.

      Like

  19. Rissi says:

    Pretty sure I’d just be happy to find almost any novel if stranded on a beach! I also wouldn’t survive unless it’s a non-dangerous kind of “stranded.” 😀 Thanks so much for visiting Finding Wonderland last week.

    Like

  20. Oh my goodness this made me laugh and I needed it! I should revisit Adverbs, I read it when it came out but don’t remember it, and to hear it’s such a favorite for you piques my curiosity in it again! And I think I’m adopting your line about The Lottery going forward…sure, things are bad, but I could be participating in the lottery, so. Doing pretty ok.

    I love your takes on these lists – they are so creative and so much fun to read!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you liked this list! After hearing that commercial over and over, it’s all I could think about when I sat down to write this. Adverbs is so interesting. I’ve only read it once, but I really need to revisit it because … it hit hard! If there’s one thing I take from The Lottery, it’s that things can always be worse.

      Like

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