Desert Island Books

The Reverend Dr. William A. Evertsberg

You know the classic icebreaker question—“If you were marooned alone on a desert island, what one book would you want with you?”—and you’ve heard G.K. Chesterton’s classic reply— Masterson’s Guide to Shipbuilding. In 2023 at Kenilworth Union, I’m answering the question with five of my favorites.

I chose these books because the authors write peerless prose and tell great stories, not because they address large, provocative topics. That’s just a bonus.

Instead of listening passively in rows to a lecture, we’ll learn collaboratively while sitting at the feet of creative contemporaries.

Our first selection is Beloved, by Toni Morrison on January 30. It’s not a long book, but it is dense and enigmatic, so you’ll want to get started now.

We hope you’ll join us Monday, January 30, to learn from Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved*.

It’s not an obese or difficult book with too many characters and subplots, but as with most contemporary novels, the chronology is disjointed and the plot cuts back and forth in time.  It’s sometimes tough to tell what decade the author is currently writing about.

The 1998 film helps a lot.  If you’re having trouble following the book’s plot, the film will straighten out the sequence for you and help you keep the characters straight.

Bill Evertsberg
*Warning: Rated R

Plus, you’ll get extra credit if you watch the film and read The 1619 Project. “What do I get for the extra credit?” you ask. A bump to your KUC GPA and the respect of your peers.

We’ll meet at 7 p.m. at my house, unless there are more than 15. Then we’ll move the class to the Culbertson Room. RSVP to Karen Gaynor. All who want to think about the biggest issue in American history are welcome, but if you have no intention of reading the book, please don’t take space away from someone who has read it.

December 27, 2022

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