Desert Island Books with…. Sandra Forder

Desert Island Books

Today I am delighted to welcome to the blog my good friend and member of my writing tribe, Sandra Forder, who has agreed to be whisked off to my desert island (and let’s face it, this is becoming a more and more appealing proposition!) with only five books and one luxury item to keep her company. Let’s see what she is taking with her.

Book One – Famine by Graham Masterson

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What happens when the richest nation on God’s Earth is driven to the outer limits of starvation?

When the grain crop failed in Kansas it seemed like an isolated incident and no one took much notice. Except Ed Hardesty. Then the blight spread to California’s fruit harvest, and from there, like wildfire, throughout the nation.

Suddenly America woke up to the fact that her food supplies were almost wiped out. Her grain reserves lethally polluted. And Botulism was multiplying at a horrifying rate.

This was a book I read around 20 years ago and really wish I kept a copy. Based in the US, what happens when all the crops fail and food is in short supply how does society act.  At the time I thought it could never happen, but with the pandemic, the chaos shown is true to how people acted and reacted. The story follows Ed Hardesty when he realises the failing crops are not just a local thing. The climax of the book surprised me, but I won’t spoil it. Read it for yourselves to discover the truth.

Book Two – Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

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On a remote jungle island, genetic engineers have created a dinosaur game park.

An astonishing technique for recovering and cloning dinosaur DNA has been discovered. Now one of mankind’s most thrilling fantasies has come true and the first dinosaurs that the Earth has seen in the time of man emerge.

But, as always, there is a dark side to the fantasy and after a catastrophe destroys the park’s defence systems, the scientists and tourists are left fighting for survival…

This book was so unexpected, as was its follow up, The Lost World.  The books came alive, and I devoured each page with relish.  As a child I had, as most children have, a fascination with dinosaurs. This was a leap into a world where they had been brought back from extinction and how they interacted with their human captors.  I loved the first film too, but the books offered so much more. As with most of Michael Crichton’s books, I felt I was there, experiencing things with the characters.

Book Three – A Boy And His Dog At The End Of The World by C. A. Fletcher  

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My name’s Griz.

I’ve never been to school, I’ve never had friends, in my whole life I’ve not met enough people to play a game of football. My parents told me how crowded the world used to be, before all the people went away, but we were never lonely on our remote island. We had each other, and our dogs.

Then the thief came.

He told stories of the deserted towns and cities beyond our horizons. I liked him – until I woke to find he had stolen my dog. So I chased him out into the ruins of the world.

I just want to get my dog back, but I found more than I ever imagined was possible. More about how the world ended. More about what my family’s real story is. More about what really matters.

I saw you had reviewed this book and I was intrigued. I love dystopian and disaster novels amongst my romance and although we were heading into the current pandemic, I could resist grabbing this book. I actually read it on a train from Helsinki to Turku on my way to visit my son. It was such a good book I didn’t pay attention to the scenery changing as we travelled across Finland.

Book Four – The Charm Bracelet by Melissa Hill

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Every charm tells a story… And Holly O’Neill knows this better than most. Many years ago she was sent a bracelet with just a single charm attached. The charms have been appearing ever since, often at challenging times, as if her mysterious benefactor knows exactly when she needs a little magic in her life.

As a result, Holly’s bracelet is her most prized possession. So when she finds someone else’s charm bracelet, she feels she has to try to reunite it with its owner. Even if the only clues she has to follow are the charms themselves.

On a search that will take her all over New York City at Christmas, Holly becomes ever more determined to piece together the details of this other charmed life. But what she doesn’t know is that her quest may also lead her somewhere she never expected …

I found this on a book swap shelf while on holiday in Sharm El Sheikh. The cover lured me to pick it up but, as soon as I started reading it, I was hooked.  This is the story of Holly who finds a charm bracelet and sets out to discover its rightful owner. Enjoy her travels through New York at Christmas as she follows each charm to reveal the story of the bracelet. On doing so he not only finds its owner but also a whole lot more.

Book Five – The Maze Runner by James Dashner

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When the doors of the lift crank open, the only thing Thomas remembers is his first name. But he’s not alone. He’s surrounded by boys who welcome him to the Glade – a walled encampment at the centre of a bizarre and terrible stone maze.

Like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they came to be there – or what’s happened to the world outside. All they know is that every morning when the walls slide back, they will risk everything – even the Grievers, half-machine, half-animal horror that patrol its corridors, to try and find out.

Again my love of dystopian fiction led me to pick this book up. I like the way Thomas changed from being scared and unsure, to being the leader of the resistance. I loved the imagery in this book and have read the trilogy to see how the story was completed. I love the mixture of characters but also the compassion Thomas shows to those less able than himself.

My luxury item

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The other essential I would take with me was a bowie knife.  I could use it to cut branches to make shelter, cut palm fronts for a roof and bedding. Make holes in coconuts and also make tools to catch fish or other animals.

About Sandra Forder

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Growing up in Lowestoft, the most easterly point in the UK, Sandra always found pleasure in losing herself in books.  She used to read Mills & Boon by the hundreds, and at one point had a collection of over 4000. She still loves them to this day, especially those by Kate Hardy. This fuelled her love of writing. She even tried her hand at writing Mills & Boon and had some great feedback in the past.  She then took a break from writing due to ill health and then starting a family.

Sandra joined the RNA around 12 years ago and met some wonderful authors who she now call friends, but then work took over and she stopped writing for several years. She recently re-joined the RNA and met her tribe who are supporting her with her journey to publication.

She writes YA, often with a twist. She is yet to be published by a mainstream publisher, but she did write two children’s books as Sandra Joanne Forder, which are available on Amazon. They are Woolly Pig’s Woolly Jumper and How The Giraffe got his Spots.

Connect with Sandra:

Twitter: @sahndree

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