Castaway Culture: Bishop Michael Bird on a tropical island

If you were to be cast away on a deserted island, what books or music would you want to have with you? Bishop Michael Bird reveals his castaway picks in this article. 

The past couple of days have seen the temperatures plummet to well below -20 degrees and so my first thought about responding to these questions is that it is my sincere hope that I have been stranded on a tropical island!

Of course, I would take a copy of the Bible with me and perhaps one of the many books in my bookcase written by the former Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, who has been called the most important Protestant theologian in the world today.  His book, Tokens of Trust, has been sitting on the shelf for some time waiting to be read so perhaps it would be that one. Anything written by Archbishop Desmond Tutu could be another fine choice.

A Christmas gift that I received this year was the historical thriller written by Andrew Taylor entitled, The Ashes of London, set during the time of the Great Fire of London in 1666. I couldn’t put it down!  The next book in the series is entitled: The Fire Court and I would have to take it along with me.

One of my Christmas gifts to my wife was Linden MacIntyre’s new book, The Wake: The Deadly Legacy Of A Newfoundland Tsunami. In 1929 a tidal wave hit the Burin Peninsula on the southeast coast of Newfoundland and the devastation of that event is documented in what is purported to be a masterful work of writing.  I served my first parish in Burin, Newfoundland from 1984 to 1987 and the incredible and tragic stories of the day the tidal wave hit this community were still very much alive in those days as part of the local narrative. If I could sneak the book away from Susan, I would take it with me as well.

I have a wide range of musical interests.  I love jazz, so I would have to have an album by Oscar Peterson, Sonny Clark, Vince Guaraldi or something like that.  I am also a great fan of Spanish and Classical guitar music so perhaps something by Liona Boyd, Armik or Jesse Cook.

I have just returned from a Caribbean Cruise so I would prefer not think about food or beverages for a least another two months!


About the author: The Right Rev. Michael Bird is the Assisting Bishop of Ottawa, Anglican Church of Canada, and serves as the Archdeacon of Pembroke and Incumbent of the Parish of the Valley including Barry’s Bay, Madawaska and Whitney.  He is the former Bishop of Niagara centered in Hamilton, Ontario.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *