If you could only have one book with you, what would it be/
The One-Volume Columbia Encyclopedia. There are many books I could re-read multiple times, but not continuously. The Columbia book could keep me interested for weeks and probably stimulate a lot of story ideas.
What one luxury item would you want to be stranded with?
Assuming a Lear jet or helicopter was out of the question, I’d probably opt for a Bose music system loaded with my entire music library. I can cope with most anything with Springsteen and Dylan playing in the background.
What is the one practical item you would want to have with you to use?
Fishing pole and tackle. I’ve always loved fishing and stranded on an island I could entertain myself and fill my belly at the same time.
Would you enjoy the solitude, even briefly, or would it drive you crazy?
Depends on circumstances. Was I planning to be stranded? If so, I could probably go a month. If unplanned, I’d enjoy it for a week at most. I’m actually comfortable being alone. I did a major rewrite of Still Counting in Seville, Spain by myself. I was teaching at Boston College and went there for a week during spring break while my wife had to stay home and work.
If you could be stranded with one other person, who would you want it to be?
Probably Jon Stewart. He’d challenge my thinking and make me laugh in the process.
What modern technology would you miss the most?
My iPad. It combines a laptop, phone, TV, stereo system, library, notepad, and movie screen into one compact package.
What food or beverage would you miss the most?
That’s a no-brainer: ice cream. Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey.
How many days do you think you would cope without rescue?
I’m not a particularly handy guy so I wouldn’t be building a raft or canoe. I’d probably try to survive by fishing and crabbing. I tend to feel like “I’m starving” if I go a couple of hours without eating – so I’d probably start whining within the first day.
What is the first thing you would do when rescued?
I’d go to Regina’s in Boston’s North End for a large pepperoni pizza.
What would be your first Tweet or Facebook update upon your return?
“There’s gotta be a book in this!”