A note from Flashlight Worthy:
Ever since Season 1's scene of Sawyer with his oh-so-special reading glasses, I've wanted to do a book list based on the titles shown and alluded to in TV's Lost. But oh my goodness, the task was daunting. As well read as I am, How could I possibly pull it all together?
I'd all but given up on the idea when lo and behold, a member of the we heart this community named Recessionista puts together a comprehensive list of every book mentioned on the show.
Now, Recessionista reckons there are 38 books to date. 38 is a lot. I'm only going to include a half-dozen here because I want you to visit the whole list over at we heart this. To make it up to you, I'll also include 6 books that will help you better understand the concepts embodied and leveraged throughout the series. Enjoy!
by Robert Sabuda
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that several Lost episode titles were taken directly from this book and its sequel, Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There. Specifically: White Rabbit (season 1), Through the Looking Glass (season 3) and Something Nice Back Home (season 4). Other huge nods can be are scattered throughout: rabbits, chess, dreams, the Dharma Looking Glass Station, to name a few. If you're craving better insight into the Lost narrative as a whole, these books are essential.
by Judy Blume
Peter from Flashlight Worthy says:
Who can forget tough guy Sawyer reading this teen girl classic on the beach? Was this book just used as a good laugh for the eagle-eyed viewer or can you see a parallel between book heroine Margaret and John Locke as they grapple with faith and question their relationship with God?
by Richard Gaughan, Charles Dickens
Aside from the glaringly obvious connection between the title of this book and the story of Lost (everyone in the Lost universe is connected to everyone else and therefore a mutual friend), this book is pivotal to the story of Desmond in particular. Desmondphiles already know that this was the book he took with him to prison, and that he wanted this to be the last book he read before he died. Many years later, in one of the most poignant scenes in Lost history, Desmond discovers that his beloved Penny had tucked a letter to him inside this very same book, proclaiming her undying love to him. Is it a coincidence that he finds this letter at the exact moment that he is contemplating suicide after spending three years in the hatch?
illustrated by Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry, translated by Richard Howard
Probably on just about everyone’s “Top 10 Books of All Time” list, The Little Prince is arguably one of the most important influences on the Lost narrative. The parallels are abundant: a fateful plane crash, a magic box, the longing to go back home, disappearing bodies, a Lamp Post, the list goes on and on. Also, one of the most important episodes (The Little Prince, season 5) centers around our Losties’ "little prince", baby Aaron. Just who is Aaron and why is he so darned important? Read The Little Prince for clues.
by Robert Fitzgerald, Flannery O'Connor
Any fan of Flannery O’Connor knows that there are important secret messages hidden within her writings. Sound familiar? If that’s not reason enough to read this collection of short stories, consider that Jacob is reading this book while sitting on a bench in front of Anthony Cooper’s office... waiting for John Locke to come crashing through the window and fall eight stories to the ground.
by Paul J. Nahin
(This book and all below don't appear in Lost or are even referenced. Consider them a reading list to help you better understand the concepts embodied and leveraged throughout the series.) Perhaps nothing is more confusing in Lost than time. Time Machines helps us understand how Lost uses the idea of time along with understanding the paradoxes related to time.
by Jeffrey Armstrong
I’m not sure how (or if) Lost is using the principles of karma, but this book provides a very interesting examination of karma and karmic law. Since it surely seems that the show possesses karmic elements, this book is very helpful in understanding the character dynamics, particularly those characters who have been "reincarnated."
by Nicholas Rescher
Critical thinking anyone? Whenever time travel is used as a story-telling device, there is always the risk of committing specific paradoxes. This book describes what those paradoxes are and how to avoid them. It also provides the reasoning as to why the show's narrative had to go in a certain direction, in order to avoid falling prey to these pesky laws of thought.
Lost surely has its share of daddy issues and Sophocles’ Oedipus provides some interesting associations with the show's daddy-haters.
by C. G. Jung, edited by Meredith Sabini
Freud’s “Super-Ego” ain’t got nuthin’ on Jung’s The Earth has a Soul. Although not directly related to Lost, Jung’s insights do share some similar characteristics with the island, where "consciousness has slipped from its natural foundations" and where "primitives know how to converse with the soul."
by Philip K. Dick
Lost makes several references to one of P.K. Dick’s other novels, VALIS, and as a consequence, The Divine Invasion is a must-read. Period. You’ll thank me later.
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