Spencer Bledsoe

Top five

Survival guides

A castaway stocks his ideal island library.

Maureen Searcy

This past season of Survivor, set on a small island in the Philippine province of Cagayan, featured three competing tribes: Brains, Brawn, and Beauty. Economics student Spencer Bledsoe, ’14, selected for the Brains team, faced off against 17 other castaways in physical challenges, puzzles, strategic alliance building, and wilderness survival.

In previous seasons, competitors could bring one “luxury item,” such as a book, but this season featured no such comforts from home. In the unlikely event Bledsoe is ever marooned again, here are the five books he would bring.

1. Life of Pi by Yann Martel

2. Intermediate Microeconomics by Hal Varian “to channel my inner Robinson Crusoe”

3. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

4. The Fabric of the Cosmos by Brian Greene

5. The Stranger by Albert Camus

Read Bledsoe’s UChicago-style Survivor strategy.


Fan favorite Spencer Bledsoe, ’14, outwitted, outplayed, and outlasted fourteen opponents. (Photo courtesy CBS)