We’re starting a new feature tonight, in place of our old 7 Questions: 5 Books. Each week one of our readers, writers or editors will be sharing which books they would give to five different people in their lives. Our first guinea pig is Ms. Ruby Bruiseday, whose tastes are charming and delightful.
1. Which book would you give to a potential significant other?
Harry Potter. If they aren’t into Potter, they’re not into me.
2. Which book would you give to a high school senior?
Books I WOULDN’T give to a high school senior: Oh, The Places You’ll Go. The Little Engine That Could. etc. It would depend on the high school senior, but maybe something really well written from a culture different from theirs; something like Secret Son by Laila Lalami would expose them to the kinds of pressures and experiences people their age in other cultures are facing.
3. Which book would you give to your political representatives?
Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life by Karen Armstrong; A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn; and I would link them online to some of the great feminist conversations that are taking place about what it is like to be a woman in this culture.
4. Which book would you give to a former teacher?
That really depends on the teacher, but I’m actually still quite close with many of mine, and they’ve been the givers of books to me. Someday, I guess, I’d like to give them back the gift of a solid dedication in a book I write myself. In the mean time, a new set of the Thursday Next books by Jasper Fforde or maybe some of the books by Mary Doria Russell to replace the dogeared ones they all have would be appropriate.
5. Which book would you give to your best friend?
Whichever the last one was that I finished and really liked. In this case, I think that would be either Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding, or The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon.