BBC was one of the first people to hop on the Good Ship Persephone, and we’ve been both grateful for and enamored by her ever since. Find out how she answers the 5 Books questions after the break.
1. Which book would you give to a potential significant other?
This past Christmas, I bought the Mister a copy of the entire Wrinkle in Time series, mostly because I know he had been wanting it. But also because I was always awed that Meg was so smart, brave, and strong. She’s the kind of fearless girl that I wanted to be when I was a kid and try to be more like as an adult. The Mister aside, if a guy couldn’t get past a strong female protagonist, he’s probably not going to get along all that well with me.
2. Which book would you give to a high school senior?
Linked: How Everything is Connected to Everything and What it Means by Albert-Lazlo Barabasi. It takes a very broad look at things like the Kevin Bacon phenomenon and power laws, how the rich get richer and groups center around hubs. It has some social scientific thought behind it, but it’s accessible for your everyday man or lady off the street. And for as much as books like Oh, the Places You’ll Go! want to tell our grads that everyone is special and unique, I think it’s even more critical to understand that there’s a greater picture of society that we all fit into. It’s important for them to at least have a glimpse of how all the moving parts work.
3. Which book would you give to your political representatives?
The Majority Leader of the County Legislature where I live has a hilarious story about giving the notoriously hostile County Executive a copy of All I Really Need to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten. I must have heard her re-tell the anecdotes at least a dozen times, but it never stops being entertaining. Although the book itself is a little bit cheesy and heartstring-tugging, I do think that a lot of elected officials have gotten away from some of the core principles of being a decent human being that your teachers try to instill in you when you’re a little kid. Like sharing, playing fair, cleaning up after yourself, and being able to laugh at yourself.
4. Which book would you give to a former teacher?
Well not the terrible, cursed, and depressing new edition of the University of Oxford style guide, THAT’S for sure. [Copyeditor’s note: Amen. -PoM]
5. Which book would you give to your best friend?
My dearest friend and I have very different tastes in books, music, movies, television… Honestly, people outside the pair of us probably wonder why we’re even friends at all! Last year, I sent her a copy of a book I really adored, The Wednesday Sisters, by Meg Waite Clayton. She ended up enjoying it, which I think goes to the point that friendship is more than just superficial shared interests. The book is about a group of women who meet in the 1960s. They become friends despite their many differences by bonding over their desire to write a book. It’s very moving without being too saccharine, and it’s an interesting look at how some of us readers of Persephone might have turned out differently had we lived in another era.