For this week’s 5 Books feature, we’re sharing the recommendations of reader Little Girl Blue, long time reader, first time writer. Would you like to have a go at 5 Books? Send an email to selena at persephone magazine yada yada with your answers and see yourself in this very spot. Use 5 Books as a subject line, if you’d please.
1.Which book would you give to a potential significant other?
I might share one of my favorite books, Light in August by William Faulkner. He actually uses some punctuation in this one, which makes it legible, and his prose is just so beautiful. It’s the story of a tragic mulatto named Joe Christmas, so, no, it’s not uplifting. But it’s a beautifully written, beautifully told story. Have I already said it’s beautiful? It is, though.
2. Which book would you give to a high school senior?
Letters to a Young Poet, by Rainer Maria Rilke. Rilke, a German poet, befriended a young poet by snail mail, and wrote him letters of encouragement over several years. The letters address what we see are questions from the kid about so much that is difficult or mysterious about growing up: sexuality, melancholy and loneliness, finding your true vocation and living a meaningful life. His words are inspiring and, I think, true.
3. Which book would you give to your political representatives?
How about pouring them a big glass of STFU instead? No? Hmm. It’s difficult to imagine any of them actually taking to heart anything anybody gave them to read. However, assuming that they would do this, I might reach for The Art of the Impossible, a series of essays by Vaclav Havel. He’s a former Czech president who came to power after the Velvet Revolution. He’s also a thinker and playwright, and a humanitarian. He seems to understand what it is to govern for the people, rather than pandering to their lowest selves. /Endrant
4. Which book would you give to a former teacher?
For a former middle-school teacher who insisted on telling all sides of history, rather than just the winner’s version, I would send him Empire of the Summer Moon, a recent nonfiction book that attempts to tell the story of the fall of the Comanche tribe in a largely balanced way, portraying the way they lived and their attempts to preserve their way of life even as white settlers pushed ever westward.
5. Which book would you give to your best friend?
Flannery O’Connor’s short-story collection, A Good Man Is Hard to Find. For obvious reasons.
Wanna read any of these books? And feed our hungry server a little foldin’ money? Use the links below and we’ll love you even more than we already do.