1. Which book would you give to a potential significant other?
It gets under my skin when really smart, well-educated, liberal guys never read books by women (the frequent exceptions being Atlas Shrugged and Harry Potter). I have a couple of go-to lady authored books I like to push on guys, but A Visit from the Goon Squad (Jennifer Egan) is a really good bet.
2. Which book would you give to a high school senior?
Curtis Sittenfeld’s Prep is an excellent reminder that who you are in high school says very little about who you’ll be the rest of your life. That’s the thing I most want to tell every high school student I know; you don’t have to decide anything right now. The things that consume you at 17 are specks in the rearview that get smaller the older you get.
3. Which book would you give to your political representatives?
Zeitoun, by Dave Eggers, is about a Syrian-American man caught in the national security clusterfuck that was post-Katrina New Orleans. It is straight-up spectacular storytelling, and a really broad view of what it means to be “American.”
4. Which book would you give to a former teacher?
Hmmmm, this is hard! My teachers were always the ones who gave me good books, not the other way around. In sixth grade, my English teacher scrunched her nose when I told her my favorite book was The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton). I think I’d like to send her a copy and ask her to reconsider her reaction; no need to crap on sixth graders’ tasted in literature.
5. Which book would you give to your best friend?
Can’t tell you, it would ruin her birthday! I will say this, she needs to read The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins) so she’ll go to a midnight showing with me when the movie hits theaters.
2 replies on “5 Books with Emily Heist Moss”
Glad to see Em up on this site, and to hear her recommendations (all of which I’ll now add to my to-read list). But I would heartily dispute the allegation that, “who you are in high school says very little about who you’ll be the rest of your life.” While I’d certainly agree high school students need not feel they have to make big, important decisions right away, or that the decisions they do make will be defining, it’s also true that I spent much of high school defending my passions and interests and decisions as legitimate, deeply-held, and potentially long-lasting – and many of them have been, in the best of ways. It’s true that we change and grow after high school; it’s also true that that was a time when I settled into many of the things that matter most about myself.
Not sure who this commenter is, but thanks for being glad I’m on the site! And that’s a really great point. I wish I thought that your high school experience was more common, because it sounds awesome. Perhaps my statement was a little too broad. We certainly set foundational values and goals, but I think a lot of people feel that they didn’t really figure out who they were/what’s important/what makes them special, etc. until way past high school. But I’m so glad that wasn’t the case for you!