Choose Nine Books for Your Gift Box

3 11 2007

Books to give, that is, not books you want to get and read. Red Molly explains it here, and I’m taking up her challenge, rare for me but how can an old librarian resist a BOOK meme??

(If you take on the challenge too, please leave a link here so we can come see.)

The president of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, is trying to encourage more of her citizenry to read books by giving boxes of as many as nine books to 400,000 poor families, according to The Economist. The big question, of course, is which nine books, exactly? The London-based weekly newsmagazine said Chile’s selected titles, like “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger and “Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka, were “unexceptionable fare.”

How about you? If you had to fill a box with nine books that everyone ought to have, what would they be? What if you had to pick just one work of literature? Wow. Nine and only nine. What a concept! Should one go for the lofty and cerebral? The literary and timeless? The uproariously funny?

. . . I’m so tempted to tag here, despite my fear of calling anyone out by name, but rest assured that this is one in upon which I most heartily encourage y’all to weigh.Here’s my stab at a list, which I’m sure I’ll revise mentally many many times, especially immediately after posting it:

Okay, it’s JJ again. The challenging part for me would be putting even nine books in a box to throw away — why my house is nothing but stacks — not choosing nine or nine hundred wonderful books to share with new readers! So I easily came up with a box of nine books to share, no overlap to RedMolly’s list although I’d be proud to send it too.

Leaving aside the obvious — the complete Harry Potter set of seven books plus two players to be named later — my nine books-in-a-box in no particular order are:

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