Tuesday, October 30, 2012
The Book I Recommend to Everyone
At the last meeting of my lovely book club we had a planned visit from a journalist from The Richard and Judy Book Club, a TV phenomenon doing in the UK what Oprah did for reading in the US. She talked to us generally about why we so enjoyed our book club, and asked each of us in turn which one book we would recommend to others. We were recorded for a podcast, so somewhere out there on the world wide web is a soundbyte of me explaining why everyone should read ...
Now that was a really difficult decision. I love so many books! But The Chrysalids had a memorably powerful impression on me as a teenager, and an even stronger effect when I re-read it as an adult and finally understood that it's about the dangers of religious extremism and the aftermath of nuclear war.
I'm not saying that it was the best book I ever read, or even my very favourite, but it was the one which I felt was most profound, moving and timely as well as being superbly written. Sometimes you have to take all these extra things into account when choosing just one book. It's not always just about entertainment value.
If you had to recommend a book which everyone should read, which has the power to change society, which would you choose, and why?