Thursday, June 25, 2009

Question: What Books Would You Choose?

In an iconic scene at the end of The Time Machine, Rod Taylor returns to the past to get two books with which he plans to rebuild society. For years, I wondered what those books were. Then I got a bigger tv and my question was answered: Civilization for Dummies and To Serve Man.

Hmmm. Not quite what I expected.

Surely we can do better than that? What two books would you take?

29 comments:

SQT said...

I think the Bible would be a good starting point. After that-- a survival guide?

LawHawkSF said...

The Bible and The Federalist Papers.

AndrewPrice said...

I'm thinking Atlas Shrugged and The Far Side Collection.

freedom21 said...

A Confederacy of Dunces and Jane Eyre.


I would have opted for a coloring book but I'm not quite certain that crayons would be included...

SQT: I love it.

Writer X said...

Just two?? This is almost impossible to answer.

Can I load books on my Kindle? GONE WITH THE WIND, for sure. Even though I've already read it 100 times.

AndrewPrice said...

Freedom21, I haven't read Jane Eyre. It take it, you recommend it?

StlDan said...

The Golden Sayings of Epictetus and I'm with Lawhawk, the Federalist Papers.

AndrewPrice said...

The Golden Sayings of Epictetus? You people are adding to my reading list!

StlDan said...

It is in the public Domain, Andrew. I carry it in my pocket PC and read it while traveling.

http://classics.mit.edu/Epictetus/goldsay.html

Writer X said...

Hey, wasn't TO SERVE MAN also in that Twilight Zone episode where the Martians load the unsuspecting people on the spaceship, thinking that they're going on some kind of adventure but they learn (too late) that they're going to be the food supply for the Martians? In that episode, TO SERVE MAN was a cookbook.

AndrewPrice said...

Writer X, yes it was! I suspect that Taylor was only trying to be inclusive, seeing as how half of his constituency (the Morlocks) are cannibals. I have to say. . . I was surprised by the choice. ;-)

StlDan, thanks. I'll check that out!

Writer X said...

Andrew, I think the underlying message of that Twilight Zone episode was "don't be so easily fooled." Kinda has parallels to today, don't you think?

Mike Kriskey said...

"The Wealth of Nations" and "Summa Theologica."

Although I doubt if I'd ever finish reading either of them, they'd still look good on the shelf.

JG said...

You haven't read Jane Eyre? It's ma favorite classical novel. Really beautiful. It only makes sense when you read the introduction Bronte wrote. I could go on all day.

My two books - Yes, the Bible, and Godless, by Ann Coulter. Obviously, if you haven't read either, I highly recommend them.

BevfromNYC said...

The unabridged dictionary and the complete works of Shakespeare. Though I am torn as "Gone With The Wind" is also one of my favorite books, Writer X. But if you bring that and we happen to be on the same deserted island, we'll be all set. I'll let you read my dictionary, if you let me read "GWTW"!

Writer X said...

Bev, I'd be happy to share. GWTW might not exactly help to rebuild a society but it sure will be fun to read. Again. And again.

SQT said...

Oh Bev's got my second book. You can't go wrong with Shakespeare.

AndrewPrice said...

sqt, you say that now. . . but just wait until you see the Morlocks do Hamlet on rollerskates.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

The Bible is a compilation of well over sixty books (Catholics have a few more books than Protestants).
Just sayin'. But since Andrew is allowing it, it's a Good deal!

Did you say The Far Side collection, Andrew? LOL! Larson would be the new Shakespeare/Michaelangelo for future generations. :^)

I was gonna pick Lawhawk's excellent suggestion, The Federalist Papers, and SQT has a great idea with a Survival Guide, and you really can't go wrong with Shakespeare, Bev, but The Far Side compels me to choose it. Besides, humor is absolutely necessary for the health of society and we must preserve this brilliant piece of art.

AndrewPrice said...

USS Ben,

You are a man of excellent taste! I think that a world based on the teachings of Gary Larson would have to be a pretty interesting place! :-)

(Although, admittedly, you might live longer with the survival guide.)

LawHawkSF said...

All right, I admit it. I was going to cheat. I had planned on putting cut-out pages from the Far Side in between the pages of the Federalist Papers.

SQT said...

If I was going to sneak in come pages from my favorite comic book, it would have to be Bloom County.

BevfromNYC said...

Andrew, it's too late. I believe I have already done a production Hamlet with Morlocks on roller skates. It was okay, but what about Morlocks doing live tableaux of the Far Side cartoon? That would could be very entertaining! I would love to see what they could do with "The Boneless Chicken Ranch".

AndrewPrice said...

Bev,

I totally forgot about the Boneless Chicken Ranch! I always think of the cows -- either calling the farmer ("Farmer Brown, your barn door is open.") or driving past the humans yelling ("Yak yak yak.") -- or the kid pushing the door marked "Pull" at the center for gifted children. Or the Book of Wienerdog Art.

Sqt -- I have all of the Bloom County books somewhere in my house. I loved those!

Mike Kriskey said...

I thought we had to be all fancy and whatnot.

I'm changing mine to Lord of the Rings and the complete Calvin & Hobbes.

AndrewPrice said...

Mike,

We'll take serious or not serious or even quasi-serious. . . seriously.

We'd love to hear from everybody, there are no wrong answers (except for Lawhawk's answers). Just tell us whatever is on your mind!

P.S. Bloom County, Far Side, and Calvin and Hobbes are the sum total of my comic strip collection. But I'm glad to see that I am not alone in loving all three.

patti said...

the bible is a given. the second would have to be john gardner's "on becoming a novelist" cause someone has to write the story of what the heck happened.

BevfromNYC said...

Nobody asked why the unabridged English dictionary! Well, think about it. It contains the words to every book in the English language..ooooh, deeeep....

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, you dirty cheater! LOL!

You win. I guess we now know who among us is most likely to be able to restore civilization. :-)

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