[hopefully someone out there will get my Reading Rainbow reference]
Last weekend was the Texas Freethought Convention, and I was able to vicariously enjoy parts of the gathering thanks to social media. An article of interest popped up that described Christopher Hitchen’s appearance at the convention.
It’s his first public appearance in months, and while he still possesses his fiery message, his body is definitely feeling the effects of his disease. Maybe it’s because I know he’s nearing the end of his life, but lately I’ve been finding most of what he says/writes lately to be especially compelling (and I wasn’t always a Hitch fan).
What caught my attention most about this piece describing his TX appearance was the end of the article that describes an interaction he had with an 8 year old little girl during the Q&A following his talk. The little girl’s name is Mason, and she asked Hitch a simple question: “What books should I read?” [a more detailed account of the story can be found over on Jerry Coyne's blog]
The article said that Hitch spent 15 minutes after his talk, sitting down with Mason and her mama to help compose a reading list. As a mama of my own precocious 4 and a half year old, I got such a kick out of reading about this interaction. I loved reading about not only Hitch dedicating time for a young fan, but I also enjoyed the little girl’s tenacity to walk up and ask such a great question! Here’s the list Hitchens gave Mason (taken from this article):
Dawkins’ Magic of Reality, Greek and Roman myths, particularly those compiled by Robert Graves, anything satirical by Shakespeare, Geoffrey Chaucer, Ayaan Hirsi Ali (author of Infidel and Nomad: From Islam to America: A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations), PG Wodehouse (“for fun”), David Hume, and Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities.
What books would you recommend, should a brave little girl ask you this question one day?