On our last birthday my dear brother and I were out to dinner with our parents. Simon is a fan of controversy. He is a non-conformer. As often happens at our family gatherings we ended up discussing something deep and philosophical and just edgy enough to make my long-suffering mother roll her secretly conservative eyes. The topic of the conversation was: “If you could pick only one book for your child to read in her whole life, what would it be”. Typically, my brother announced that he wouldn’t choose the Bible. Shock! Horror! Fun stuff all ’round.

It’s an interesting question because it’s really a variation of the “which books have been the most influential on your life?” Often people subconsciously resort to name dropping when they are asked this question. We want people to be impressed by us. I think the new framing of the question might help us to avoid that.

So now I’m asking you! I’ll rephrase it to make it more interesting:

“If you had to choose the only three books that your child would read in their lifetimes, which would they be?” To avoid frustrating controversy, we will assume that your child is allowed to read the Torah or Bible or whatever in addition if she so chose.